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Ask Ainsley: How can I move on after being ghosted?

Dear Ainsley,

I was seeing a new potential partner and was really excited about him, but he recently ghosted me. I am not sure if I should check in by sending another message or if I did something wrong. I am trying to stay positive, but I can’t help but take this the wrong way. Do you have any insight into why he may have ghosted me or any suggestions on how to get over it?


Getting Over Ghosting  (GOG)


Dear GOG,

Unfortunately, ghosting is quite common, particularly because technology makes it so easy to ignore and avoid someone. This person probably saw the relationship going in a certain, and, instead confronting that reality with you, figured it would hurt less to ghost you. However, ghosters do not understand that this form of break-up is ambiguous and leaves the other party feeling more insulted than a clean break. The silent treatment can amplify the pain of rejection, and it can feel like a form of emotional cruelty.  

As the recipient, you should try not to jump to the conclusion that you did anything wrong. Ghosting negatively reflects on the ghoster—not on you. It shows that they are unable to confront their feelings, and that is not a person worthy of your time and attention. The worst thing to do after being ghosted is to wallow. At first, it may seem cathartic to get in touch with your feelings, but, after a while, it can begin to negatively impact your self-esteem. Try to remember that many people feel this way every day, and there is no reason to feel alone and isolated.

Instead of giving in to the impulsive reflex of secluding yourself, try to reach out to friends and family. Talking about how much it hurt you to be ghosted can allow those closest to you to support you, which can be therapeutic, as it may lend additional insight and help you talk to those who have had similar experiences.

If it helps, you can even think about what your ghoster may be doing—is he overthinking his decision to not respond to your messages? Probably not: He has likely moved on and has no idea about how his actions have affected you. I can assure you that he did not mean to hurt you, but, regardless, you should take your pain and channel that into bettering your own life.

You need to continue going about your daily life—it will provide a necessary distraction from any self-deprecating thoughts. Focus on your own mental health and wellbeing: Eat well, get enough sleep, exercise, and pick up new a hobby. These activities can preoccupy those lingering parts of your mind and help you stop thinking about that person. Pretty soon, you will gain a newfound confidence and remember that one person’s mediocrity should not determine your mood.

There is absolutely no shame in being ghosted. Countless individuals have been ghosted, and plenty of people encounter this inconvenience. So, GOG, put this annoyance behind you. Go out and focus on yourself and becoming your best self.

Sending you love and support,


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