Ghosting is one of the worst byproducts of dating. It's a sad, frightening reality that someone you are dating could one day just disappear without giving you any notice at all. If you've ghosted someone, there's no nice way to put it: You're a total coward. And if you've been ghosted, please know that you are not alone.
As part of Elite Daily's Boom, Ghosted column, we've received countless horror stories of people being ghosted. Some submissions, even though they are 100 percent true, have felt particularly far-fetched and unbelievable, like the girl who was ghosted after moving to Slovenia for a guy, and the girl who was ghosted by her boyfriend of five years while on vacation for her birthday.
Other submissions hit closer to home. They're more relatable. They are tales of people who were ghosted after the most common things that happen during the dating process — which means they are more likely to happen to you.
Here are the top 10 most realistic ghosting horror stories submitted to Boom, Ghosted, ranked by what you should watch out for the most because they could definitely happen to you. Date wisely.
10. Ghosted By Someone Who Was Being Vulnerable With You
Have you ever dated someone who seemed to be opening up to you and really letting you in?
Have you ever found out later that everything they said was bullsh*t?
Kaia* matched with a guy on PlentyOfFish, and he told her he was looking for his "final relationship." He wanted to "spend the rest of [his] life" with someone who would make him "a better man." He even told Kaia that she seemed like "the type of woman [he's] been looking for," but he "tends to be careful" in relationships because he's been "crushed and hurt" in the past.
Well, either this guy was lying about his fear of getting hurt, or he didn't get the memo that being afraid of getting hurt is no excuse to hurt other people, because he just ended up ghosting her.
Being ghosted by someone who seems to be opening up to you and acting vulnerable with you is really, really manipulative, but it's happened to the best of us. We want to believe people have good, pure intentions, even though sometimes, clearly, they don't.
9. Ghosted By A Dating App Match You Didn't Get To Meet IRL
In my opinion, it doesn't really count as ghosting if you were ghosted by someone you haven't met in real life. However, some situations may still warrant the title — especially if you talk non-stop, you feel an emotional connection with each other, and you have even added each other on multiple forms of social media.
Alicia* matched with a guy on Bumble and spent a week chatting with him non-stop via text. They talked about getting dinner and added each other on Snapchat and Instagram. She liked one of his Instagram pictures, and he liked five of hers in return.
Suddenly, he told her he needed to "go dark for the foreseeable future" (which, ???) and proceeded to delete her on all forms of social media, as well as block her text messages. He went full ghost.
It sounds like Alicia and this guy fell into the trap of becoming "texting buddies," which is an extremely common phenomenon if you don't actually meet the person you matched with on a dating app. This has definitely happened to all of us, and it's more irritating than anything else. It's also easier to ghost someone this way.
8. Ghosted By A Friend After You Tell Them How You Feel About Them
Having a crush on a friend is one of the more frustrating situations someone can go through. You don't want to ruin the friendship by telling them how you feel, but you are also so tortured by your own emotions that not saying anything feels like you are doing yourself a huge disservice.
Jared* was friends with a girl from college, whom he also had a massive crush on. They talked pretty regularly as friends and even dated a few people over the course of their friendship, but they lived too far away to actually hang out. Eventually, she invited Jared to hang at her place for a weekend, and they had a really great time. From Jared's perspective, they really vibed.
During their second hangout at a bar, they got drunk and ended up yelling, "Fuck you!" back and forth at each other. On their walk to the hotel, she was even texting her boyfriend (who she did not think to tell Jared about until immediately before they hung out). Buzzed, he told her how he felt about her, but she just reminded him that she has a boyfriend, gave him a hug, and drove away. Then, she never spoke to Jared again. She ghosted him.
Nightmare scenario, amirite? You want to believe your friends are good enough people who won't ditch you after you tell them how you really feel. But hey, it could happen.
7. Ghosted By Someone After Projecting A Fantasy Onto Them
We've all been there: You go on one date with someone and casually fall in love within a span of three hours. Then, you project all these fantasies onto that person about what your relationship could be like. Maybe you even give into the fantasy by talking to your date about it, and maybe he even plays along.
This is what happened to Annabella* — only after she did all of that, she was ghosted.
Annabella and the guy she was seeing made plans to take a trip to Vermont together. She even told him she had tickets to see Hamilton, and he asked to go with her, even though the show was months later. Reminder that all of this happened after only one date.
Then, he ghosted her. Not only did the duo not make it to Vermont, but they didn't even make it to a second date.
Fantasies are fun, but that is all they are: a fantasy. Still, we fall for 'em. We're only human, and the prospect of true love makes us do the silliest things.
6. Ghosted By Someone After You Let Your Walls Down For Them
Letting someone in on a deep, emotional level is scary for so many of us. We've all been hurt, and it's easier to hide behind a tough exterior than to let anyone see you get vulnerable. When you finally feel comfortable enough with someone to let them crack you open, though, it can feel scary and exciting all at once.
That is, unless they ghost you after.
A woman from India was the biggest commitment-phobe ever before she met a guy whom she felt an instant connection with on Tinder. They hung out three times, and after each hangout, she felt her walls come down more and more. But then, one day, he initiated a conversation with her and just stopped responding for good.
