It’s a difficult situation to be in: you’re seeing a guy for a while, you have an electric connection, and then all of a sudden, he disappears. Or you had a great first few dates with a guy, but then he stops responding to your messages. Then, out of the blue, when you’ve put him behind you and started to move on, he suddenly appears. It can be disconcerting when a guy who ghosted comes back, and you’re probably stressing over whether you should answer or block him.
Nowadays, ghosting is an all-too-frequent situation. It can be uncomfortable and painful for someone to act like you don’t exist, especially if you were dating, only to come back and expect a second chance. If a guy ghosted and came back, here’s some advice to help you figure out what to do.
What Is Ghosting?
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Ghosting refers to someone abruptly cutting off all contact with someone they were dating without a final conversation or explaining why. While research on this phenomenon is still in the early stages, approximately 20% of people have ghosted on a relationship. That number is expected to increase as love and technology become more entangled.
Most of us have had at least one experience with ghosting. At first, you’re firing messages back and forth every day, laughing together through messages, sharing gifs, and making plans. Then the responses begin to dry up or shrink down to one or two words. Eventually, the messages completely stop. You reach out but get no reply, or worse, he blocks you.
It stings. You wonder what you did wrong or what happened to turn him away. Your self-esteem may take a hit.
A guy may ghost after a one-night stand or a few weeks of regular hook-ups, which can feel like a slap in the face but usually doesn’t take too long to overcome.
However, it’s becoming more common for guys to ghost after months of regularly dating someone. One minute you have dinner plans every Friday night; the next, he’s completely vanished off the face of the earth. He may have gotten off easy, not having to face hurting you, but that doesn’t stop it from hurting. Instead, you’re left to juggle your emotions without any closure or answers.
As we mentioned before, ghosting is becoming more frequent as dating goes digital, especially Millennials and Gen Z. Ghosting allows people to take the easy way out instead of confronting someone they no longer want to date. Most of the time, you’ll only see your ghost again from a distance when you accidentally run into him while you’re out or through updates on his social media. You may never get an answer as to why he faded away, and that can be frustrating and even soul-crushing.
It may spare the ghoster’s feelings, but it can leave you wanting closure, especially if the relationship seemed to be going well. You not only feel hurt but completely disregarded like you don’t matter.
Reasons Why A Guy Might Have Ghosted You
If a guy suddenly went AWOL without giving you a reason, you might have driven yourself to distraction, wondering why coming up with a million potential excuses. There are many reasons he could have ghosted you, and usually, you won’t find out the answer. If speculating is keeping you up at night, knowing some common reasons that men have cited for ghosting may help:
- Not wanting to deal with the confrontation of a breakup
- Not being ready to make an emotional commitment
- Being unsure of what he wants
- Fearing intimacy
- Feeling like the relationship was progressing too fast
- Still having feelings for a past partner
- Not knowing how to say he’s not interested
- Only wanting no-strings-attached sex
If someone ghosted you that you cared about, it could hurt deeply at the end of the day. Know that it’s not about you-you’re a valuable human being, and no one else’s opinion of you can diminish your worth, no matter how much it may feel like it. You are more than someone else’s measure of your negative traits. Ghosting is about the ghoster lacking the communication skills and courage to confront their feelings and indecision.
What To Do If He Comes Back To Haunt You
Your Emotional Health Comes First
Game-playing and dating shouldn’t go together, but they often do. This can wreak havoc, causing trust issues and making us question ourselves. Your mental and emotional health should always come first. If you feel like letting this person back into your life will hurt you, don’t do it, even if you have strong feelings for him. You’ll only regret it later.
Instead, work on improving your self-confidence and independence. Make yourself stronger so that you won’t be led on by him again. Don’t drop anything from your own life to be involved with him again. If he ghosted you because he was scared of losing his freedom, seeing you independent may assuage his fears and make him more likely to pursue you.
Don’t Rush Into Accepting Him Back
Maybe you like the guy and stayed up many late nights in a row, checking your phone and hoping for a message. Maybe you took a major hit to your self-esteem, agonizing over what you did wrong or why you were hypothetically not enough. Or maybe you had finally reached the point where you were ready to move on. Then suddenly, there he is, back again.
Don’t be so quick to give him a second chance, even if your first instinct is to open your arms to him. Instead, take time to evaluate whether or not you want him back in your life. Does he seem truly remorseful? Did he give you a sufficient explanation for why he pulled away? Has he overcome those challenges? Or does he get irritated when you ask him and tells him that you should move on?
Don’t Let Him Do It Again
Some guys with serious commitment issues make ghosting a regular habit, not only with different girls but with the same person if she doesn’t protest his hot and cold behavior. If he starts to drift away and go quiet every time you two are beginning to get really serious, if he’s established a pattern of going weeks without contacting you and then suddenly gets ahold of you with no explanation, if he makes promises about a future that never materializes, you don’t have to put up with that kind of behavior.
Read Between The Lines
The words he used when he reached back out to you matters. So what did he say when he tried to slip back in? Was it a casual, “Hey?” as if nothing happened? Or did he take the time to tell you what happened and express remorse? If you choose to respond to his initial communication, pay close attention to what he’s not saying and the intention behind his words.
