Halloween, the sexiest yet spookiest date in the calendar. You can don your naughtiest outfit, getting ready to be totally freakier, then your date leaves you on blue tick. Have you been…GHOSTED?! *cue vintage slasher movie scream*
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For those of you who haven’t heard of “ghosting”; it is a social phenomenon when during dating, someone suddenly ceases all contact with another person, without warning or explanation. This is normally met with further silence when the ghosted tries to reach out to the ghost. Further to this, the ghost may come back to “haunt” you. An example of this would be them liking all your Instagram posts without actually responding to your messages. Whilst we give these behaviours funny or light-hearted names, regardless of how long you’ve been seeing each other, it pretty much always sucks.
There are plenty of reasons why being ghosted hurts so much, even if you’ve only known the offending ghost a short time. You will feel a combination of confusion, anger and potentially an attack on your own self-worth. A big part of this is a sense of loss. Definitely subconsciously, and probably consciously, it is likely that you began making plans for the future with this person. That is then snatched away without an opportunity for closure. This is hard! There can be a sense of fear, a “what if” a terrible People also tend to feel embarrassed or ashamed, as they feel their must be something wrong with you – I am here to tell you this is simply not true. Most the time people ghost as they don’t have the ability to communicate their own needs or feelings. It is very much a “them” problem, not a “you” problem.
Moving on from being ghosted can seem overwhelming at first, but it can be broken up into chunks. Firstly, will hearing from the person one last time make you feel better? Of course, a sense of closure can be helpful but speaking to them can lead to you feeling worse. Some people manage this dilemma by viewing the ghosts as commitment-phobes who were never good enough for them anyway! Another way is to send a text. Just ask and see if you get a response. Keep it brief, light and open – “hey! I hope everything is ok? I know we haven’t spoken in a while, but I was wondering if you wanted to see each other again? Either way, it has been nice getting to know you x”
Once you have made that decision, it is time to look inwards. You need to give yourself time to feel what you are feeling. You are a gorgeous, complete, valid human! You can be angry, you can cry. You do you honey. Try chatting to other people about it, especially those who have been on the dating market recently. Unfortunately, it is very likely that they can sympathise with you. Chat to other people who make you feel good, such as your mum or your therapist.
After the initial healing steps, start looking after yourself. Do the things that make you feel great. This can take a variety of forms:
- Write a gratitude journal every night before bed. You can do as many points as you want, just bullet point everything that has made your day wonderful. If it feels hard, write down your goals for the following day.
- Do positive affirmations every morning when you wake. “I am beautiful” or “I am learning to be stronger everyday” are fantastic examples.
- Wear your favourite underwear, just for you. The feeling against your skin will be a little reminder throughout the day what an incredible creature you are.
- Exercise – dance, run, swim, yoga, anything! Get your endorphins pumping, which are natural mood boosters.
- Have your favourite meals. Doesn’t matter if you are cooking them or someone else is, eating properly is so essential for recovery from any stressful event.
Just do it all! It will help affirm what a fantastic person you are. It is so important to love and look after yourself during times like this – do not let someone else’s behaviours define the way you feel about yourself.
You have got this!
Dr Elesha x