She was furious. "I could not believe I had let someone through my sky-high walls and it was so quickly becoming clear that it had been a huge mistake," she wrote to us. We've all been there, sis. We've all been there.
This is not to say you shouldn't open up to anyone else ever again. It is to say to be cautious. Always be cautious.
5. Ghosted By Someone After Making A Weird Joke
When you're dating a new person, there's all this pressure to put your best foot forward. You want to be the wittiest, cleanest, and most put-together version of yourself. Sometimes, though, you want to see if your new guy likes the "real you," so you may drop a weird, risky joke or comment to see how he responds to it.
That's what Marie* did. She and her guy were dating for a little bit, and she cracked a joke about him moving to Australia with her, so that the two of them could escape the world and be together.
But he didn't respond so well. In fact, he ghosted her immediately afterward.
Is this not the worst thing ever — to have someone ghost you after you reveal your imperfect, slightly quirky side, which is already inherently vulnerable because you don't show it to a lot of people except maybe your best friends and your mom?
I can absolutely see this happening to me. It has probably happened already, TBH. And if it hasn't already, it may even happen to you.
4. Ghosted By Someone Who Seemed Like They Were Obsessed With You
Ever meet a guy who comes on super freaking strong right away? Like, he sends you a bouquet of flower emojis, says "good morning" every morning after your first date, and talks about your future wedding with you? I know I have. It's the classic infatuation phase, where you are so attracted to this person that you just can't help but get a little (or a lot) obsessive.
But those situations don't always work out the way they seem like they will. Just ask Allison*. She met a guy on Tinder who, after date one, seemed to be falling in love with her. He talked to her non-stop, told her he wasn't seeing anyone else, and talked incessantly about perfect she was. He even said meeting her was "destiny."
Literally 36 hours later, he was out of her life. He ghosted her.
After she realized he was gone, she went a little "crazy," she says. But can you blame her?! This dude made her think that he was in this. As quickly as he was in, he was out. What a piece of sh*t.
But we've all fallen for this trap. It's completely normal to feel excited that someone you like is equally as excited about you. Just make sure you take their words with a grain of salt.
3. Ghosted By Someone After They Confirmed Plans With You For That Night
On the day of a date, especially early in the game, it's common courtesy for one party to send a confirmation text. Something like "Hey, we still on tonight?" or "Good for 7 tonight, right?" usually does the trick. After someone sends you such a text, it is not unreasonable to assume they would show up to the date that they themselves confirmed. Right?
Well, for Alice*, it was.
Alice had plans to go to a haunted house with a guy she'd met from Bumble. They'd already gone on a date and were texting nonstop. The day they were supposed to go to the haunted house, he texted her, "Still on for 8 tonight correct?" She confirmed, he confirmed back... until he just didn't show up for the date and decided to ghost her instead.
In the ~old days~, they called this standing someone up. And it's so easy to do that it could happen to any one of us, at literally any time.
2. Ghosted By Someone After Finally Deciding To Have Sex With Them
Introducing sex into the equation when you are dating someone can be really risky, especially if you're a woman. It's been drilled into our heads that a guy won't buy the cow if we give the milk away for free, so after having sex with a new guy, there's always that deep, irrational fear that he's just going to leave you after sex because he got what he wanted.
Sometimes, all the panic is for nothing, and a guy continues to date you afterward because he is not a jerk who thinks you are just a hole. Sometimes, though, that fear becomes a reality, like in Sarah's* case.
Sarah was ghosted by a guy after having sex with him. Literally, the very next day after he took her to see a Broadway show and they had sex, he stopped answering her texts and ghosted her.
Having sex with a guy only for him to never talk to you again is kind of a woman's worst nightmare. Unfortunately, even though we are living in a sex-positive feminist world where women are encouraged to own their sexuality, the possibility of it happening is always there.
1. Ghosted By Someone Who Made You Believe They Wanted Something Serious
There's nothing worse than being strung along by someone you like who isn't sure what they want, but who may want something serious with you. One day, they're taking you to one of their fancy work events as their plus-one and calling you "babe," and the next day, they're referring to you as their "friend" when they introduce you to their buddies. It's so confusing.
Someone that flip-floppy probably doesn't want anything serious with you. But we all still think we're special enough that they will change for us.
That's how Rachel* felt, at least. She was dating a guy for four months, and they seemed to be on the path to dating seriously, even though they hadn't talked about it. When she finally brought up exclusivity, he said he could "def see [them] getting more serious," but not right now. Then, as is what happens after both parties realize they do not want the same thing, the frequency of his texts decreased. Suddenly, he was out of her life. He ghosted her.
Even though this guy technically told Rachel he wasn't looking for something serious, Rachel clung to the hope that one day, he'd want something more. But that "What are you looking for?" conversation, which we've all had with people we've dated, is the nail on the coffin for so many couples.
If both parties are decent, it would maybe end in a breakup. This guy, however, ended it in a ghost. Which means it could end in a ghost for you, too.
*Names have been changed.
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