If he keeps it casual at first, feel free to match him in your messages back if you choose to go that route. But if he seems only to be contacting you because he’s bored or to see if you’re available, you can do better.
Don’t Let Him Off The Hook
It’s important, to be honest about your feelings and express your pain when he left. Don’t try to play the cool girl if you were genuinely hurt. Let him know how his actions affected you. You don’t have to compose a novel in text format, but don’t hide your feelings, either. As mentioned above, if he tries to act like you’re making something out of nothing or accuses you of being overly emotional, there’s a block button. Use it.
Don’t Stop Seeing Other People
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Whether you were dating other people the whole time, or you just started when you moved on from the guy that ghosted you, don’t suddenly drop the other guys you’ve been seeing. Even if there’s no one else that’s serious, it’s still a good idea to keep your heart and mind open for new opportunities. Don’t turn down other offers or stop searching for someone else until you’re sure that you can safely commit to your former ghoster.
Should I Give Him Another Chance?
Ultimately, the choice of giving a guy who had ghosted you and came back another chance is up to you. But you need to give the situation time and careful consideration. If he pressures you or threatens you to hurry up and make up your mind, that’s a red flag, and you should strongly consider cutting him off completely.
There’s nothing wrong with giving a guy who ghosted you another chance if you feel like it could work out this time. But always put yourself first and keep an eye out for any sign of him fading away again.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you respond to someone who ghosted you and came back?
Ghosting is a relatively new phenomenon in the world of dating. In essence, it is when someone you dated never responds to your texts or calls - disappearing like a ghost.
In 2019, The New York Post even coined the term “trickle ghosting” to describe a person that continues to text periodically but disappears for long periods in between.
It can be challenging to navigate what to say to someone who ghosted you and came back. If you want to give the person who ghosted you another chance, you can give them the benefit of the doubt.
Perhaps they were sorting through other things in their life or did not intend to ghost you in the first place. Sometimes, a simple lack of communication can be perceived as a lack of interest, even if that isn’t your date/partner’s intention.
Of course, you’re worth proper time and communication, and the person you’re dating should see that - but if you want to give the person who ghosted you another chance, respond without pettiness or vagueness. Be transparent with your standards, and be clear with your intentions. You can set up another date and test the waters after that.
What to say to someone who ghosted you?
If you feel hurt by the person who ghosted you, you have every right to make that clear.
Being previously ghosted can feel embarrassing and uncomfortable. If you want the person to know that you’re worth an explanation, you can ask for that. You can also honestly share how their actions made you feel, especially if the individual is interested in being a part of your life still.
When debating what to say to someone who ghosted you and came back, makes sure to choose your words carefully and communicate your feelings with patience and integrity.
What do you say when a vanisher comes back?
When you’re dating someone who ghosts you, you might feel less inclined to let the person who ghosted you give it another shot. Especially after multiple dates with a guy, welcoming a vanisher back can be less appealing.
You don’t have to provide the person who ghosted you another chance if you don’t want to. Stay true to yourself, and do right by yourself first and foremost.
If you decide to communicate with someone who ghosts you, be sure to make your expectations and boundaries clear and be honest about whether or not the ghosting hurt your feelings. Any relationship should be built on trust and honesty.
How do you respond after being ghosted?
It can be challenging to decide what to say to someone who ghosted you and came back. If you’ve been previously ghosted, you’ll likely be even less inclined to let someone who’s ghosted you back into your life.
If you decide to speak to the person who’s ghosted you, be sure to let them know how their actions made you feel. Sometimes we get too wrapped up in our own concerns and lives and forget to communicate effectively with others; whether or not this is the case, the individual must know that they’ve hurt you.
You might also respond by not saying anything at all. If you weren’t especially interested in the individual, aren’t interested in pursuing things further, or are especially upset about being ghosted, there’s nothing wrong with choosing to move on.
Should I text after being ghosted?
Being ghosted is probably not the way you envisioned the date with the guy who ghosted you ending.
No one expects to be ghosted, especially if the date(s) seemed to go well. Being previously ghosted can also add to any tension you might feel towards being ghosted in general.
If you are upset or angry with the person who ghosted you, give it at least a few days to mull over your thoughts. Sometimes, texting before you are ready to communicate will result in more problems than solutions.
Should I text the guy who ghosted me?
Before deciding whether or not to text the guy who ghosted you, clarify your intentions.
Do you want to give the guy who ghosted you another chance? Do you want to go on more dates with a guy who ghosted you? Or are you feeling confused, and do you want to share your feelings or get some clarity?
Once you’re clear about your objective, you can decide whether or not to text the guy who ghosted you.
For the most part, yes. As Genfi points out, ghosts tend to breeze back into people's lives with nary an apology in sight, as if nothing happened.Why do guys who ghosted come back? ›
You may think your ghoster has returned because they missed you. Sometimes, people use other people for attention. They might be going through a breakup and feeling insecure about themselves. A quick ego boost by someone who had feelings for them could make them feel better.Should I text him again after he ghosted me? ›
Overwhelmingly, all the experts we consulted recommend not texting anything after being ghosted. We know! It's hard. Sending a message is just not worth your time or energy, especially since you can't control the response.