Ghosting is a new age term that almost all online daters have experienced or practiced at least once. Disappearing from someone’s life or ignoring their calls was once upon a time considered rude. But to ghosters, it’s just another day in business. The mental health effects of ghosting are nothing to joke about, however. To put it simply, being ignored hurts. Ghosting can put a dent in anyone’s self-esteem, especially if it’s happened more than once. But why would anyone disappear without giving a reason? Why is ghosting such a common dating practice, and why do ghosters sometimes come back?
What Is Ghosting?
Ghosting is a dating term used to describe the phenomenon of a person disappearing after you’ve started talking to them. Ghosting can happen at any time, though usually, it happens in the very early stages of a relationship. There are different levels of ghosting, some more acceptable than others. For example, if you just started talking to someone on a dating app and they ghost you, that’s not so uncommon. Exchanging a few messages on Tinder or Bumble doesn’t make you two an item, even if you’ve mentioned meeting in person. There are plenty of reasons why someone would ghost you through an app before you’ve met. They could have gotten busy and forgotten to respond, or they could just not be interested. Regardless, being ghosted over an app is not such a big deal. We’ve all done it for various reasons.
However, some forms of ghosting are much more hurtful and confusing. There have been stories of people who have had what would seem like a relationship with another person, only to be ghosted by them. Terrible stories of ghosting exist, but most ghosting happens in the early stages of dating before you are an official couple. But this doesn’t make it any less hurtful or confusing. When you’ve been hanging out with someone for any period of time, and they suddenly disappear with no explanation, it hurts. Ghosters leave you scratching your head, wondering what happened. It gets even more confusing when you believe the relationship is going great. So what gives? Why do ghosters ghost, and more importantly, why do they sometimes come back?
What Ghosting Is Not
Before we delve into what makes a ghoster and why they come back, we must first understand what ghosting is not. A ghoster is not someone you’ve been talking to who doesn’t respond to your messages for a few days. A few days of no contact doesn’t mean you’ve been ghosted. Unless you both have specifically agreed to commitment, both parties are free to talk to whomever they choose. If a person you met online takes their time replying to you, it’s likely because they’re seeing other people as well. Taking their time to get back to you doesn’t qualify as ghosting. You’re just not high on their priority list. A ghoster is someone who disappears for months at a time with no explanation as to why.
Why Do People Ghost?
Why does a ghoster ghost? That is the question, isn’t it? Ghosting is a messed-up way of telling someone you’re not worth their time. If you’ve been the victim of a ghoster, this is probably why:
They Wanted the Easy Way Out
Ghosting is an immature way to let someone know you’re not interested. But let’s be honest, we’ve all been guilty of it to some degree. Social media and dating apps have made the dating scene incredibly impersonal. We now have access to thousands of potential dates at our fingerprints. We can scroll, chat with, and screen potential dates without ever having to see them in person. And when we do see them in person, sometimes our feelings change. We realize they don’t look as good in their picture, or the chemistry is not there. And because we know there are more dates where they came from, we don’t care how we treat them. In short, a ghoster ghosts because they don’t care about your feelings. Ghosters believe that ghosting is more convenient for them than letting that person know they’re not interested. Instead of letting a person down easily, they don’t let them down at all. Ghosting allows ghosters to reject someone without dealing with the other person’s emotions. Ghosters ghost because it is the easy way out for them. They can move on with their life without being the “bad guy”.
They Met Someone Else
It’s 2022, and the world moves fast, especially the dating world. If you’ve been the victim of a ghoster, there’s a good possibility they met someone else. This is even more likely if you met the ghoster through a dating app. On dating apps, you can be sure that everyone is talking to at least a handful of other people. Just because you’re on a date with someone, that doesn’t mean you are their first choice. They could be talking to someone else they are more interested in, but you just happened to be available. However, if the person they are interested in suddenly becomes available, they’ll jump at the chance to be with them. What that means for you is, you’ve been ghosted. Ghosters are people who do not care about anyone’s feelings but their own. They are self-serving and have no problem leaving you in the dark. If you’ve been the victim of ghosters, know that they did you a favor.
They’re Only Looking For One Thing
Unfortunately, the guys you meet on dating apps are not the cream of the crop. The mentality of most men on dating apps is for short term relationships only. Meaning, most guys on dating apps want to have sex, and that’s it. A ghoster is likely someone who was only interested in you for one thing. They were looking for a quick hookup, not a long-term relationship. If you made the mistake of hooking up with them, they ghosted because they are done with you. And if you didn’t hook up with them, they decided you were too much work. Men on dating apps want easy hookups because that’s why they are on the apps. Again, count yourself lucky if you have been ghosted by a person like this. A ghoster that only wanted you for sex is not someone you should want to be in a long-term relationship with.
They’re Too Intimidated By You
It’s difficult for you to understand why you’ve been a victim of a ghoster. After all, you’re beautiful, brilliant, and make a good salary. Who wouldn’t want to date you? Insecure men, that’s who. The problem with dating through an app is that you are meeting up with complete strangers. Anyone can portray themselves to be a certain way over social media. A ghoster can tell you a web of lies only to have them come crashing down when he meets you in person. Suddenly he’s not as confident and is afraid you will figure him out. Besides, you seem like an amazing catch. He knows he can’t live up to your expectations. So, while he is most definitely interested, he’s not interested enough to level up to your standards. He is content being the way he is, and thus, not dating you is easier. Instead of being mature about it, a ghoster silently slips away. In this way, he doesn’t have to explain himself.
