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So You've Been Ghosted: Here Are Six Steps to Deal With It

Being ghosted sucks! It leaves you confused, frustrated, and disrespected as you search for clues to explain the disappearance. And, if you've ever been ghosted you know how unsettling it can be. Here are five steps to help you get over your unfriendly ghost.
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Woman Sending Text Message In Busy Cafe
Woman Sending Text Message In Busy Cafe

Breaking-up with a person who likes you is never easy. It usually requires having that awkward 'break-up' talk. It's especially difficult when your partner doesn't see it coming. But guess what? There's an app for that!

Yes, you read that correctly. Binder is an iOS and Android app that offers a relationship-ending service. Simply enter your partner's name and phone number, and choose from a list of reasons, and Binder does the "Binning" (break-up calls and texts) for you. It's brutally honest and to the point.

While using an app to dump someone is impersonal, a more heartless route is the increasingly common act of ghosting! Ghosting is the process of ending a romantic (or platonic) relationship by cutting off, blocking, or ignoring your former partner's attempts to contact you. Basically, when you're ghosting someone, you're ending a relationship without acknowledging, explaining, or informing your partner of your intentions.

Being ghosted sucks! It leaves you confused, frustrated, and disrespected as you search for clues to explain the disappearance. And, if you've ever been ghosted you know how unsettling it can be. Here are five steps to help you get over your unfriendly ghost.

1. Recognize You've Been Ghosted

One of the worst aspects of ghosting is the fact that it might take some time before you realize that you've been faded out. While you're waiting for a response, you'll question whether the other person got your texts or saw your missed calls. Communication failures happen all the time, so it's possible your partner thought they responded, but you never received the message.

Make a friendly phone call or send a brief message checking on them and remind them you had tried to make contact. If you still don't hear from them within a few days, it's time to accept the fact you're being ghosted.

2. Acceptance

Coping with the end of a romantic relationship is never an easy process. But when you're ghosted, it's more difficult because you may hang on to false hope. And without accepting that it's over, you might engage in behaviors focused on getting your ex back and prolong your suffering. The process of recovering begins with accepting that it has happened. Acceptance allows the healing to begin and facilitates a quicker recovery from the disappointment.

3. No Hunting and Haunting

Hunting involves going to places with a high probability of running into an ex-partner. In doing so, the Hunter fantasizes that their ex-partner will have a sudden and dramatic change of heart after a 'coincidental' meeting. Haunting refers to stalking behaviors like driving by the ex-partner's home or monitoring their social media sites hoping to see that nothing in their life has changed.

These hunting and haunting behaviors are detrimental to your recovery for several reasons. First, they require you to spend considerable time and energy thinking about your ex-partner and what they might be doing. And when you find evidence that your ex-partner has moved on, you'll make unfavorable comparisons to your life and ruminate about your loss. Too often, the information you learn is incomplete, and you become more curious. Again, the focus is on your ex, instead of focusing on things you could do to speed up your recovery.

4. Seek Understanding, If Possible

If you're single and dating, chances are you've been ghosted. And when it happens to you, you are left wondering what happened. It's important to remember that people ghost because they want to avoid confrontation or conflict. The lazy ghost hopes the problem will just go away if they avoid the other person forever.

Of course, your partner's avoidance leaves you wondering what provoked their change of heart in the first place. Let's face it, sometimes the reason for the relationship's end is clear. Perhaps there was a disagreement or dispute leading to your partner's decision to bail out. If so, ask yourself the tough questions and have the courage to answer them honestly. Perhaps you did something or said something that alienated your partner and contributed to the breakup. Assess these behaviors and why they occurred. Were they situational behaviors, habitual behaviors, or personality characteristics?

An understanding of the behaviors and personality characteristics that led to conflict allows you to learn from the experience. Perhaps you recognize how you could have behaved differently. Or was the conflict a result of your partner's objection to a belief of yours. In that case, you'll realize that you would do the exact same thing again and conclude that your personalities are incompatible.

5. It's Not About You At All

Sometimes the decision to end a relationship is not about you. Technology makes meeting people easier than ever. Mobile and online dating, provides an endless catalog of available singles. And when you have too many options, it becomes more difficult to choose and be happy about it. Knowing that these choices exist might make it more difficult for people to commit and stay committed to their partner. Ghosting is also common when an 'on-again, off-again ex' shows up asking for another chance. Or, perhaps your partner was dating other people and things became more serious with one of them.

These explanations don't justify ghosting or make it an acceptable way to end a relationship. But, they do lessen your burden. If there wasn't an obvious disagreement or falling-out that you regret, go easy on yourself, it's not about you!

6. Focus On You And Don't Lose Hope

After being ghosted, many people engage in 'desperation dating' and frantically search for their next date. Indeed, rebounding can take the focus off of your ghost, but accepting an undesirable but available new partner could be even worse. Instead, focus on being a better you and enjoying your extra time with friends and family. Be single like Prince Harry: happily eligible until someone equally amazing wins your heart.