Ghosting in Dating: What to Do When He Disappears

BY: - 9 Mar '16 | Single

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You meet a man online, and after a few emails, you exchange digits. Your first phone conversation lasts three hours, and the next morning he sends you a “hey beautiful” text message. Over the next week, you FaceTime every night, and he just pours on the compliments, even though your hair isn’t done and you don’t have on any makeup. You pencil in plans Sunday afternoon for your first in-person date, but when the time comes for you to meet up, he doesn’t call to tell you where to meet.

You call him, and it goes straight to voicemail.

You text, and you can see he read it, but he doesn’t respond.

You never hear from him again.

You’ve just experienced the dating phenomenon called ghosting. Ghosting means someone you’ve been involved with just disappears without a trace, leaving you to figure out what happened. This is a modern trend (and some would say, an epidemic!), which is likely more commonplace due to the prevalence of texting, online dating sites and apps. It’s easier to dehumanize someone when you’re only interacting with their profiles, pictures and smartphones.

Ghosting is a painful experience both men and women go through and it can happen at any stage of a relationship. You’re left with questions like, “What’s wrong with me? Am I lovable? Am I attractive? Did I do or say something wrong?” Essentially, you are left to figure out on your own why he or she doesn’t want to see you anymore.

Because you don’t have any real closure, this can have a real impact on your emotional health and self-esteem—and even can create baggage for the next relationship. But I don’t want you to take the blame for the other person’s rude behavior. So you can heal faster and move on quicker, I want to give you some tools to handle being ghosted at various stages of a relationship.

The person who goes ghost on you doesn’t have what it takes to meet your emotional needs and wouldn’t be a great partner for you anyway.

 

Stage 1:

You had a great first date and he said, “We should do this again sometime. I’ll call you!” He never does.

You’re probably feeling rejected and confused. What you should know is this man probably has more women he is currently dating. He figured you’d just get the hint if he didn’t call. He wasn’t interested, and he didn’t want to face the disappointment you’d express if he’d said, “Thanks for the coffee date, but I don’t want to see you again.”

What you can do: Tell yourself that it was just a first date. Don’t consider this first date a failed first impression on your part. You haven’t known him long enough to even weigh who else he is auditioning and what exact girlfriend role he’s casting for. So, don’t even bother racking your brain for an explanation. This man’s lack of consideration and inability to be honest and straightforward with you says a lot more about him than it does about you.

Stage 2:

You’ve been dating for a few weeks and just talked about becoming exclusive. “POOF!” he’s gone.

You thought this was really going somewhere, so you’re probably feeling a lot of anxiety and anger. You can’t believe he’d just disappear like that, so you send him text messages and voicemails, asking him to just reply to make sure he’s okay. Now you go back to the dating site only to see if he’s been active. Yup! He just logged on 24 hours ago. You start to question your attractiveness and whether or not you can trust a man.

What you can do: This man may have been keeping you as a placeholder until he figures out if he wants to be with someone else. Or he withdrew instead of properly telling you he needed time to process if he was ready for the next steps. You might get a text from him in a few days, acting like nothing has happened. If that’s the case, be straightforward with him. Tell him you’re upset and you need the person you’re dating to be reliable and consistent. If he makes things right, you can move forward with him (cautiously). If he gets defensive or makes invalid excuses, it’s time to move on.

Stage 3:

You’ve been together for six months or longer and had plans for the future. The day before he disappeared, he said, “I love you, talk to you tomorrow.” You never hear from him again.

Your pain is on level 10! Sadness, rejection, confusion, anger and anxiety all flood you at the same time. You feel like he abandoned you—lied to you even. Yet, you’re doing everything in your power to regain your closeness with him. You email, text, call, show up to his job, and you feel like everything is just going into a black hole. In it all, you constantly ask yourself, Why did this happen?

What you can do: Six months is a long time to walk away with no explanation. You don’t know if you did something to cause the breakup or if he was lying to you the entire time. To deal with being ghosted in a relationship, you’ll have to give yourself the closure you need.

Write two letters:

The first one is a letter of disappointment. Pretend your sadness is a person and write from the perspective of your sadness. Let that person write to you, detailing the situation. What is it telling you? Did you ignore the signs? Did you deserve better? Let all the emotions flow freely.

The second letter is an angry letter. Direct it to your ghosting boyfriend and don’t hold back. Say everything you didn’t get a chance to say to him. Repeat this process until you come to a place of peace about the whole relationship.

