I once had a guy continuously cancel on me over and over again, and I couldn't figure out why.
Sometimes, he said it was work, and other times, he said it was family stuff. But other times, he gave no real reason at all.
Dude, if you don't like me, just let me know!
Well, it turned out, he did like me, but he was going through some pretty serious life stuff at the time that he didn't feel the need to burden me with. Once it blew over, he made himself readily available, and I knew for sure I wasn't being ghosted.
Sometimes, though, it's hard to tell if a guy is ghosting you, or if his excuses not to hang out are actually legit. So I asked the Professional Wingman and creator of Fearless Dating, Thomas Edwards, for some clues as to how to spot the difference.
Is the way he talks to you changing?
Edwards says that while it can be confusing to figure out if you're being ghosted, the first step to figuring it out is by simplifying the conversation and looking for subtle differences in tone, rate, or other cues.
"If he's ghosting, it starts with his response rate being dramatically slower. Usually, his responses go from longer to much shorter, to even one word," Edwards says. "Further, since you've spent enough time with him to know his tone and language enough, you might even notice a lack of enthusiasm in his words."
This means if your guy was super chatty and attentive before, and you find that his energy and personality are quite different now, it's a good sign that he might be ghosting you.
What kind of excuses is his making?
"After having spent some time with him, you may have an idea of how he describes things. If he's giving an excuse and the detail seems too elaborate, there's a chance he's blowing you off," Edwards explains.
Guys usually aren't huge fans of "complexity," according to Edwards, so if his excuses are legit, they'll usually be simple.
"If something happened and he had to bail on hanging out with you, there's a simple reason he'll be more than willing to share," he says.
When people are lying, they tend to make up overly dramatic and complicated stories that usually don't make a lot of sense or have large, gaping plot holes. You can't hang out on Friday because you have to go to outer space? With your grandma? For a family reunion? Which you found out about an hour ago? Um, OK!
If a guy honestly needs to reschedule, he'll be short, too the point, and not dramatic about it, because he knows he'll be seeing you again soon. But if he's ghosting you, you might get a novel of an excuse, and then never hear from him again.
So if you think the guy you've been seeing might be ghosting you, take out this handy dandy guide and try to figure it out.