He disappeared and cut off all communication.
He stopped responding to emails and he changed his phone number. Or maybe he blocked my phone number.
At first, I thought he was dead or had been kidnapped (I have a very active imagination) so I intensified my efforts to contact him.
All those efforts were met with the mighty force of a silence more deafening than an exploding volcano.
That was when I realized I’d been ghosted.
According to a study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships at least 25% of people have experiened ghosting.
What is Ghosting?
The short form —your partner cuts off all communication and disappears without a word. He falls off the radar.
He thinks so little of you and your feelings that you don’t even get the courtesy of a post-it breakup like Carrie in Sex and the City.
You don’t even get a text. You just cease to exist in his world.
He treats you with the same level of attention you give to squashing a bug under your shoe. Step on it and move on.
This is a very cruel and soul-destroying way to break up with somebody.
The only situation where this kind of breakup is warranted is if you are trying to get out of a dangerous relationship.
Depending on how long the relationship has been going on, the person being ghosted could end up a broken person emotionally.
It’s a horrible thing to do but nevertheless, people still do it for a number of reasons.
So how do you respond to ghosting in a relationship?
How Do I Respond to Ghosting?
1. Don’t Try to Understand It
Listen, a person that ghosts you is a jerk. They have no respect for you and think very little of you.
It’s as simple as that. There is nothing to understand or decipher.
There is no need to create flow charts to analyze the situation. There is no “closure” required.
Are you romanticizing it? Like how Deborah Kerr didn’t show up in “An Affair to Remember.”
Yeah, this is your life, not a 50s movie. Your ex-partner is a disrespectful coward. Understand that.
2. Tit for Tat
It doesn’t matter how much you think you love him and can’t “live” without him, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
This is not about revenge.
A person that ghosts you will eventually resurface to find out if you’re happy without them or to make another play at your heart.
How do you prevent this? Block them everywhere too, including social media, and change your number.
Whenever he resurfaces, he should not be able to contact you.
Do. Not. Pursue. Him.
3. Hold a Cleansing Session
Pack up all of his stuff in your apartment. Every last one. Feel free to throw in any gifts he gave you.
Remember how Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe held a boyfriend bonfire in Friends?
You can do that or you could donate it. If you don’t think that’s right, tape the box shut and put it in storage.
Put that box of memorial crap somewhere you never have to look at it again.
One of the excuses ghosters use to get back into your life is they want to come by and grab their stuff.
Do not give in to that. Ship the stuff over. This person does not deserve any courtesy after what they did.
3. Start Living Your Best Life
Start living your best life going forward. Yes, it’s painful but make a resolution to start living your best life.
Places that remind you of him? Don’t go there.
Certain foods that bring you to the brink of tears? Stop eating them for a while.
Movies that evoke memories? Stop watching them.
Create new memories for yourself, watch new movies, discover new culinary delights, travel, learn something new, start dancing. LIVE.
Have mutual friends? Let them have custody.
Focus on yourself and rebuilding your self-esteem.
4. Create an Affirmation Wall
Create an affirmation wall in your bedroom and stick positive affirmations on it. I had one after I was ghosted.
It has grown to become an entire wall of awesome over the years. What do you put on an affirmation wall? Affirmations like:-
I am beautiful.
I am incredible.
I deserve to be happy.
I am enough.
You may be interested in the Empowering Affirmation Cards Collection available on Harmony Zone.
You can also use affirmation cards as laptop backgrounds – single or changing every few minutes.
If you feel like you need to talk to someone, talk to a sibling or friend that is going to be there for you through it.
Do not talk to a person that is going to try and help you find out why. The “why” is up above.
Whatever you do after you have been ghosted, NEVER EVER pursue the other party.
Never try to contact them through family, friends, or acquaintances.
Do not go to their workplace or usual hangouts like some bunny boiling psycho.
Leave it be and turn inwards to yourself. You are more powerful than you know!
Anna started Love & Self-esteem as an avenue to create a safe space for better and stronger relationships via personal and emotional empowerment because love shouldn’t feel like work.