If you've ever been ghosted by someone you were dating, you’ve probably spent some time trying to figure out how to get the ghost to respond to you. Part of what makes being ghosted so frustrating is that it makes you feel powerless in the situation. It's one thing for a relationship not to work out, but when someone just — poof — disappears, it's even worse. Even though they may be doing it to spare your feelings (or, more likely, spare themselves from having to face your feelings), what it means for you is that you get no explanation of what happened and no opportunity to say your piece on the subject — even if that piece is just "boy, bye." As someone who pretty much always has something they'd like to say, this drives me bonkers.
But what if I said you don't have to settle for someone going full Casper on you? What if there was some way that you could... encourage... a ghost to come out of hiding?
With that in mind, I reached out to relationship experts April Masini, founder of the Relationship Advice Forum, and Alessandra Conti, Celebrity Matchmaker at Matchmakers In The City, to see what they had to say on the subject. It turns out the answer is: Yes, it is possible to get a ghost to respond. And here's how they say to do it.
1. Start By Giving Them The Benefit Of The Doubt
First things first, you need to be sure you are actually being ghosted. Conti suggests to begin with giving the person you are dating the benefit of the doubt. We all have busy lives and have occasionally been late in replying to a personal text. So before you assume they have gone ghost, Conti advises to try resending your last text.
“A solid copy and paste job is all that it takes here; it will come off as though you thought that your text maybe didn't go through,” she says. “It also lets them off the hook if they did have a legitimate reason to not reply to you, and you can just continue your conversation as if nothing happened.”
2. Send Them One Last Text
If your cut and paste doesn’t work, things are not looking good on the spectral front. Still, Conti suggests offering one last benefit of the doubt. Instead of going nuclear when they don’t reply and sending an expletive laden text (like you totally want to), opt for a calmer "Hey! Is everything OK?" “When you ask instead of accuse, this allows [them] to explain themselves without feeling like you are freaking out or upset,” says Conti.
However, if this still gets no response, we have a ghost on our hands. Time to take some action. Or, rather inaction.
3. Treat Them To Some Good Ol’ Reverse Psychology
If you’ve ever heard that living well is the best revenge, well, that works on ghosts, too. As Masini explains, when someone ghosts you, they expect you to try and get in contact with them, so rather than play into their expectations, give them a good dose of ghosting back, all the while staying on the periphery of their radar via social media. “If they see you’re out and about and doing well without them, they’re more likely to become curious and intrigued and contact you,” says Masini.
4. Be Your Fabulous Self
Typically, people ghost because they have lost interest in keeping in contact with you. They may expect their ghostly ways to bring out your inner desperado. Masini explains they may even expect you to act depressed, so she says don’t give them the satisfaction: “Instead, be incredible. Be successful. Live well. If they see you’re not the person they ghosted, they may become interested and get in touch.” And if they still don’t? Who cares, you’re too fabulous to be sweating one spook.
5. Say Good Bye Like An Adult
So, say you still haven’t heard back and are looking for a last ditch effort. You can reach out one more time, this time to basically give yourself the closure they were too cowardly to afford you. Conti says it can be as simple as texting something like, "Hey [name]! Just wanted to say that I had an awesome time getting to know you. I know that things didn't work out for whatever reason, but thanks for the great times together. Wishing you the best of luck in finding whatever you are looking for!"
The reason for going this route, says Conti, is that “this text shows your maturity and it does give you necessary closure that many ghosting situations do not give.” If you chose to be mature and send this and be on your merry way, I applaud you. It’s very mature.
6. Go For The Sneak Attack
Oh come on, who hasn’t wanted to make a cowardly ghost face the music? Masini explains that ghosts do what they do because they don’t want to be made to feel uncomfortable with your disappointment that they aren’t interested in a relationship. "But if you sneak up on them — and sit down with them, by surprise, at their coffee shop as they’re getting ready to enjoy a latte and the paper, you may have cornered them into having no choice but to talk to you,” says Masini.
This one is a bold move, but you can’t deny it would be pretty satisfying to see the look on their face.
While you can’t exactly force a ghost to re-materialize, there are things you can do to help you gain some control and closure in the situation. And mostly it’s about deciding to live your best life. If you do that, you will attract the right kind of person who won’t ghost you in the first place.
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