It happened: You were ghosted.
It's one of the worst feelings in the world, and it's not so easy to move on when you feel like you weren't even treated with the common decency of an adult conversation.
Ghosting doesn't feel good as it is, but if you thought you had a genuine connection with the person, it can be even worse. You likely feel devastated, confused, and rejected.
You might be considering texting the person who ghosted you — and you might be wondering how to get them to respond.
Is it possible?
Elite Daily spoke to some experts about the practice of ghosting and how to get someone who ghosted you to respond. Turns out there might be more to it than you think.
Examine Your Desire For A Response
Anita A. Chlipala, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love, said before you try any "tips" or "tricks" to get the person who ghosted you to come back, first ask yourself why you even want to.
According to Chlipala, people who ghost usually aren't worth the time you'd spend to text them back.
"In a healthy relationship, people communicate," she says. "Someone who ghosted is demonstrating an inability or unwillingness to handle conflict or uncomfortable feelings."
It's a horrible way to deal with things, says Chlipala. "Instead of being honest about why they no longer want to see you, they took the coward's way out and ceased communication. Ask yourself if you really want to be in a relationship with someone like this."
The important thing is to sit down and figure out why you think you want a response. Chlipala says it's not usually because the person is so incredible that you can't live without them. Usually, it's about your own ego. You wonder what you did wrong or how they could treat you that way.
The solution is to work on your own emotions, rather than reaching out.
"I think it's good to do some reflection and check your behaviors, but ultimately you can't take it personally. Dealing with your bruised ego on your own versus reaching out to someone who ghosted can leave your dignity intact," says Chlipala.
Figure Out Where They Fit In Your Circle
Chicago-based matchmaker Stef Safran says that ghosting isn't a "one size fits all" proposition, so you may end up getting a response when you least expect it.
"If someone who you know well ghosts, you probably have a better chance of them responding to you at some point," says Safran. "If this is someone you've just met, the chances are slimmer that you will get the response you want."
Either way, says Safran, it can be really difficult to figure out what's going on inside the mind of the person who ghosted. You may not want to spend time figuring it out.
"People can just want to completely unplug and may actually just need time away, but the idea that you have to read their mind is very frustrating," she says.
If they weren't just a stranger you met on an app, you may have better luck trying to get a response, but it may not matter at all. You should figure out if it's worth it to you to invest more energy in the person.
Don't Resort To Social Media Stalking
April Masini, a New York-based relationship expert and author of several books, says the worst thing you can do is to stalk someone, trying to see what they're doing and obsessing over a response from them.
"Instead," says Masini, "play it cool."
A lot of times people ghost because they don't know how to handle grown-up human emotion, so stalking them and trying to elicit a reaction won't work.
"Don't contact them. Don't stalk them. And don't unfriend them. Nothing is way better than a failed something."
It may be difficult, but the best advice may be to actually do nothing, rather than texting incessantly hoping for a response. You'll give your brain the time and space it needs to clear out and deal with what happened.
Live Your Life Fabulously
Stop worrying about the person that ghosted you for a second and instead, focus on you. "Be fabulous, " says Masini.
The person who ghosted may in fact be watching you on social media — or they may be occasionally dropping by your accounts to see what you're up to.
Masini says it may make you feel better to be your awesome self: "Don't post you and other dates, but do be interesting, engaging, and attractive on social media. No 'woe is me' posting. Just fabulousness."
Figure Out How You Can Best Move On
Unfortunately, the reality is that there may be absolutely no way to get someone who ghosted you to respond. They ghosted because they didn't know how to maturely communicate that they wanted the relationship to end. It's unlikely anything you say or do will elicit a response, and it's not worth any more of your time.
Instead of trying to get them to respond, says marriage therapist, Nicole Richardson, focus on the lessons you've learned and look forward to the future — without them.
"When we are trying to 'make' someone else do things, we are trying to exert our control, which typically means we feel out of control. Part of opening ourselves up to someone new is giving up some control. It can be really painful when we don't get our desired outcome."
In case you are having a really hard time, says Richardson, it can help to remember that you can reestablish control of your life in other ways: "When you are struggling with feeling out of control in relationships, it can be helpful to evaluate what parts of your life you do have control over."
At the end of the day, you are better off not trying to get someone who ghosted to respond to you. You'll be happier without them in the long-term.