In today’s dating environment, your chances of being ghosted are higher than ever.
And it can get worse.
While it can be hurtful and demoralizing, it also means you’re more likely to have your ghosts make a reappearance. You may have chatted with someone on a dating app or even over a date or two when they disappeared. But maybe days, weeks, or months later they text you.
This can be a very confusing moment! But I have these 3 steps to make the best of this tricky situation:
Do you actually WANT to talk to them?
This might sound like an obvious question, but you don’t NEED to reply to the person in question just because they’ve come back. Have you been missing this persons’ presence in your life since they’ve been gone? Or are you moving on already?
Consider the following questions:
If they send an appropriate, sincere apology for their ghosting behavior, you may be willing to pick up a conversation with them again. If they send a brief, unattached message like “hey”, it’s better to let this ghost stay gone.
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So you’ve taken the time to think about what you want to do with this message. If you’d like to proceed, do so with caution - keep your awareness up and be mindful that this person has shown an instance of acting on impulses (remember, why did they ghost in the first place?)
Draft a responding message that mirrors the tone and intensity of the message from your ghost. If they send you a selfie of what their plans are this weekend, send them a photo of what you’re up to. If they give a more general “hey, what’s up?” message, give a similarly casual “Not much, getting ready to walk my dog, you?” response Remember: if they are the one who ghosted, the burden of initiating this conversation is on them - so let them take the lead
Be polite, give them a platform to express their intentions before you let the conversation progress.
With the first few messages down, you should be able to start getting a sense of what your ghost wanted in their message.
Are they just looking to apologize?
Do they want closure?
A date next week?
Look for the meaning in their messages, and if their goal aligns with what you want, let the conversation continue. If you aren’t convinced, let them go by saying,
It’s been great to hear from you, but I’m afraid I’m a bit busy today. Thanks for thinking of me - I’ll have to get back to you next time.