What Being Ghosted Says About You (And What it Doesn’t)
We’ve all been there. We start a new relationship (or continue an established one), when out of nowhere, the person stops replying to us. We try to reach out, but are only met with radio silence.
When ghosting happens, it’s natural to search for answers. Unfortunately, this search often turns inward toward self-blame. We ask ourselves if we said something wrong, if we were too forward, or not forward enough. We agonize over what we said or did to push people away.
So let’s set the record straight. Here is what being ghosted says about you — and what it doesn’t say about you.
People ghost other people for so many different reasons. Some people start online dating and realize it’s not for them. Others struggle to balance competing priorities like work, school, family members, their own health, and hobbies. Some people have a hard time finishing things they start. Some people are so disorganized that they don’t respond to texts and calls until a few days later, or maybe never.
Because of this, it is almost impossible to nail down one reason as to why someone ghosted you. It might be for a variety of different reasons, and many of them are probably not about you.
All ghosting says about you is that you were in a relationship with someone who decided to discontinue it. That’s all.
I know that’s hard to internalize. Whenever something happens, our brains try to make sense of why it happened. We look for reasons, and the most accessible reason is to conclude that we did something wrong. It’s only natural that when you are ghosted, you blame yourself.
But this is futile and probably unhelpful. When you blame yourself after getting ghosted, what happens? Does the person magically come back? Or do you just end up feeling crummy about yourself with no closure? It is especially unhelpful to blame yourself for something like ghosting, which could happen for a million reasons, none of which have anything to do with you.
I know it’s hard. Ghosting is painful. But instead of searching for reasons why, accept that ghosting could happen for various different reasons. And accept that ghosting happens to all of us — regardless of our personal characteristics or what we said or did in our interactions.
Instead, pivot your attention towards things in your life that make you happy and give you meaning and purpose. Let go of the notion that ghosting is about you, and focus your energies on other things that are about you — that bring joy to your life. Pivot towards other relationships that feel more reciprocal — relationships that you give meaning to, and get meaning from.
You're not a lesser human being just because you were ghosted. You just happened to interact with someone who decided not to respond anymore for various, often unknown, reasons.
If you get ghosted, don’t take it too hard. It’s probably not about you.