Ghosting: What is it and why does it hurt so much?

So…you’ve been talking to somebody via text for a short while, or you’ve hooked up with them, slept together and then suddenly they are…not there anymore, they just…disappear.

You feel confused, rejected, you thought he or she cared for you, you thought you were moving forward in some way, you were seeing this relationship develop.

What’s going on?

Ghosting is a relatively new relationship phenomenon that breeds utter devastation in the person who has been ghosted. It could be seen as the predictable outcome of having both a vast array of digital choices on the dating scene, but having so many choices that it becomes automatic to search for the best, then a better search result; so there’s swipe, swipe, swipe and by the second swipe a previous relationship in the making is now in the breaking. But this is not communicated, except by an absence.

It’s a brutal form of breaking up.

It leaves you wondering how to react if you are the victim: What if the other person is ill, has something happened to them? You just don’t know and if your details are blocked you will never know. It hurts, like a physical pain hurts. You feel disempowered and, in effect, silenced.

If you are ghosted it is really important that you remember that this says nothing at all about you (because literally, it says nothing at all about you) or your self-worth; your self-worth must not be contingent or held to ransom by another’s dysfunctional social skills.

Don’t close yourself down or decide to get tough in future relationships: be true to your way of entering relationships and enter into the next one with pride, dignity and sincerity: don’t become fearful of ghosting!

Also, see

If you have experienced this is may be a good idea to speak to a counsellor.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Newcastle Upon Tyne NE2 & NE3
Written by Graeme Armstrong, MBACP
Newcastle Upon Tyne NE2 & NE3

BACK TO WORKING FACE TO FACE Unsure about the next step in your life? Feeling depressed, alone or stuck in a relationship that's seems to be going nowhere? Step family issues? Need some support getting through? Hi. I'm Graeme Armstrong, and I offer counselling in a confidential, nonjudgmental, sa...

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