Ghosting in dating SUCKS. Ghosting is maddening, ego-shattering, heartbreaking, insecurity-igniting and wtf-is-wrong-with-me, embarrassing. It doesn’t just happen in romantic relationships either. It happens with friends too.

What is ghosting?

Ghosting is defined as “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

Just a few months ago, I was ghosted by a girlfriend. It had been a while since the last time I was ghosted and it triggered me into the “must find out why I’m not good enough/getting a response,” quicksand.

Sometimes (usually after a few weeks/months have passed since being ghosted) we find out that the person who ghosted us has made a big change – they got engaged, had a baby, got that promotion, eloped, met someone that’s everything we’re not, etc., all while we are screen-shotting and zooming in with nothing better to do.

Sometimes, you go on a few whatever dates or you have an acquaintance that’s fun for a few brunches and nights out, but eventually, you guys stop talking. Or, you’re in a relationship with an emotionally unavailable guy who has consistently been shady, ambiguous, and disrespectful to you, so you eventually decide to speak with your actions and cut him off. That’s not ghosting, that’s just what happens sometimes in life

The thing with ghosting in dating, committed relationships or in friendships, is that the whole time, you’re under the assumption that you’ve got a good thing going until all of a sudden, you don’t. You don’t have a f*cking thing. Not an explanation, not a returned call, nada.

Is it really THAT hard to reply? It is really THAT easy to pretend we never met? Is it really THAT hard to acknowledge someone’s existence (that didn’t ever intentionally hurt you like this)? Is it really THAT cool to be so uncool?

Why is ghosting in dating and friendships such an epidemic? Why do people ghost?

& HOW can you lessen the impact of being ghosted and turn yourself into the ultimate ghostbuster?

Here’s why ghosting in dating and friendships has turned into an epidemic + why people ghost…

Ghosting doesn’t seem “new-agey” to me at all. It’s an out-dated and lame way of making an amateur hour exit. This has nothing to do with advances in technology or new generations. Ghosting in dating and friendships happens to the extent that it does because we live in a world where the real currency and oxygen is not money and air. It’s validation and reactivity.

Eve.ry.one wants to feel validated. Some people are so desperate for validation though, that they’ll go down the most unhealthy and heartless avenues to attain it. Their validation is dependent on how much of a reaction they can elicit from people. It’s the only way that they can maintain feeling like they matter, and continue to poorly conceal the one thing that they try with all their might to guard: their insecurities and percieved worthlessness. If they didn’t feel worthless, they wouldn’t have to make someone else feel worthless via ghosting.

So does ghosting in dating and friendships only happen because people want validation and a reaction? No. But, people who need reactivity and validation like they need air to breathe and a non-negative bank account, are more likely to CHOOSE ghosting when wanting to end a relationship as opposed to communicating in a decent, mature, and respectful manner.

They choose ghosting because they not only get what they want (the relationship to end), but they also get the added benefit of seeing your reaction. This allows them to see how much control they have over your emotional weather. 

5 things to know about ghosters:

  1. The ability to ghost and having healthy levels of self-esteem will never coexist. Bottom line: There’s no point in “retaliation” or to plan a “ghosting revenge”. These are people who already feel sh*tty enough about themselves to begin with or they wouldn’t have to do the ice-out-cop-out. The way that they feel about themselves deep down, is their punishment.
  2. They are the most avoidant people you will ever meet. And avoidance is one of those deal breaker red flags that will never allow a healthy and mutual relationship/connection to develop. Ever.
  3. They sh*t their emotional shorts. They are so conflict and “difficult conversation” avoidant that they would rather go MIA with their adult binky in tow than have a two second conversation with kindness and clarity. I mean, how hard is it to say “I’m sorry, but I can’t continue on in this relationship.”
  4. They’re empathetically bankrupt. They can’t put themselves in your shoes, ever. And without empathy, you’ve got nothing.
  5. They’re emotionally constipatedAnd because of this, they’re only capable of transactions, not relationships.

