There’s nothing more emblematic of being a twenty-something than getting ghosted. OK, nothing except being unable to afford a house. Or being shamed for our love of avocados. And wearing skinny jeans. You get the picture.
But, we’d wager to say that the majority of Millennials and Gen Z’ers have either been ghosted or become Caspers ourselves. In fact, we as a generation probably invented the practice. Curse you, technology. Getting ghosted doesn’t feel good, so we’re breaking down how you can cope.
What is Ghosting?
Let’s start with the basics: what the heck is ghosting? Surprisingly, the Oxford dictionary does have a definition for this. According to them, ghosting is “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”
By this definition, ghosting can extend to any relationship in your life. You could be ghosted by a one night stand, your short-lived summer fling, your husband, your best friend, or even your mom. Ouch.
How to Cope with Getting Ghosted
If you suspect you’ve been ghosted…you’re probably right. Lucky for you, we have some tips to help get you through the spooky period. Sorry we can’t help you more with the voices in your closet at night.
1. Take the ghosting for what it is – you’re being dumped.
The reason ghosting sucks so much is because we get no closure. And that leaves ample space for our minds to run wild.
They must be sooooo busy with work.
Ugh, their phone must have broken. Again.
Maybe someone in their family got sick.
You heard it here first: the ghosting was intentional. We know that sucks to hear, but you need to hear it. (And your best friend Becky is an enabler.)
If someone wants to pursue you, they will find a way to communicate with you regardless of how busy their schedule gets or what technology trouble they run into. If you can accept that the relationship with this person is over, then you can move on. And to help you move on…
2. Realize that this method of dumping you is a reflection of their horrible person-hood.
Anyone who has decided to eradicate communication without so much as a “goodbye” is a jerk. The jerk meter goes up and up depending on how long you knew each other.
No considerate, respectful, human being would dump someone via radio silence. It’s a borderline sociopathic move. While there might be a few situations where ghosting is acceptable (debatably), any decent person would communicate their feelings to the other party in order to put the relationship to bed.
Basically, you can sleep soundly at night knowing that you dodged a real piece of work, and put your effort into finding someone with more green flags than bright red ones.
3. Recognize that this is not a you problem, it’s a them problem.
Our egos can only handle so much rejection. Regardless of how it’s done, getting dumped sucks. Especially when we think that a person not wanting a romantic relationship with us means there’s something deeply defunct about us.
What if we told you that this has nothing to do with you?
Finding your ideal match is a profoundly difficult process. You need to find a person who is looking for the same things as you. Oh, and you have to be looking for the same things as them, too. Perhaps they want a partner to go camping with and you’re a city gal. In which case: who gives a dang if they ended things?
But when you’re ghosted, you’ll never know the intimate details of why they didn’t want to pursue you. And that’s okay. All that you really need to know is that they weren’t your person, and that is normal. That’s probably 1000x more likely to happen than meeting someone who is your person.
4. Ask yourself…do you really want to know why they ended things?
Some people genuinely do. If you’re one of them, we applaud you for having such tough skin. We’re delicate. Pass the moisturizer.
If you relate to being more feedback-avoidant, consider that a small glimmer of positivity in getting ghosted. You never have to know why that one person stopped answering your texts.
It could be that they weren’t into your appearance, or it could be that they were super intimidated and threatened by your beauty and wit. How about you just believe the latter?
5. Remember that everyone gets ghosted.
Being ghosted can feel embarrassing and isolating. You might not even want to tell your besties because it feels like the utmost form of social rejection. But we promise you that the majority of your friends have gone through the same thing.
Ghosting is the by-product of a digital world. It’s all too easy to let someone go and quickly find another option on Hinge or Bumble.
Plus, there are basically no ramifications for doing so. The chances of them running into you again are low, and the benefit of not telling you how they feel is high (no confrontation = no chance for you to tell them off).
With this in mind, remember that most of your peers are also being ghosted now and again. You are not alone in this experience. Someone needs to get Ghostbusters up in here.