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Ghosting Sucks!


Dear Jen,


I was dating this girl for a little bit and I thought things were going well. Then all of a sudden she stopped talking to me. I know she is getting my messages, but she just won’t answer. I don’t know what I did wrong. How can I get her to respond to me and tell me how to fix it?


Sincerely,

Confused

Dear Confused,


It sounds to me like you might be being ghosted. Being ghosted is when someone, a romantic partner, friend or otherwise, suddenly stops talking to you and answering messages/phone calls. To be honest, the idea of ghosting is not a new concept. In fact, I would venture to guess that it happened even in the days when one would leave a “calling card”. The difference is, we no longer have a sense of plausible deniability. Once upon a time, if we ran into someone that had ghosted us, we could easily say the answering machine ate our voicemails or the phone never showed that you called (this one can still happen). However, most text based contact, i.e. Facebook messenger, Snapchat, even emails, offer a notification setting that the message has been opened or read. I think this can sometimes make things a little more confusing and leads us to question, more intently: why aren’t they responding? What did I do wrong?


The truth is, when ghosting happens, even if you have done something wrong, ghosting is on the ghoster not the ghostee. Ghosting is often done from a sense of fear of confrontation, taking the easy way out, uncertainty on how to handle the situation or from a lack of respect. So stop contacting her, she will reach out if and/or when she is ready. Or she won’t and that’s on her. I know that sucks and I know that you want answers, but continuing to message her is most likely not going to get you that answer. Give her and yourself some space and start making steps to move on.


That being said, there are times when a person does indeed tell another that they no longer want a relationship or need space, even subtly. And sometimes the person this was directed towards doesn’t “hear” it and continues to reach out. If the other then stops responding, this is NOT ghosting. Instead this is on the person that continues to try and forge an unwanted relationship and shows a lack of respecting the other person’s boundaries. I am not saying this is the case here, but wanted to make sure that people understand the difference! I hope this helps and good luck in the dating world!


Sincerely,


Jen


*Disclaimer: this is not meant to act as or replace therapy in any way. Questions sent in may be edited for de-identification purposes, length, and/or grammatical coherency.

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