What’s the deal with ghosting and how to cope if it happens to you

November 23, 2016
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If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘ghosting’, it’s when someone you’re dating metaphorically drops off the face of the earth and stops texting or communicating altogether. People can experience ghosting in many forms but it usually rears its ugly head after multiple dates, long stretches of communication and, sadly, when the ghostee doesn’t see it coming.

Sounds pretty brutal, right? It is. But before swearing off dating and buying one too many cats, here are just a few ways to deal with being ghosted if, touch wood, it ever happens to you.

Delete all means of communication

This means deleting their number, unfriending them on Facebook, unfollowing their Instagram, blocking them on Snapchat and, where applicable, unmatching them on Tinder. Like a break up, it is almost impossible to move on and forget it ever happened if their name and face are constantly popping up on your phone. Deleting their number and social media will also stop you from sending drunken messages or making “y don’t u luv me!!?” phone calls that you will definitely regret in the morning. Don’t be that person. You’re better than that.

Surround yourself with friends   

If you choose to ignore the above step (it’s tough to cross that bridge, I know), then having your friends around you is the next best thing for keeping your chill intact. Your friends will be the voices of reason when you suggest sending your ghoster a fourth or seventh message, and will probably encourage you to rid yourself of any reminders of said ghoster in your life and on your phone (I hate to say I told you so...).

Surrounding yourself with the people who love and care about you will make the frustration of being completely ignored a lot easier to bear and, above all else, will act as a reminder that the good in your life almost always outweighs the bad.

Treat yo’ self

When it comes to ghosting, it doesn’t need to be October 13th to treat yourself. Take a page out of Tom and Donna’s book and make yourself feel better by giving in to your inner consumer. Get an overpriced-but-totally-worth-it haircut, splurge at Doughnut Time, or buy those shoes you’ve been obsessing over for the last two weeks. It sounds shallow (because it is) but treating yourself can help give you confidence, build up your self-esteem, and just generally make you feel better when you need an extra boost.

Keep yourself busy

While dealing with hurt feelings is an extremely important part of getting over anything, distracting yourself with activities is usually a lot easier and much more fun. Whether it’s finally starting that book that’s been passed over for uni readings all semester, cleaning out and organising everything you own, or spending every waking moment at a house party, keeping yourself busy will stop you from torturing yourself with questions about what the hell happened and why it happened to you.  

Remember that you’re definitely too good for them anyway

This is probably the most important step of all. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that your new status as a ghostee is a reflection of your worth and desirability, but I promise you it’s not. You are still the awesome person you were before you were ghosted and the fact some crappy person doesn’t see that doesn’t make it any less true. Repeat that until it sinks in, because it takes a special kind of scaredy-cat to ghost someone, and they definitely don’t deserve you.

Penny Robinson

Penny is a Philosophy and Media and Communications student at the University of Melbourne. She enjoys travelling, snacking, and not going to the gym.