Should You Text Someone After They Ghosted You? Here’s What Experts Say Is The Best Move
To say that getting ghosted is a bummer is not exactly a hot take. But to me, the worst part of the whole thing isn't the rejection — it's feeling powerless and like I've lost control. So when it's happened to me, I've been torn between just letting it go and saving my pride, and sending them a text screed along the lines of "How dare you!" While the latter is probably not the best idea, should you text someone after they ghosted you? Or are you really better off just letting it go and moving on?
Ghosting is hard because it’s a situation where you just really don't have a lot of answers, so if you do decide to reach out again, you're really at an informational disadvantage. Maybe something happened and they haven't been reaching out because they really are busy. Or maybe they just weren’t feeling it but didn't feel like taking the admittedly awkward step of saying so. The fact is you just don't know. But is texting after they've disappeared actually going to give you a satisfactory answer? Honestly, it's all just very confusing. So, to help clear things up a bit, I reached out to the experts for their advice on whether or not to text someone after they've pulled a Casper on you. Here's what they had to say.
Should you text someone after they’ve ghosted you?
When someone just up and disappears, it can be really tempting to reach out. Even if it’s just to get an answer as to why they’ve stopped talking to you and to get some closure. But the experts agree: You shouldn’t bother texting a ghost. “They have sent a message by not having the decency to let you know they were not interested. There is no need to text them. What would you be texting them about, to confirm they are not interested in you? I think ghosting you in the first place sent that message,” Patti Sabla, a licensed clinical social worker, tells Elite Daily. “We teach people how to treat us. Accepting this behavior only allows the person to think that we condone this treatment,” she adds.
Amy North, online dating coach and resident women’s dating expert at LoveLearnings.com, tells Elite Daily that the cost of reaching out to someone who has ghosted you outweighs any benefit. “If someone ghosts you, you almost never gain anything by texting them. It won’t make you feel better. It won’t make them change their mind. People ghost because they’re afraid to have a real conversation about their feelings and that’s not someone you want to be with anyway,” she concludes.
Here’s when it's OK to reach out.
While the experts generally don’t advise texting someone who has pulled a disappearing act, there are some exceptions to the rule. “There are three situations where you should reach out to someone after they ghost you,” says North. “If things were going well and it comes out of nowhere, if you’d been out more than four times and suddenly they disappear into thin air without explanation, or if they stand you up on a date. Do it for the next girl they date, to stop this ghostly cycle. Or even just to make sure they aren’t stuck in a well somewhere,” she adds. In those situations, she suggests a calm message letting them know how you feel. "Remember that your goal isn’t to win them back, or punish them for ghosting you. So, don’t swear at them or try to convince them to give you another chance,” North advises. “Calmly explain to them how it hurt you and that you wish they would have been up front about why they broke contact. If you can keep your cool then you’ll make them rethink their actions and maybe even apologize.”
How to move on from a ghost.
If texting a ghost isn’t an option, what should you do? The experts say that, instead of worrying about someone who has decided to disappear out of your life without explanation, you should just focus on moving on and putting all that energy back into taking care of yourself. “Don’t take it personally,” Laurel House, celebrity dating coach and host of the Man Whisperer podcast, tells Elite Daily. “It’s also unnecessary to hold onto anger toward them, because that’s allowing them to be in control of your emotions. Don’t give them that. If you need time to emotionally heal, take the time. Do something that makes you feel happy, fulfilled, emotionally safe. Be selfish. Then get back out there and move on!”
If you’ve just started dating the ghost, they can be a lot easier to let go of. However, if this is someone you have an established relationship with, North says to take the time you need to heal. “There’s this empty space in your life with no explanation,” she admits. “If you can’t get them to respond, take solace in the fact that they’re unable to be honest and do the work that’s necessary to make a relationship work so you’re definitely better off without them.” On the other hand, if this was someone fairly new in your life, Poppy Spencer, licensed clinical professional counselor and certified relational expert, suggests you do two things. “Delete or block the phone number [and] hop back on Tinder or Bumble — and if the ‘ghoster’ pops up, definitely swipe left,” she tells Elite Daily.
In the end, giving up on a ghost and letting that bad energy go is the first step toward something better, as Kevon Owen, relationship counselor and licensed clinical psychotherapist, tells Elite Daily. His advice: “Embrace the ghost. Ghost them back and return to the relationships that value you more than to leave you. If it’s to avoid conflict, say goodbye to the cowards. If it’s because ghosting you was easier, say goodbye to the disrespectful. If it’s coming from a place of trying to protect your heart, take the gift. There are people who want to love and value you. Give your energy to them.”
While the mystery of why someone disappeared out of your life can be compelling and tempting, the experts are clear: Don’t text a ghost. Put down that phone. Better yet, pick it up and start looking for someone new — and better.