When Someone Ghosts

We’ve all experienced the inevitable ghosting by a guy. You know, you’re cruising along, things are going well, you’ve been texting every day, maybe even hung out a time or two…when all of a sudden, POOF. He vanishes, into thin air and into the night, leaving you wondering what you did wrong or what could have happened to scare him away and sometimes even checking obituaries because only death itself is a suitable excuse for him literally falling off the face of the earth. (C’mon. We’ve all been there.)

But what about when a friend ghosts?

It seems in this day and age of endless forms of communication, never has it been easier for people, and yes, even friends…to excommunicate themselves from our lives. I recently had this happen to me. A friend who I considered very near and dear to my life, someone I talked to almost daily and hung out with weekly and even traveled with, just one day disappeared from my life. I’ve been in this place in my life where I don’t want to do all the work anymore when it comes to friendships or relationships. I don’t want to feel like I’m making all the effort, doing all the inviting, always reaching out and asking and planning and coordinating. It’s exhausting. And it leaves you wondering “if I stop doing all of the work, would this person still be in my life?” And if the answer to that question is no, then was the relationship ever really that strong to begin with? I guess I got my answer with this particular friendship, because when I stopped being the initiator, the relationship completely fizzled. And that hurts. And left me wondering why I wasn’t more important to this person’s life the way they were to mine. But going through the upheaval that I’ve been through over this past year – all the changes and struggles and growth and BECOMING – it’s taught me more than a little bit about letting go. I don’t want to hold on to people who don’t want and don’t actively choose to be in my life, friends or otherwise. And I might have lost a few friends over the past year as a result of no longer being willing to carry the entire friendship on my back, but was it really a loss? I think some losses are really gains in that we gain back time we were investing in the wrong people and energy spent worrying about why they never seemed to quite reciprocate our efforts and even parts of ourselves that we lost in the frantic efforts to stay in someone’s life who wasn’t doing anything to keep us in theirs.

The really crazy thing is that my adventures in online dating with Bumble are teaching me a lot about letting go, too. The hard truth that I’ve learned through this process is that some guys are simply going to disappear with no explanation and there’s nothing I can do about it and no point in trying to understand it. Sometimes I’m going to think a meet-up or a date went really well and then I’m never going to hear from the guy again. It’s not going to always make sense and I’m not going to always get an answer or closure. That’s just life.

And so it goes with all people who ghost. A pretty wise woman once said: “Your peace is more important than driving yourself crazy trying to understand why something happened the way it did. Let it go.” (In case you were wondering, that pretty wise woman was me, haha!) So whether it’s a friendship or a relationship…here are a few tips for surviving a ghosting:

  • Ask yourself: Did I do anything wrong here? Is there perhaps something that happened that I need to own up to and apologize for? Did I alienate this person in any way? If so, do what you need to do to make it right. Sometimes when we get really honest with ourselves, we realize that our own actions played a role, however, minor, in the other person’s retreat. HOWEVER, I will say this. When someone ghosts and completely vanishes from your life without a trace, typically there was nothing you did to cause it and nothing you could have done to stop it.
  • Make peace with the fact that you may never know why they disappeared, stopped texting, stopped calling, and never talked to you again. Maybe they were going through something in their own lives that caused them to isolate themselves. Maybe another friend or relationship came along and distracted them. Maybe they were intimidated by you and didn’t see a place for themselves in your life. Or maybe it was none of the above or all of the above. The point is…you’ll likely never know. So you can beat your head repeatedly into a wall trying to figure out the un-figure-out-able, or you can simply let go and move on with your life.
  • Realize that as horrible as this ghosting feels, this person’s retreat from your life does not have to completely devastate you. You have other options, both in love and friendship. Look around at the amazing people already in your life who DO make an effort to be there. Hey! Now you have more time to spend with them. And if you are in need of new people in your life, love and/or friendship might just be a swipe away. Give Bumble a try! Even if you’re not looking for love, the Bumble BFF function is awesome for making new friends. It’s HARD to make friends as an adult, and BFF takes all the work right out of it. I met one of my best friends on Bumble BFF, and if she’s the only thing Bumble ever brings into my life, it will be enough. You have to be willing to put yourself out there a little and try new things if you want to meet new people. Nothing worthwhile in life was ever achieved by staying safe inside your comfort zone!

