If you're in the dating world at all these days, you've probably experienced ghosting. It’s an unfortunate reality of modern-day dating, but just because it’s common, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt. On it’s own, ghosting is pretty terrible, but being ghosted after sex is especially disappointing and disrespectful.
“When we experience physical intimacy with a partner, the brain releases a powerful hormone called oxytocin, which many refer to as the ‘love hormone,’” Dr. John D. Moore, licensed psychotherapist and cognitive behavior specialist, previoulsy explained to Elite Daily. “Some even think of it as a kind of love molecule. This is part of the reason why some people experience an emotional high both during and immediately after sex.” Even if you do not have strong feelings for one another, sex can make you feel closer, which makes ghosting feel like a more personal rejection (and not a sensitive one, at that).
If you have ever told your group chat, “He ghosted me after sex,” or something similar, you know how tempting it is to go down the rabbit hole of questioning why anyone would do that. , you may be wondering what it means when someone ghosts after sex. But, chances are your friends aren’t relationship experts, and that conversation will probably only become a chorus of “What a jerk” sent with varying degree of aggressive emojis. Now, that might feel cathartic, but it really doesn’t get to the root of the problem: why do people ghost after sex so common?
Although you’ll probably never know the exact reason your ghoster disappeared, insight from relationship experts can provide some clarity about ghosting after sex. And once you have that, it’s so much easier to move on.
1. Some People Ghost Because They’re Immature.
Let's get one thing out of the way first: If someone ghosts you after sex, they’re immature (and not someone you’d actually want to date). There are no ifs, ands, or buts about that. No matter what their reason is, when a person can't act grown-up and decent enough to communicate that they’re not interested in pursuing a relationship with you, that makes them childish.
Ghosting is one of the cruelest ways to end a relationship with someone, and the reality is, the level of hurt that the other person experiences goes up drastically if you have already had sex. That said, it might be easy to label your ghoster as a “jerk,” but that’s not always the case. Meredith Prescott, LCSW and couples therapist, “I don’t think that everyone that ghosts is a jerk. However, I think it’s an uncool thing to do. It takes emotional maturity and awareness to have a conversation.” Some people lack that.
If you are still reeling after being ghosted, remind yourself that this has nothing to do with you or your value as a partner. You definitely dodged a bullet and will be better off without this person in the long run.
2. They Ghost Because They’re Unsure About Your Future.
Although there is no excuse for ghosting, it's possible the person you were seeing just wasn't sure how to proceed, according to Chris Armstrong, a certified relationship coach at Maze of Love. "It may mean that [they do] not know what is next," he explains. It’s easy to think that the person you’re interested in knows exactly what they're doing when dating. But that isn't always the case. Armstrong adds, "[People] are often a lot less confident than they come across, and if they're not sure what 'this' is, they ghost."
It's still not a good excuse, though. If a person isn't sure how to move things forward, the ideal response would be to express that. But, of course, people who ghost probably aren't the best at communicating. Either way, a person who ghosted you after sex — even if it was because they were insecure and uncertain — isn't worth your time. You deserve someone who has the emotional maturity to be honest with you, even if their rejection stings
3. They Ghost Because You’re On Different Pages.
Another reason a person may ghost after sex is because they have no intention of pursuing a relationship. If discussed beforehand, that’s totally fine. But, if they were ambiguous about their intentions from the beginning, they might choose to ghost rather than saying what they do (and don’t) want. “Sometimes people ghost because they don’t have the language around what they want to communicate,” Prescott explains. “Other times, it may be because they aren’t looking for anything and it’s easier for them to communicate that by ghosting rather than actually saying it.”
According to Armstrong, they also might ghost because they’re a “player and that was [their] intention from the beginning.” Mike Goldstein, founder of EZ Dating Coach, says this mindset is not that uncommon, especially for men. "Men want to have sex, and they don't need an emotional connection to have it. He gave you just enough in order to get you to have sex with him," Goldstein explains.
If you think that they just wanted to get you in bed before ghosting you, don't fret over them for long: You ditched some dead weight.
4. They Feel Justified In Ghosting You.
Sometimes, a person ghosts because they’ve made up a reason in their head to justify the behavior. “Sometimes people get busy or other circumstances come up in their lives where they don’t want to prioritize dating,” Prescott explains. “Yes, they could communicate that, but some people are avoidant in a lot of aspects of their lives, and this is just another way it shows up.”
Often, ghosting is a “comfort zone” for people, so they don’t understand how hurtful it is. Either way, it’s still seriously immature. And, FYI, just because they justify their behavior, doesn’t mean that you have to buy it. No matter what excuse they give, feeling hurt after being ghosted after sex is completely valid..
In other words, when a person ghosts you after sex, it really means just one thing: They don’t deserve any more of your time — and that includes the time you spend wondering what went wrong. At the end of the day, the “why” behind the ghosting doesn’t really matter. What matters is knowing that you deserve better, and making sure that you aren’t settling for less.
Dr. John D. Moore, licensed psychotherapist and cognitive behavior specialist
Meredith Prescott, LCSW and couples therapist
Chris Armstrong, a certified relationship coach at Maze of Love
Mike Goldstein, founder of EZ Dating Coach
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