Ghosting in dating is so painful because the other person didn’t have the decency to be honest with you. This lack of responsibility for your feelings leaves you questioning yourself, instead of the other person. But don’t assume blame when it was never assigned to you. Know you can move forward with your head held high when you remember this: Ghosting isn’t about you or your worthiness for love. The person who goes ghost on you doesn’t have what it takes to meet your emotional needs and wouldn’t be a great partner for you anyway.

BMWK: Have you ever been ghosted on? How did you deal with it?

About the author

Aesha Adams Roberts wrote 156 articles on this blog.

Dr. Aesha is a matchmaker, dating coach, speaker and author of the book, Can I Help A Sister Out: How To Meet & Marry The Man of Your Dreams. After years of making painful dating mistakes, she met & married her husband in 11 short months and has made it her mission to help women and men find and keep the love of their lives.

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It’s Not You, It’s Men: Why Men Don’t Commit

BY: - 10 Mar '16 | Single

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On this week’s episode of It’s Not You, It’s Men, hosts Rev. Run and Tyrese are joined by OWN network host Iyanla Vanzant and author Emily Wilcox to discuss commitment issues in relationships.

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When it comes to commitment, the panel felt women and men differed on the topic. Here are a few of the points that were highlighted during the discussion, including the break down on why men (and some women) don’t commit.

Identifying the commitment-phobe

A commitment-phobe is someone who doesn’t commit in a relationship. There are two main types of commitment-phobes: the conscious and the unconscious.

The unconscious commitment-phobe enjoys the chase and the thrill of the hunt in dating. He is very charming and loving, however once the initial thrill has dissipated, subconsciously he self-sabotages the relationship out of fear of settling down. This type of individual has abandonment issues that fuel this type of behavior.

The conscious commitment-phobe enjoys being single and has no desire to settle down anytime soon. This person is confident within himself and just enjoys being single. He is upfront and honest regarding his single status.

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Why People Don’t Commit:

  • Expectations
    Due to the pressures of unrealistic expectations from partners, some people find it hard to commit. We want our partners to be these perfect human beings who satisfy us in every way imaginable. Most people are unable to live up to the demands of these and other expectations put on them in a relationship. So they choose to just date and not commit.
  • The “One” 
    If they have to ask if this person is the one, then he or she isn’t the one. They will know the one for them. The challenge is what they decide to do once they realize if that person is the one. Some men and women can take the relationship to the next level and others run out of fear.
  • Deal Breakers
    A deal breaker is an action or circumstance that will not be tolerated in a relationship. If you’ve violated your partner’s deal breaker, then he or she may leave the relationship. Therefore, you must identify and discuss deal breakers in the beginning of your relationship. In addition, you must decide what you really want and desire in a relationship. If those basic desires aren’t met, you, too, must be willing to end the relationship; settling is never an option.
  • Break-up patterns
    Break-up patterns occur when men and women consistently enter into a relationship without dealing with their own issues ( i.e. looking for someone to satisfy their inadequacies). When the partner is unable to meet their needs; he or she breaks up with them and continues to look for someone to fill a void within him or her. These people should be honest with themselves as to why they are in the relationship in the first place. Is he in the relationship because he needs validity by having someone choose him? What is she hoping this relationship will heal within her?
  • Self-love
    Before a person can pursue a committed relationship, he has to be whole and complete first. Or else he is just unstable. A popular saying is, “you grow through what you go through.” A growth process has to take place prior to bringing someone into the dysfunction.

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So what can you do?

A relationship is where two people come together to demonstrate God’s love and to share a common vision. In doing so, the individuals are able to learn, grow and heal together. When you are ready for this process to take place in your life, you will attract the right person. The one who will help you grow the most is the person you should pursue a relationship with.

Iyanla Vanzant stated that “Love commitment and pure relationships can only exist between equals.” The only way you will find your equal is to become whole within yourself. Take the time to focus on yourself, in doing so you will attract the individual who is right for you.

BMWK, Are you really ready to commit?

About the author

Judi Mason wrote 61 articles on this blog.

Judi Mason is an Empowerment Strategist, whose mission is to empower You to become your best authentic self. As an accomplished author, Judi has garnered much success with her self-help books and workshops; including her popular Girl Talk: Relationship 101 events- which was birthed from her best-selling book, The Relationship Chronicles- Real Love, Straight Talk No Drama. As a sought after speaker, Judi uses multiple platforms from the marketplace to ministry; to enable individuals to pursue and fulfill their God ordained purpose with passion, in life, love and entrepreneurship.

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