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5 Healthy Ways of Responding to Ghosting in a Relationship

Ghosting is a technique used by partners to break up with their other significant ones without informing them of their decision to end the relationship. Those who ghost their partners feel the usage of ultimate silent treatment is an appropriate means of dissolving the relationship.

There are various reasons why people ghost which include: avoiding the possibility of witnessing or experiencing emotional breakdown or the occurrence of drama that is prevalent in many breakups. Some feel there is no need to inform their partners they've broken up with them because of the abusive nature of their partners.

Despite the reasonings behind ghosting, it doesn't justify the use of such a treatment as it equates to lack of consideration or sympathy to the one being ghosted. Before ghosting a partner for whatever reason that might justify its use, the one who wants to exercise the treatment should ask him/herself, "How will ghosting affect his/her partner?"

Ghosting affects the recipients of this treatment in varying degrees. The most affected are those who have low self-esteem. Ghosting has the ability to crush a person's spirit - the will to live or move on with their lives - and to render them vulnerable to more hurts from their future partners and in their relationships with other people.

Sad, Crying

Sad, Crying

Ghosting: Its Nature and the Effect It has on the Recipient

Ghosting, a form of silent treatment and a technique used to end a relationship without any explanation is a cruel means of walking out of a relationship. In itself, it is the worst form of breaking up with a partner.

When ghosted, it will not become apparent you've been dumped. You'll think something has sprung up that's made your partner not to contact you. You'll bear the silence since you're confident your partner will get back to you (never mind you've called or sent your partner several texts without any response).

As days fly by, you become concerned. Why is he not responding? Has something bad happened to him? Afraid of what might have befallen your partner, you contact your partner. To your suprise or dismal, he doesn't respond. You will yourself to believe he will contact you. Maybe he doesn't feel like talking. Let me give him some time.

A week goes by without you partner contacting you. You become more worried. You contact him. As always, your call isn't picked up nor your texts responded to. 'Why is he not responding to my calls or texts?' You ask yourself.

You don't have piece of mind or heart. You ask yourself questions but the answers you provide yourself aren't satisfactory. You feel as if your partner no longer exists on earth. It has been two weeks, possibly three weeks, he hasn't contacted you no responded to your calls or texts.

The worry you've for your partner is replaced by fear of unknown - has he left me without saying so or has he struck another relationship with another woman? Why is he silent?

Finally, it dawns in your heart you've been dumped. He hasn't responded to your calls/texts for more than two weeks or a month nor bothered to contact you.

He can't be dead. You would have heard of it. He can't be kidnapped or something bad happened to him. You would have known or someone would have contacted you about it. You have the eerie feeling he has dumped you without telling you so.

But, why? Why didn't he tell me that he wants to break up with me? Didn't he have the courtesy to let me know he no longer wants to be in relationship with me? Was he coward to let me know? He walked out of my life as if I meant nothing to him. As if I am a piece of garbage. I can't believe it!

You experience a variation of hurtful emotions. The pain is unbearable. Why did he treat me like that? Did he truly love me? What have I done to deserve this? Why could he do this to me knowing how much I love him?

How am I supposed to respond to him? I don't know what to think or do. What should you do? How should you respond to ghosting?

People, Emotion

People, Emotion

As noted above, ghosting is a tactic used to break up with a partner without communicating with them of the need to walk out of the relationship. How you deal with being ghosted determines how long you'll take to heal and recover from the breakup. When you react negatively (in the extreme), your healing and recovering will be jeopardized (it will take long to heal and recover).

What matters now is not whether you should try to get your ex back or move on to another relationship but what you can do to initiate the healing process. Without healing, you can't recover from the breakup. Without recovering, you can't move on.

When you reunite with your ex or engage in another relationship without having recovered from the breakup, the relationship you're currently in won't survive to the end. Even if you will yourself to stay in the relationship, it will be faced with hurdles mostly emanating from you. The hurtful (negative) emotions such as anger and hatred will dictate to you what to think or do. They can't be relied in making decisions or how to live your life.

Factors That Determine the Healing and Recovery from Ghosting

We are different in our personalities the reason people respond in different ways to ghosting or breakup. For instance, we are all emotional but some of us are more emotional than others. This signifies that some will react mildly to ghosting while others will respond in extreme.

Understanding yourself and knowing how you should respond is the key to shortening the pain you feel in your heart and enabling you to recover from ghosting.

The following are factors that may determine how you respond to ghosting.