At the end of the day, just know that a friend or a romantic interest ghosting says nothing about you and everything about them. If they couldn’t even take the time to explain why they needed to exit stage left of your life, they’re not worthy of being in your life. Don’t hold a place for them. Move on to all the people and relationships and friendships that are rewarding and life-giving and always reciprocal. They are out there, I promise. You just might have to swipe right or left a few times to find them. 🙂

11 Responses to “ When Someone Ghosts ”

  1. Janette
    November 15, 2017

    This post is spot on I have been experience ghosting in both relationships and friendships . It really sucks and feels terrible but then there is a sensor relief when you realize that you are wasting your time and now you have it back .

    • Sarah
      October 23, 2018

      So relevant right now. Just been ghosted after 4 weeks of speaking/phone calls and felt like a good connection and it feels so bad, such a dent to the ego. I really wanted to send a confronting message but I’m going to rise above it and not bother! Thank you!! Hard not to thought as you can’t help but wonder what went wrong and blame yourself.

  2. November 15, 2017

    I JUST wrote about something similar in my blog post! 30dateswhynot.wordpress.com. p.s. I wish we lived in the same city, so we could be friends!! 😉

  3. November 16, 2017

    I got friend-ghosted in 2013. When I saw her at a theater, she completely ignored me, and every time after that, hid or pretended not to see me, even if we locked eyes. Happened again last week. I’ll never know why she stopped returning my calls, but I’m over it.

  4. Karen
    November 16, 2017

    I can’t help thinking that *some* people may ghost secondary to their own demons of anxiety or depression, in which one should be cautious about publicizing her flippancy about them. Especially if we feel like we were the powerhouse in the relationship… can we picture their side of being “dropped?” Mostly I agree with your post, but you know “blanket statements” can sometimes smother. Just playing devil’s advocate here.

  5. Merisha
    November 17, 2017

    Matthew Boggs did a video on this, and I believe it to be true. They dissappear because they’ve met someone else and they don’t exit your life nicely because they want to keep their options open and should things not work out with that woman, they can open up communication with you again. Thus happened to me a few months ago where this guy was so passionate about how amazing I was, then he just dissappears. A few weeks later I see him with another woman in his profile pic. You can watch the vid here: https://youtu.be/qdFJn4ID-2U

  6. Jane
    December 30, 2017

    Wow. It’s so crazy how God gives you what you need at the right time. I asked for a sign, and here it is on your blog. Thank you!!

  7. January 10, 2018

    Well, I guess it’s part of life. Because I’ve experienced it too! Sometimes you wonder if there’s something wrong with you or you did something to offend. But then you realize, it’s really how they are. Sad. But it’s also part of life to let go.

    Cheers to a more meaningful 2018!

  8. Ngoni
    March 23, 2018

    With friends ghosting, I understood why: our lives were not compatible anymore. They got married and had children and I couldn’t relate to their experiences neither could they relate to mine anymore. I also respected the fact that marriage is a commitment that takes time, energy, and dedication and I wanted their marriage to be successful and not hindered by me. For a past love who ghosted, who I have never been intimate with, nor met his friends or parents or relatives, I don’t know if I will ever understand as long as I have a female brain. Maybe he was too afraid of hurting me. Maybe. I honestly have nothing bad to say about him. He was actually very kind to me whenever we were together. It just wasn’t meant to be.

  9. Ngoni
    March 29, 2018

    Just wanted to comment that it will be five years in October since I have first posted on this blog. I swore off marriage and I have kept my word. I am 45 and still happily single. No games here.

  10. Aisha
    October 3, 2018

    There’s a guy I’ve been talking to/seeing, and I felt as if he was friendzoning me and talking to other women. I asked God to take him out of my life if he and I weren’t meant to be. The guy ghosted for a week and a half because his phone, wallet, etc. were stolen (we live in different countries but we talked every day and traveled together; have not been intimate). When he was able to communicate again, he completely fell off: ignoring me, no time to talk, responding with one word or Emojis, formal greetings, etc. He’ll tell me he’s going to sleep but will remain online for a while before becoming inactive; I hardly think it’s another man he’s texting during those late hours, but whoever it is, he’s not being straight about it with me. We basically don’t talk but he keeps sending selfies and neutral greetings, which leads me to believe he’s stringing me along in case his other interest doesn’t work out. I’m not here for it so I’ve cut him loose in my heart and spirit. It hurts because we made so many plans for this, that and other other (more trips, practicing our languages together every day, even kids!). Now, there’s nothing. I don’t care to play these games though, so I’m cutting my losses and licking my wounds. It’s tough, especially as I’m nearing the end of my 30s….

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