Ghosting: Dating survival guide
Like double Maths on a Friday afternoon, getting ghosted is a part of the dating curriculum a lot of us have to endure. But what comes after Friday, people? That’s right. The weekend. Get through ghosting and reach the dating mecca with this survival guide: better self-knowledge and the ability to move on to happier times (*cough* more dates *cough*).
“I GOT GHOSTED”: WHAT NOW?
Firstly, did you, though? Maybe they’re just taking their sweet time getting back to you. While this is annoying and probably not something to tolerate as a regular thing, allow a few days to pass before climbing aboard the getting ghosted bus.
There are some signs, though, which might mean you want to shotgun that backseat. Being ghosted in a relationship might feel a little like this:
- The regular essay texts are becoming shorter than the lyrics to Duck Sauce – Barbara Streisand. Look out for the one-hit-wonders; you’ll be able to see the change if you scroll back on the message thread. Gradually, the two-way banter has become broken by the dreaded ‘lol’, ‘cool’, and ‘k’. You’re the one trying to make all the plans, and they’re the one washing their hair that night, sorry.
- They don’t answer the phone. Or, if they do, they’re somewhere they can’t talk / has bad reception. SORRY, YOU’RE BREAKING UP. In more ways than one, it would seem.
- You’re running out of reasons to breathe life into chat staler than millennial bread. They’ve stopped making the effort. Talking has become like throwing a ball for your dog to catch, only you don’t have a dog, and dogs don’t have arms.
You’re a complex puzzle and they should want to take the time to fit the pieces together (think: less Jenga, more Trivial Pursuit)
HOW TO AVOID GHOSTING: DATING WITHOUT THE DRAMA
Alright, so there’s a little drama still involved otherwise that would be boring. But there are some pretty decent strategies to avoid being ghosted by a girl or guy:
- Take it slow. Don’t show all your cards at once. If it feels like everything is going too quickly, put the brakes on. Always keep a little of yourself held back; you’re a complex puzzle and they should want to take the time to fit the pieces together (think: less Jenga, more Trivial Pursuit).
- Match their energy. Give as good as you get. If they’re letting you down and not showing up, be a little indifferent – try not to go in hard with the emotional responses. It’s the “I’m not angry, I’m disappointed” dating equivalent.
- Keep balanced. Don’t make your whole day all about them. Keep up with all the other stuff you enjoy and keep an active mind. You’ll be less fixated on slower responses (and there’ll be more to chat about when you do eventually talk).
GHOSTING: RELATIONSHIPS WILL ONLY GET BETTER
So, being ghosted in a relationship teaches us a few things, and while it feels pants, it’s not the worst thing. Nine times out of ten, if someone is really into you, they’ll find ways and means of making things work. If they don’t, getting ghosted by them has done you a twisted favour; you now know more of what to avoid / what sort of person you want to be around in the future. Look out for those signs before having to wait it out.
But if it does happen and you’ve well and truly got the spooks, rediscover your mates and go and have a laugh. If they’re wearing boiler suits and proton packs, you’re in luck. Who you gonna call? Truth is, any set of mates worth their salt will do a pretty good job of busting those ghosts. And they’ll even answer the phone.