Imagine getting to know someone and after a few dates and late-night talks, BOOM—they disappear without a trace. Did this person lose your number? Get amnesia? Get kidnapped by aliens? There’s a term for this, called ghosting, and it’s the kind of rejection that leaves you wondering, “Why or how did this even happen?”
And, what’s even weirder, is that sometimes the ghost comes back from the dead. If you’ve ever had someone leave you with no word and come back like nothing happened, then these tips are for you.
Here are some things you can do and say to a ghost who comes back from the dead:
1. Thanks, but no thanks.
You don’t owe a ghost an explanation if you’re over it and ready to move on, so don’t be afraid to go the blunt route. In this scenario, your goal would be to say something that lets him or her know that you’re no longer interested and they may as well disappear again.
Here are examples of what you can say:
“I don’t have the patience to be on and off with someone.”
“I’m not interested in being involved with someone who’s leading me on.”
“Please do not ever call me again.”
“I’ve gotten in a committed relationship since we last talked.”
“Do me a favor, don’t call me again.”
“Thanks for clearing that up, I have to go.”
“I’m not interested in doing this with you anymore.”
“I really liked you and you started ignoring my calls and texts like I didn’t mean anything to you. Starting over is too much for me.”
“I’ve been trying to reach out to you for the past two weeks and haven’t heard anything back. It would’ve been settling to formally end things, but I guess you don’t want that.”
“Let’s make this the last time we talkn.”
“Sorry, I just don’t allow people to be in and out of my life.”
2. Ghost them back.
Hey, if you want, you can return like for like and take the say nothing approach. If it was short lived and you feel like you haven’t gained or lost anything from the experience, then you don’t really need closure with this person and can move on without addressing the ghosting.
It takes a lot of mental strength to be able to avoid someone you once felt close to. So beat ‘em at their own game!
3. Call them out.
Often times, after a person has ghosted you, they may try to reach out in the near future. If he or she reaches out to you out of the blue, then you’re owed an explanation.
Here are some classy comebacks to respond with:
Ghost: “I’ve been busy.”
You: “Me too, but I still had time to respond to your message.”
Ghost: “I have a lot going on.”
You: “Everyone has a lot going on. It doesn’t take a lot of time to tell someone that.”
Ghost: “I’m confused about my feelings.”
You: “I’m confused as to why you just couldn’t say that.”
Ghost: “I got cold feet”
You: “I didn’t know ghost had feet.”
Ghost: “I had another situationship going on.”
You: “Well, this ship has sailed. Guess you only have one to worry about now.”
Ghost: “Sorry I ran out on you like that”
You: “Ya, me too, because now I don’t care.”
Ghost: “My phone was broken, I didn’t know how to reach you.”
You: “And yet you were all over social media.”
Either response you take should be thought through with consideration of your feelings, not the person who disappeared on you.
If you decide to move forward with keeping in contact with this person, the key is to make sure that there’s a better understanding of how consistent you expect the communication to be and how serious or not serious you are about seeing each other. It doesn’t mean you have to have a big relationship talk, but you should let the other person know what you expect.