Good Afternoon Lovelies,
You may remember last week I wrote a post, You Don’t Own Me, in which I shared with you my recent experiences with a penpal who I wasn’t really feeling, but then she tried telling what to do. Given that I’d never actually met this penpal, I assumed that blocking and deleting all forms of contact would be perfectly fine, but I’d be wrong.
Yesterday, I woke up to another email from her, under another email address.
What the hell?
When I actually checked my emails, it was not one email, but three. In my spam folder, under the email address that I’d previously blocked, was another two emails. In total, I had five new emails, from the same person.
I kid you not, I wanted to bury my head in my hands, and I wanted to pull my face off. Five emails (two of which were super long) in a week was just painful. It was like the dreaded double-text, but 2.5x worse.
Why People Ghost
Make no mistake, people ghost for a number of reasons and it’s really hard to pinpoint exactly one cause. Sometimes it’s them, sometimes it’s you, sometimes it’s even both of you. Ghosting also happens between friends and relationships, and if it happens, there are things that you can do.
In this case, I chose to ghost simply because I felt trying to say “this isn’t working out” wouldn’t have worked without the guilt of seriously hurting my empathic penpal’s feelings, even if she’d already hurt my own. Sitting down and penning out a response would also take considerable time out of my day, time that I could be using for even bigger things, like blogging. In the end, owing to the fact that she’d already hurt me, I hoped that some self-reflection might serve to help her realise what she’d done to cause me to abandon ship. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
- Give it time
Before you jump to and conclude that you’ve been ghosted, allow some time. Sometimes people are really busy with their own lives and may not be able to respond to you right away. Don’t bombard them with messages as that can make you seem really clingy and desperate. Understand that your friend probably isn’t using their phone right now, and if they haven’t ghosted you, they will get back to you (probably with an explanation) at a time that is convenient for them. Imagine if a relative got taken into hospital and you were visiting them regularly, or you were studying hard for an exam. Would you want to be distracted regularly by messages? The same applies.
2. Follow up
Okay, so it’s been a few days and you still haven’t heard from them. A simple “hi, how are you? Is everything ok?” will be plenty to let a friend know that you care, and a ghoster know that you are still interested. Dare I say it. but most ghosters (myself included) will delete and ignore the message as we simply are no longer interested. With that said, if you don’t get a response (or you get a ‘read’ notification but no reply after another few days), at least you know where you stand.
Acceptance is the really hard part because really, nobody likes to be cut out and ignored. It can harm our feelings of worth and yet the simple matter is, your worth just isn’t suited to the ghoster. For whatever reason, the ghoster has decided that they no longer wish to stay in contact with you and has moved on with their lives. When you’re forced to accept that reality, it can bring about painful feelings of unworthiness. Know that these feelings are temporary, and focusing on your good qualities can help allay them.
Sometimes, there is something to be learned in being ghosted. Did you say something rude? Were you offensive? Did you overstep the boundaries? (Yes guys, that includes sending photos of your junk). Take some time to look back over the conversation prior to being ghosted and try to work out where it went wrong. If nothing else, it gives you some valuable insights for next time.
5. Move on
The last part of the process is simply to move on. Bombarding the ghoster with messages won’t get them to change their mind and may even serve to secure their reasons for cutting contact with you. It does take time, but there are plenty of people out there looking for a date or a new friend, and plenty of people who are better suited to you.
I’ve been ghosted, too
Let me conclude this blog post by saying that I’ve been ghosted too, numerous times in fact. In the most recent scenario, it happened using the very same penpal app (SLOWLY). I had a smashing and frequent back and forth with a young man, but upon his learning that I am married, I was suddenly greeted with radio silence. I’ve also been ghosted during a perfectly normal conversation when that “can I see what you look like?” question comes up. Even if I’m not looking for anything romantically, I have no qualms about people seeing my mugshot because hey, it’s me, I’m human and sometimes it helps to get to know the person that you are talking to. Well, for whatever reason, at that point they decide that I am no longer screwable and they go, regardless of the conversation that we were having. If someone ghosts you because of your photo, please do not, ever, think it’s about you. They are shallow, vain people with no real worth to your life anyway, other than to show you that you are better off without them.
So there you have it, a 5 point guide to getting over being ghosted. I hope that it helps you if it ever happens to you 🙂
Stay well folks!
An important added piece: I haven’t included this in the bulk of this post because it’s sort of not about ghosting, however, it is still equally important for personal safety and security. In one of the emails that my penpal sent me, she included her mobile number. Please, please, unless you are meeting someone, never give out your mobile phone number. There are some awful individuals out there who will post it on the darkest corners of the internet and you will be solicited with all kinds of bad material and spam calls. Stay safe, and only give your mobile phone number to the people that you are meeting in person.