Understand and acknowledge that the ONLY reason this has such a destructive and long-lasting impact on you is because you are making the emotional amateur hour of a grown adult, all about you not being “enough.”

If you had healthier levels of self-esteem and self-love… yeah, ghosting would hurt but its effects would not be nearly as long, impactful, and damaging. 

It hurt like hell when my girlfriend ghosted me but at the end of the day, I had to keep reminding myself of the truth:

Even though the relationship had ended, I could walk away knowing that I’m still Natasha, I’m still me. I’m an incredible friend and any attempts at a genuine connection, whether they be in love or friendship, are always a risk worth taking. What isn’t a risk worth taking? Banking on a toxic person to be decent and tying your worth to the subsequent indecency.

This is how you avoid being a doormat, a closed-off ice queen, a closure-seeking stalker, and just be: Accept when people show you who they are. And adjust your boundaries accordingly.

There’s no need to dig, FBI-style investigate, reach out and search for “answers.” The 5 reasons above will give you more peace than continuing to knock on anyone’s closed door ever will.

x Natasha

If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with me here.

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26 comments

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Thank you for healing my broken heart. God bless you Natasha. You have a gift that I’m not even sure you’re fully aware of ~ xoxo D

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SO true. This is by far the best article on ghosting that’s out there. Thanks Natasha.

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Hi Natasha,

What a lovely interesting topic. I have had plenty of experience in ghosting: I have been in both sides. I dated a very charming guy (you know about this 😉 then he ghosted on me, I had a very low self esteem at that point, I was very insecure and this bs of an action impacted me twice as hard. I am glad I turned to you for an advice and still working on what you said. It is a horrible feeling, you feel as if you are not good enough for them, to be in their company and they come up with millions of reason if you suddenly bump into them. Very poor and to be honest I am happy I am not their friend, THEY DON’T DESERVE TO BE IN MY COMPANY. Had they been decent person they would have communicated with you rather than disappearing, very cheap.
However, I did some bad myself. Few years ago I had several friends. What they all had in common was gossiping and negativety. Everytime in their company I felt extremly drained out of energy. I decided just to cut them off without giving reasons. I know this is very bad of me, but I couldn’t really face confrontation face to face why I didn’t want to hang out with them anymore. Now I choose my friends very carefully and I have set a healthy boundries in regards to what I share, how much I share and amount of time I spent with friends in general.
Do you remember Natash, you told me to turn inwards, that was a life changing advice. Thank you for listening and giving advice and I am still working on this. Its is journey I’ve started.

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Hi Shahane!! Thank you so much 🙂

I am so proud of you and how far you’ve come. You are such a beautiful, aware and wise-beyond-your-years, soul. This was and is ALL you Shahane, you did it. You had all of the tools all along. I’m honored to be a small part of your evolution and realizations. Your future is going to thank you for all of the heartbreak that you’ve learned and grown from. We are all a work in progress but as long as we have each other for support, that’s half the battle right there <3 xxxxxx

Thank you for YOUR love and support, always.

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O.M.G. Again, wow. Just wow. Soooo amazingly well said. You DO have a gift for this, Natasha. A gift for turning confusion and bewilderment into crystal-clear SENSE for everyone who struggles with these thoughts and issues and the pain that it causes them. It’s like the closure that we need — which, of course, will never be given to us by the cowardly “ghoster”. These ghosts are officially BUSTED!!!!!

Thanks, Natasha! ???

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YAY!!! Thank you so much Karen 🙂 I’m so glad that it helped XOXOXO

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Once again, you’ve knocked it out of the park. Your posts keep getting better and better. To me, the bottom line is this: focus more on you and your own feelings and self-esteem because looking anywhere else but inward leads to nothing but trouble. I’ve spent so much time wondering why this or that person ghosted. I will never spend another minute of my energy on it. They always ghost because they have emotional arrested development.

Natasha, I was looking for your other recent post on when will an ex get in touch but couldn’t find it. It was a great one. Did you take it down? Thanks for all the words of wisdom. Sending you lots of love!