  1. Your personality. Are you the sensitivity type? Are you the no-caring type? Do you react on impulse or take some of your time to respond?
  2. The length of the relationship. The duration of the relationship determines your reaction to the breakup. The longer the relationship, the stronger the emotional bonding, the long it will take to accept the breakup occurred. The reaction will be extreme unlike in a relationship that has lived for a month.
  3. The number of breakups a person has undergone. The more the breakups the more the hurt or the lower the hurt. Generally, people who have experienced breakup for the first time tend to be hurt so much than those who have gone through several breakups.
  4. The support. The emotional support from your loved ones or friends will determine how you deal with the break-up that was initiated through ghosting.
  5. Lastly, your willingness or determination to heal and recover from the breakup. The earlier you accept the relationship no longer exists, the less time it takes to heal and recover from the breakup.

How to Respond to Ghosting

You shouldn't work towards reuniting with your ex neither should you run to engage in another relationship. You've to mentally release yourself from any form of emotional hurt.

1. Experience the Feelings

When you realize you've been ghosted, you'll develop a myriad of hurtful emotions.

Should you ignore the feelings such as anger and hatred? No! The feelings are a sign that something hurtful has occured. Experience them for a short while. These emotions will propel you on the road to recovery.

2. Don't Dwell on the Emotions

After you've experienced the emotions, don't let them dwell for long. You have to deal with them by not allowing yourself to experience them anymore.

Don't let them rule your mind and heart. They will only increase the heartache, make you more mad and hateful towards your ex. Furthermore, they will affect your relationship with other people and your future romantic relationship.

3. Forgive Your Ex

Ghosting is a cruel form of abuse. You've been abused psychologically. The realization your ex has treated in inhuman manner will make you to hold on to your grudge and hatred. But, you're the one who is hurting yourself since your ex is no longer part of your life.

It is a difficult step to take. How can you forgive someone who has treated you as if you're not somebody?

Forgiveness releases negative emotions from having a hold of your life. They're not emotions that you should form an ally with.

4. Employ No Contact Rule

Stop the contact. This means you shouldn't bother them with questions or pleading with them to talk to you or give you another chance to be in relationship with them.

Don't contact them for a minimum period of one month. During this time, concentrate on yourself. Don't think about your ex or the failed relationship.

Set your mind on other things. Don't pretend to be happy. Be happy by finding things that make you happy. It's time to take care of yourself.

5. Apologize and Thank Your Ex

No way! Yes, it is a positive step to take despite how hurtful you feel and the kind of opinion you've towards your ex. In any case, you might have wronged them during the time you were together. Apologizing and thanking them enables you to feel good about yourself, appreciate yourself, love yourself thereby uplifting your self-esteem. In addition, apologizing and thanking your ex reinforces your determination to get through the breakup.

What if Your Ex Contacts You?

Whether you should get back with your ex or move on with your life when your ex contacts you during the no contact period will be determined by what you reflected during that timeframe.

During the no contact period, you should reflect on the failed relationship and your ex. You should ponder about your present life and future life. It is a time to sort things out. It is a time to figure out whether it is a rightful thing to contact your ex or get back with him when he contacts you.

© 2020 Alianess Benny Njuguna


Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on April 29, 2020:

I agree with you most of ghosting cases occur among people who barely know each other or have a dated a few times.

It is common among those who rely heavily on texts. Rarely do long-term relationships experience ghosting.

As always, I thank you for your input. And, the quote which is ever true.

dashingscorpio from Chicago on April 27, 2020:

Lots of sound advice.

However from what I have come to learn is most "ghosting" does NOT take place between people in "serious/long-term" relationships. The vast majority of people who experience being ghosted are those who have either never met each other in person or have only gone out with them a few times.

Their primary mode of communication is often text messages and IMs through social media. If you've never met in person you're just a bunch of texts and emojis on each other's cell phone. There is a big difference between reading LOL! and actually hearing someone left out loud. Lack of a true human connection makes it easier for a lot of people to be dismissive of others.

The typical ghosting scenario is two people meet online using a dating app or through social media. They text each other back and forth for several days or weeks and one day one person stops replying without any warning.

In most instances they were never a "couple" nor had they had any discussions regarding exclusivity or commitment. They were still in the "honeymoon" or "getting to know you" phase.

The reason why these people are hurt is because it's not only rude and a blow to their ego but they were optimistic about cultivating a relationship with this person. They may have also allowed themselves to become "emotionally invested".

Things one should always remember:

Talking or texting someone daily doesn't mean you're a couple.

If he/she has an {active dating profile} they're still "looking".

The person ending a relationship does so at (their) comfort level.

We don't get to tell someone how, where, or when to dump us!

In order for your (ex) to have been "the one" (he/she) would have had to see (you) as being "the one". At the very least a "soulmate" is someone who actually wants to be with you!

In a world with over 7 Billion people rejection just means: Next!

"Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

- Oscar Wilde