They up and left without a trace. Now what?

Nobody wants a boyfriend or girlfriend to “ghost” them instead of actually explaining their reasons for the breakup, but more and more, it’s becoming part of the dating scene.

And why wouldn’t it?

It’s the perfect easy way (a.k.a. the coward’s way) out. And modern things like internet dating encourage— even reward— consumers who have a very short span of attention. (There are always plenty more profiles to choose from!) Etiquette, as previous generations knew it, is dead.

So how can you navigate your way through the do’s and don’ts of being ghosted? Don’t worry. This list will break it down for you:

The Don’ts

1. Don’t Rush Back Into The Dating Pool

Your pride’s been hurt. Your self-belief has taken a bit of a beating. You need to rebuild yourself before you take the same risks again. The simple rule that people won’t tell you is this: The more vulnerable you feel, the more likely you are to get hurt. Don’t set yourself up for more of the same.

2. Don’t Make It Personal

It’s easy to tell yourself that if your date, boyfriend, or girlfriend suddenly vanishes, it’s definitely your fault. Actually, it’s not. It says a lot about them — that’s a cowardly and superficial way of resolving a situation.

3. Don’t Try To Get In Touch

Truly, they haven’t fallen off the face of the Internet, lost their memory, or been kidnapped. They’ve just decided to go after someone else instead of you. Don’t try to persuade them to come back because it won’t lead anywhere good. This is a relationship that wasn’t right. The less you accept that the more humiliated and rejected you’ll end up feeling.

4. Don’t Try To Discover Their Reason

Even if they were to give you a reason, they probably wouldn’t tell you the truth. Do you seriously expect someone who has so little regard for your feelings to respect you enough to give you an honest answer? Let it go, and accept that moving on is the right thing to do.

5. Don’t Fantasize About What Could Have Been

Maybe you thought they were Mr./Ms. Right, and you’d have a wonderful happily-ever-after together. They didn’t. Now you know that — if you didn’t already — your imagination has a way of running away with you that only makes things harder. You hardly knew them, and you certainly didn’t know who they truly were (which isn’t half as lovable as you thought).

Make a binding promise to yourself, like, In the future. I will get to know someone before I fall in love with them.

The Do’s

1. Cut Yourself Some Slack

Don’t make an unhappy situation worse. There’s no point in blaming yourself or calling yourself stupid. (You’re not.) You’re just a sucker for romance, and that’s worth knowing.

2. Learn From The Experience

Your ex’s bad behavior is their responsibility, not yours. Still, your responsibility is that you were too trusting, too soon. The lesson is to take things slowly next time and pay attention to the signs along the way. Take the time to review the situation and spot the warning signs you overlooked in the heat of the moment so you don’t miss them next time.

3. Start Seeing Yourself As Precious

Let’s face it, you didn’t really believe you were special, and they didn’t either. You were delighted — even grateful — to have them. You may have asked yourself, Am I worthy of them? Chances are, you didn’t seriously ask yourself, Is this person worthy of me?

4. Set Ground Rules

Next time around, what standards will you expect someone to meet in terms of behavior and not appearance? What are you really looking for? It’s not good enough to have a shopping list of things you don’t want. Be clear about exactly how that person deserves the privilege of getting close to you.

5. Rejoice

Anyone who ghosts you doesn’t have a loving, generous, honorable heart. In reality, they’re cruel, casual, and hurtful. (They’re also VERY immature, and you’re better off without that.) Please don’t tell yourself that inside that hurtful person, there’s a really sweet, loving person just waiting to get out — that’s called projection. You shouldn’t have to dig for what you want. It makes much more sense to hold out for the right person for you who’s loving and caring to the core.

The Ghost did you a FAVOR, leaving way too clear for the right person.

– by Dr. Annie Kaszina

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