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YES! I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you so much Jillian 🙂 That particular post had a bizarre formatting error that my web technician is looking into. If it can’t get fixed, I’ll rewrite on the topic (I have even more to say now haha), & have it up ASAP. Thanks for the love and support sister xo

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Natasha, you keep on doing it! You are the epitomeeee of beauty and brains. I am loving you, your outlook on life and just everything about you. I had an interesting relationship 2014 and had so many revelations. All I can say from reading your articles is that: You are yet to tell one lie. You are spot on and your responses to people’s enquiries brings me to tears. Love u loads. All the way from Nigeria ?

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Hi Kendall!! Thank you so much. I can’t begin to tell you just how much your love and support means to me. Love you too! XOXO

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So I can just add to that
Met a guy online, we were messaging, then first date was great.
He asked for a second date and again it was great. He was even planning where we would go for dinner next time during that date . Then after 2nd date on Saturday silence , 3 days later a message and and on Thursday he was asking what I was doing on the weekend . I texted I was going to visit my friend an hour away and I would stay over night as we haven’t seen each other for 2 months . So after that two days of silence and suddenly on Saturday he texted saying he lost his phone on Friday night in a cab and only got it back now. Which was not true I think as he was seen on Facebook few hours earlier and whatsapp said the same. Then on Monday he asked when we would meet again and I said anytime when you are free, is Thursday good? Where would you like to meet up. Silence till Thursday afternoon when he texted he was ill. I said ok, so we will meet another time?
He texted saying , well I’m gonna be fine by Saturday , are you free? I replied I’m away cos my cousin is having a knee surgery and I’m gonna be back on Sunday
His answer was, mmmm.. Shame cos I haven’t seen you for a while now
My Last text said , are you free Sunday or Monday ? We can meet then 🙂
Nothing – 4 days no reply so I just deleted his number cos I found it extremely disrespectful when sb ignores you
But it’s not me I was nice, it’s him who clearly has issues
Normally I would have tried asking what happened or text a guy but since I first read your blog in March I have some self respect and confidence to just leave things like this and move on
He clearly is a f**ktard haha

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Yayyyy. Happy to hear that you’re having your own back! 🙂 XOXO

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Hi Natasha, thank you so much as usual for your amazing insights. I have read this article many times since being ghosted 4 months ago by someone I had been in a relationship with for 6 months and it has been so helpful, empowering and healing. Yesterday, I received an email from the person who ghosted me. I haven’t read it… and am wondering if you think I should. Part of me wants to hear his reasons and excuses but the other part of me doesn’t want to waste anymore of my time and empathy. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

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Hi Megan! 🙂 I would toss it. Wish I had more time to type it out and elaborate. Thx for your understanding and love. xo

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I ghosted a malignant narcissist after dating him for one year and 7 months to the day. It was by far the most painful relationship I have ever been in in my entire life. My ghosting was justified!

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Hi Joy! That’s not ghosting, that’s having healthy boundaries and speaking with your actions when you’ve tried before and know that it’s no longer worth engaging in the toxicity. Ghosting is rooted in avoidance, not having your own back as you SO AWESOMELY did! 🙂 XOX

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I was ghosted after a nine year relationship, five of which he lived with me and my two girls. He broke up thinking he was in a midlife crisis and wanted at 47 to focus on his “music” or bar bands. He immediatley regretted it and spent the next 3 months saying we were going to work it out and ghosting me. The final he kept texting and we talked. He could not believe he let stuff get between us etc. Keep in mind I did not fully know he was hooking up with his 27 year old girl band-mate off and on. It was me he wanted, he had been so lost. coming sat to see me, start over and lets send pictures while he was playing before then,. After a few texts that Saturday, I never heard from him again. And 7 days later she is posting pictures of her new boyfriend, him. I don’t even know where to begin. Who is this person? How do people who call you the love of their life, share everything and you are best friends do things like that?

