Ghosting: Why Does It Happen And What Can You Do To Move On?
Friday, November 22nd, 2019
This week we heard from a lovely Muddy Matcher who had signed up to our niche online dating site to meet someone to share her countryside life with and get dating outdoors. After exchanging messages with another rural singleton. Then BAM; with no indication, communication stopped.
Ghosting, a term used to refer to the situation when someone suddenly disappears from your life without a call, email or text, is becoming more and more common, and not only in the world of online dating. Confused, angry, upset, hurt, questioning – it throws up a whole mix of emotions.
Today’s Dating Advice looks at the modern phenomenon of ghosting, asking why people do this and what you can do to move on if you’ve been ghosted.
Why do people ghost?
First things first, in the majority of cases of ghosting, the issue is not with you. Very probably, the date who’s ghosted you has their own, complex issues which means they haven’t been able to be honest with you. Although the break in contact with the person you have been dating means that you may never know why they did it, being aware of some of the issues which lead people to act in this way can help you to process what happened and move on.
The ghoster may be afraid. They may be scared of getting close to someone and making a change in their life, or they may be scared of talking to you face to face to break it off with you. Ghosting is another name for conflict avoidance, where someone will go to great lengths to avoid a face to face chat where you may get upset or angry. Walking away may feel easier for them. Another reason may be an emotional immaturity. Even if they gave the impression of caring for you and wanting to get to know you, the ghoster may not feel any responsibility towards you and may not have a sense of consequence, meaning that they are able to switch off and walk away without it being a big deal. Another potential scenario is that they have had something big happen in their own lives, meaning that they don’t have the time or energy to invest in a relationship right now.
Sadly, the very nature of ghosting means that you may never know why you your date behaved why they did and why you were ghosted, but hopefully the reasons above will help you understand that you very likely did nothing ‘wrong’ and the reason lies with them.
How can you handle being ghosted?
The first step is to ask yourself what you’re feeling, and let yourself feel that way! You may feel a sense of loss. That loss isn’t just because you’ve lost a potential partner but also because you’ve been let down in all of your hopes and dreams that you may have been building up, even if it was sub-consciously.
Add in a sense of rejection, a knock to your self esteem and the feeling of being de-stabilised, not to mention possibly feeling embarrassed and alone, and you can understand that these emotions may take a while to get over.
Should you contact your ghoster?
It’s very natural to want to know why you’ve been treated like this but it’s likely that they won’t respond to your message or call. If they do, be aware that hearing from them again may re-open the wound and make you feel worse. It may be better to accept that your fledgling rural relationship is over, and move on.
Moving on will be different for everyone, and the techniques you use to heal after your failed countryside relationship may be different from those used by someone else.
- Give yourself time. If you’re feeling hurt and upset, give yourself time to be at peace with yourself before heading straight back in to dating on our rural dating site.
- Try not to blame yourself. Going over your countryside dates again and again might become a habit as you try to work out where exactly things changed and if you did or said anything to put them off, but blaming yourself is not healthy and not conducive to a happy love life going forward. If you can, talk to someone who will reinforce your self-esteem and confidence.
- Draw the line yourself. If, before moving on, you want to be completely sure that things with your ghoster are definitely over, make sure that they know by sending them a message to say that you assume the relationship is over. You’ve taken control and made a clear step towards moving on, and this will make you feel great!
- Be aware of quick fixes. Plunging straight back in to rural dating to get validation from other country singles, or turning to sugar, drugs or drink to try and numb your pain, are not long-term fixes for your happiness. Take time for you, spend time with people who make you feel great, and do country activities that you love, to restore your sense of worth and contentment. Being around other people will also help to reassure you that you can form healthy, positive relationships with other people and, eventually, a rural love.
- Try to have compassion for the ghoster. We all know that holding on to a grudge or feeling angry won’t make you happy in the long term so, if your mind allows it, try to forgive them and learn from the experience.
- Don’t be scared. Yes, you’ve had a bad experience in your search for love in the countryside but remember that not everyone is like this, and there are good people worth connecting with online. If you need further proof, just look at our Success Stories.
- When you start to date again on Muddy Matches, be clear about what you want. Both in your countryside online dating profile and when you meet a rural date in real life, be honest and clear about what you’re looking for in a relationship. That means that you and your date will know where you stand before things get more serious.
- Treat others how you wish to be treated. As you’ve experienced ghosting first hand, you’ll know how horrible it is. So, treat others how you would want to be treated when you’re country loving.