You date someone and share dreams, plan vacations, make trips, spend hours on calls, send each other early morning messages and then one day, they suddenly stop picking your calls, stop replying your messages, no calls, no texts, no nothing. They simply disappeared on you. You probably start to think they are in harm’s way and you are worried sick but then you use someone’s phone to call them and as soon as they hear your voice on the phone, they hang up. You probably think maybe it’s your mind playing tricks on you because your heart cannot come to terms with your reality so you try again, calling and texting yet no response and slowly it begins to dawn on you that you’ve been ghosted.
You watch this person you have so much love for but now you aren’t sure what you feel for them anymore. You still enjoy their company but something still doesn’t feel right. You laugh and talk about your future plans for your relationship but within you, you know you are no longer in that relationship. Day after day, you plan how to break it to them that you no longer want them anymore but then you spend time again and it hurts you to tell them that you want to leave them because how will they take it? Then one day you decide to stop taking their calls. “it’s probably easier this way”. Gradually, their chatty persona annoys you more than ever, thought of being with them grow irritating daily and you get disgusted by the slightest thing they do but you still cannot summon courage to tell them, “it’s over”. And so you do the best thing, disappear. Block them from social media, block the calls, refuse to reply messages and when the smart ex calls with another line, you hang up as soon as you hear their voice, “whew! That was a close one”.
These scenarios happen in a lot of relationships. No official break-up, just ghosting. It is also interesting to note that romantic relationships are not the only recipient of ghosting. Ghosting also happens in friendship and it is believed that it hurts more. Your BFF suddenly stops talking to you, won’t reply your messages and when you make an impromptu visit, they subtly do everything to make you uncomfortable so you can leave and you’re left wondering, how did this happen?
For the one who was ghosted, it leaves feelings of inadequacies and puts you in a state of emotional turmoil. You are asking questions, seeking closure for this cruel rejection and sometimes find yourself stalking (you probably know you are not a stalker but you find yourself doing it anyway) especially if you are both active on social media. You may find yourself searching for clues and answers to why they chose to leave this way. While this is not an easy phase, the problem lies with the ‘ghoster’ who couldn’t be courageous enough to end things properly but instead chose a cowardly route.
Some of the things you can do when you’ve been ghosted are avoiding reminders of your ex or friends, work on moving on, focus on your health, happiness, future and finding a new distraction (I’d suggest learning something new like a musical instrument or sports or activity that keeps your mind occupied).