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Hi Tiffany! You are not alone. I wish that I could elaborate further and give my thoughts, but I have too much to say to type it all out not enough hands to type or hours in the day.

Thanks for your love, for reading and for your understanding. Keep coming back here to the blog.

I do offer one-on-one coaching if you’re interested and would be happy to help further ? The link to it is on the homepage.

All my love to you soul sister.

You’re not alone xo

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Brilliant! It’s been about five months since the bastard ghosted on a 14 month relationship. I handled it well. Called him on his bs, calmly told him I can’t be with someone like that, and officially dumped him. Sent his stuff back by mail- no note. I haven’t contacted him since. And although I went through the roller coaster of emotions, I kept it out of his sight- only my closest friends. And now I can see the truth in your article- an it’s a fabulous article. 🙂 Thank you!

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Happy it helped! 🙂 Thanks Kevin!

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Hey Natasha,loved the article.I was just in a relationship with a girl since October,she was there for me through my parents passing back in January.Tells me she wanted to be there with me when I go to Florida to clean out my father’s house.So when I got the date I brought it up to her and she said she wanted to come so I booked the flight.Spoke to her last Sunday only to be ghosted after that.The day before the trip I had txted her acouple times to see if she was still going only to get the answer sorry and when I asked what’s that supposed to mean she replied no.No reason or explanation why just went completely ghost afterwards,how can someone do that knowing how important that trip was?

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Mike,

First of all I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Anyone who has the capacity to do this is no one that you need to associate with or give any of your invaluable time to.

You did nothing wrong. She’s avoidant and sh*t the communicative bed. I’m so happy that the post helped. I have many others that will too.

You’re not alone. All my love to you ?

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Im so thankful i found this site i was looking for answers of why an old friend was ghosting me each time i thought he cared my heart is so big sometimes i forgive people in 5 seconds and make excuses for there actions i try to find the best in people instead of seeing a guy for who they truly are. I have not built a heart to chase yet but im really working on building my self esteem and worth and learn how to let people go that disappear.

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I am so happy and honored to help 🙂 Thanks for being a part of this tribe Angel! xx

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Hi my ex of 1.4 year ghosted me. We were long distance but he moved to Australia and that was the longer distance. He’s been there since beginning of Feb and we would fight before he left but during the past months we would still talk and video chat every day. 3 weeks ago he wanted to break up because he said all the bad feelings from our fights were hitting him at once and I suggested we take a break instead. He wanted that and after a week of not talking he said he wanted to work on us and that we were good. But in that time he had blocked me on social media and took down our posts even when I had asked him to put it back up now that we were good and working on us again. He said he would after his finals and we’d talk too because he’d have more free time. After his last final he kept saying he had power outages and no internet and I would patiently wait. He would send me messages here and there saying he loves me and misses me and using petnames. Then I found out he ghosted me and posted a pic of him missing his new gf while he was on vacation with his family (which he told me his parents couldn’t afford to buy him a plane ticket home for his month off). He even changed his relationship status on facebook to in a relationship since 2/28/18 when our one year anniversary was 3/5/18. I had no idea there was anyone else and he even told me there was no one else when I’d ask him. I don’t know what was truth and what wasn’t. He didn’t even tell me about her at all or officially break it off. I feel so hurt and powerless. I had met his family and he had met mine and I thought we were serious because we had talked about our future together. Now I can’t stop thinking about if he’s ever going to contact me again. The loss of power and not being able to have the freedom or control to contact him when I’m over him is what’s bugging me. How do I move on so I can focus on myself? I still really love him and miss him even though he was cheating on me.

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Hi Alex!

Thank you so much for sharing and for being a part of this tribe. I wish that I had more time in the days and hands to type. I cannot give direct advice in the comment section for this reason (thank you for your understanding and kindness).

Keep coming back here to the blog. I do have other posts that will help to answer those questions, other readers are here to help and support you, and I will try to write more about this soon 🙂

You are loved, supported, understood, backed, believed in, and never, ever alone.

All my love to you.

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