I recently has a guy that ghosted me come back and apologize. Almost one year to the day after our last texting conversation, he wrote, “Hey - very random. But I wanted to apologize for ghosting on you. I feel like it was wrong and immature to do that... I wanted to say that I’m sorry for handling things like that.”
The funny thing was that I barely cared. Yeah, I was interested in this guy and where things could go, but when he dropped the ball I knew that wasn’t a good fit for me.
This was not always the case. I used to be the girl that would ask all her friends why he left. “What had I done wrong? Should I say something mean and snarky, or should I reach out nicely?” Ghosting can mess with your mind big time. It can drive us to do crazy things to try to resolve and get closure.
But you already have all the closure you need. If you’ve been ghosted and you want to move on, here’s how.
Step One: Look at your imagination. Let’s be honest. You were really excited about the potential of the relationship, right? You probably had all kinds of ideas of what a relationship would be like. You had fantasies about the fun dates you’d go on, the lively conversation you’d have together, what it would be like for him to meet your friends, and so on. This is a lot in your imagination, isn’t it?
Get really honest with yourself and look at what was happening in your imagination. Were you doing a lot of projecting into the future? Were you projecting your feelings onto him and assuming they were being returned? Were you more excited about the idea of this person than the actual person?
It is ok to say yes. I did this SO often when I was dating. And I’m not alone in this. It’s pretty common. Because in my imagination, I can never get rejected. I can live out all my fantasies in a safe place in my head. It’s safe until I started expecting real life to be like my fantasies.
Step Two: Look at his behavior. People communicate loudly through their actions. How much was this person really investing in you?
If your relationship was a bank account, who was making the deposits? A deposit in a relationship bank account would be taking an interest in the other person, taking initiative to build intimacy, giving time and priority to the other person, and communicating. As intimacy builds, the partner will share more of himself/herself including deeper thoughts and feelings as trust builds.
Take a look at the relationship when you were last ghosted. Who was taking these actions? Were you both equally taking these actions or was it more one-sided? Did intimacy build or did it stay static?
As a final part of the second step, I encourage you to look for the red flags that you (good-naturedly) ignored. I bet they’re there, but at the time you probably reasoned them away or waved them off thinking it wasn’t that big of a deal.
Maya Angelou famously said, “When someone tells you who they are, believe them the first time.” When I started living by this, everything changed.
Almost every ghosting story I’ve heard had red flags early on, but they were ignored and we hoped for the best (there we go investing in the potential and not the person again!). When we listen with curiosity we are able to listen intently with an open mind. It’s like we have one of those video puzzles that is revealing a larger image by showing one small piece at a time. If we stay curious and see each piece of information as revealing something about the larger whole person, then we can see clearly. But if we remain fixated on just one piece (like how handsome he is or the fact that he wants kids someday) then we don’t even see when the other pieces are revealed.
Here’s your challenge for this week. How can you listen with curiosity about another person? It doesn’t have to be a romantic interest, it could even be someone you talk to all the time. But I want you to listen to someone as if you are trying to solve a puzzle. Get to know all of them, not just one piece.
Tell me how it goes. What is different when you listen with curiosity? Tell me in the comments about how listening with curiosity changed the conversation.
Have you been ghosted? Tell me what happened, I want to hear the story. And if this article helped bring you some relief, what do you see differently now about the situation? Comment below and tell me all about it!
Did you find this blog post helpful? Do you want to increase the love in your life? It all starts with yourself, which is why I created a simple self love meditation. Claim yours here and get more love immediately.