Top Reasons Why Ghosters Always Come Back to You
Even more confusing than being ghosted by ghosters is when that ghoster reappears weeks, months, or even years later. Ghosters may suddenly show up in your life out of the blue and act as if nothing happened. Ghosters will almost never acknowledge the fact that they ignored you. If they have any sense of morality or social awareness, they may have a lame excuse. But surprisingly, most ghosters think they can pick up right where they left off, no matter how much time has passed.
Why? According to Psychology Today, the psychology of ghosters is not the same as that of a normal, decent person. In the mind of ghosters, what they did to you was not a big deal. For them, it was like an open-ended breakup. They didn’t officially break up with you, nor could they have because you weren’t exclusive. Ghosters may even gaslight you into believing you are overreacting to their ghosting behavior. Because in their mind, they did nothing wrong. Below are the top reasons ghosters will always come back to you:
They’re Looking for a Rebound
The number one reason ghosters return is because they are looking for a rebound. Remember when they ghosted you for another girl, they liked better? Well, that girl just broke up with them (surprise, surprise), and now they’re lonely. They’re looking for someone to make them feel less lonely and give them an ego boost. Ghosters return to their victims because they think it’s going to be an easy win for them. They knew you were interested in them before, so they thought, why not give it a shot. Ghosters will commonly return to their victims in times of loneliness. For all you know, you could be the third victim they’ve reached out to. Ghosters have no consideration for other people. They are figuratively casting their line, waiting for just one person to bite. They may not even expect you to respond, but they’re hoping that you do. If you take the bait, they think they can reel you in again. But if you’re smart, you’ll ignore them.
They’re Jealous of You Moving On
A key toxic trait of an emotionally unavailable man is their jealousy towards you with someone else. Ghosters like this will come back as soon as they see you moving on. Maybe they’ve noticed you living it up in your Instagram posts or heard from a friend you’ve been hanging out with other guys. Ghosters don’t like to see their victims being happy without them. They like to believe that they have some sort of power over you because you pined for them at some point. It gives them an ego boost knowing you are sad and lonely at home. But as soon as ghosters spot you being happy without them, they can’t take it. So, they pop up in your inbox, hoping to dash any hopes you had of happiness. They don’t want you to move on because they don’t want to lose their perceived power over you. Ghosters must prove to themselves that you are theirs for the taking. They can’t possibly understand how you could want someone other than them.
Ghosters will sometimes reappear out of the blue simply because they’re bored. Maybe they’ve got nothing going on and no other options for a romantic relationship. They’re looking for an ego boost, and they remember you were into them. Ghosters think they can treat people however they want and be welcome with open arms. So, they ignore the fact they pulled a disappearing act and hit you up for a hangout session. They remind you of the fun times you two shared before. They’re looking for a good time, and they think you can show it to them. Only until they find a better option, of course. To a normal person, returning to someone after you’ve hurt them for the sake of boredom is inconceivable. But ghosters are not normal people. Again, in their mind, they’ve done no wrong. At least no wrong that they will admit to. For them, hitting you up after pulling a ghost act is no big deal.
They Miss You
Ghosters may reappear in your life again because they’ve genuinely missed you. But this is more likely the case if you and the ghoster had a lengthier relationship. They spent time getting to know you and know how awesome you are. When they ghosted you, it was nothing personal in their mind. They simply believed they could do better. Ghosters sometimes lose interest because they are on to the next shiny thing. They think that by ghosting you and leaving the relationship unresolved, they can return whenever. Ghosters may return after they discover that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. They took a shot out in the big scary world of dating and realized that they found something special in you. Naturally, they found their way back and believe that you will be equally as thrilled to see them. But don’t be fooled by their flattery. Ghosters know what they did was wrong, even if they won’t admit it to themselves.
Sometimes when ghosters return, there is no real reason for it other than they are curious. Maybe they are having a slow day at work, and something reminds them of you. They send you a text curious as to what you’ve been up to. Maybe they are wondering how you’ve been or are curious as to whether they have a chance with you still. Maybe they’re wondering if you’ve moved on or are still single (and miserable) like them. Ghosters sometimes have no other explanation for their actions other than they wanted to be nosy. Does it mean they want to rekindle the relationship? Possibly. But would you trust them not to pull the same crap again? It’s highly unlikely they are now suddenly a trustworthy person. In some ways, a ghoster reaching out to you for no other reason than curiosity is more hurtful. It shows that you were a whim of the moment thought, not a dominant one. They only thought of you in passing. Clearly, they do not understand the pain or confusion they have caused you. Clearly, they didn’t care enough about you to consider how you felt. Clearly, they are not a good person to befriend.
Should You Ever Take Ghosters Back?
There are very few reasons (if any) why you should ever consider taking back a ghoster. The only exception may be if a ghoster has a legitimate, verifiable reason for why they ghosted you. Accidents and tragic circumstances do happen. People sometimes do have good reasons for disappearing that have nothing to do with you or their lack of interest in you. But for most ghosters, their reasons are total bull crap. Ghosters are narcissists who believe in their happiness above all else. If someone has ghosted you, they are not interested in you. No matter what anyone else tells you. Someone who is interested in pursuing a relationship will never intentionally disappear. It just doesn’t happen. Don’t fool yourself into making excuses for people who treat you badly, no matter how lonely you are. If someone ghosted you, it’s a very clear indicator of the kind of person they are. Do yourself a favor and stay far, far away from them.