If you haven’t heard, ‘ghosting’ or ‘being ghosted’ is a trend that’s become more apparent in the last couple of years. Here’s how it works: you meet someone, whether it’s on a night out or via a dating app, your message, you like them, you go on a date (or maybe even several), but then – out of the blue – they disappear right out of your life. You were getting on well, you blatantly liked each other (they might have even already told you how much they like you) but then they just stopped messaging you. All contact is ceased at the click of a finger.

You inevitably spend hours, days, maybe months, agonizing over what you did wrong, what happened, and whether they are alive. Here’s how to deal with being ghosted by someone you’re already seeing.

Follow up

Let’s not get too hasty. If it’s only been a few days since their last text message, there’s a chance that they’re just busy, or they’ve forgotten to respond, and they’re planning to sometime soon. They could even have done what humans sometimes do and think it’s your turn to respond. Just sit tight and allow the ghoster to come back to you before you jump to conclusions.

However, if it gets to a point where it’s been a week, and you’re used to them replying every day, there’s a good chance you’ve been ghosted. Initially, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. They could have had a family emergency or been swamped at work. The first mature step is to send them a follow-up message. A simple text: ‘Hey, how are you? I haven’t heard from you in a while, so I just wanted to check you’re okay x’ is casual, breezy, and shows that you care, without coming across too strong.

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Don’t sink to their level

So, the follow-up message didn’t work. You still have no response and are tearing your hair out. Thoughts are running around your head, including, “We had such an amazing time; it doesn’t make sense,” and “If they liked me like they say they did, then why are they doing this?” You’re starting to drive yourself, and everybody around you, crazy.

It is so tempting at this point to text them again with an abundance of abuse. To tell them how unacceptable their behavior is, how you’re going sick with worry, and how you don’t understand how they could be so cruel. But the best thing to do at this stage is keep cool.

Try not to take it personally

This is much easier said than done when you are hurting. It’s so natural to look within ourselves and try to find a fault, but the reality is that it’s them with the issue. What kind of person does that to someone else when they know how much they like them? It’s not a nice way to treat somebody. It is plain selfish, unkind, and cowardly. It doesn’t take two minutes of someone’s time to politely text: “I’m sorry, I met someone else, but it was nice getting to know you.”

Being ghosted says a lot more about them than it does about you.

Keep yourself busy

Being ghosted when you’re already seeing them is essentially a break-up with no closure, which is the worst kind! You’re going to need to keep your mind distracted. If you stare into space, thinking about them and your time together – tell yourself it’s not allowed and go do something else. Surround yourself with your friends and family and invest in some well-needed self-care time. Read the book you keep meaning to get into, go to the cinema with friends, or even plan a weekend getaway.

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Also, make sure you keep exercising; the feel-good endorphins will fight those blues away!

Explore other opportunities

Make sure you’re not waiting around in the hope for them to realize what they’re doing and get back in touch out of nowhere. If it hasn’t happened by now, it’s unlikely to happen. You need to start moving on. Have you been putting off dating someone else while mourning the loss of the ghost? Then, it’s time to open your heart again. It’s only the most mean-spirited people in this world that ghosts, or people without any courage who don’t want the responsibility of letting someone down, and those people are few and far between.

Don’t let your experience of being ghosted put you off from dating again. It’s happened once, so what are the chances of it happening again? Put the bad experience behind you and try to remember that not all people are like that.

Cut them off

It’s now been weeks, maybe even months. They’re gone out of your life for good, you’ve moved on, and you’re much better. At this point, you should be thanking your lucky stars that they ghosted you early in the dating game – can you imagine if they got into a relationship with you and then treated you like that? It could have been ten times worse and left you feeling even more hurt than you already did.

Now you’re ready to cut them off completely. Delete their number, remove them from Facebook, and resist the urge to spy on their Instagram now and again. They do not deserve to be part of your life or the opportunity to potentially get in touch with you again (even though the probability of this happening is extremely low).

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Be firm if they ever find a way to contact you again, or you run into them on a night out. Remember how they treated you. Calmly explain how they made you feel and how that behavior is unacceptable. If they’ve ghosted once, they might ghost again, so ensure you make them realize that how they acted was cowardly and that you would have just appreciated a quick message explaining what had happened. If you can stop them from ever ghosting another person again, that’s a mission accomplished!

Please don’t feel downhearted throughout the whole process of being ghosted. It’s easier said than done, but you soon realize you have had a lucky escape. As Ella Henderson says in her hit song “Ghost,” – you need to “give up the ghost” and allow yourself to move on. They are not worth the pain and heartache. Onwards and upwards! You’ve got this.

Katie is a freelance writer, blogger, and world traveler. Since the completion of her Fashion Marketing degree in 2012, she has been honing her craft by writing for a number of businesses and publications. She blogs about fashion, beauty, and travel at Trendy Tourist, never without a cup of tea close by.

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