Have you ever been in a situation where you just started talking to someone new and then all of a sudden they disappeared? How about never hearing from them again after a first date? If you've experienced these situations before, then you've as experienced the feeling of being ghosted or "ghosting" as most people refer to it as. Hell, you may even be going through this situation right now and asking yourself "Is she ghosting me?"
Exploring The Topic Of Ghosting
For context, dictionary.com defines ghosting as meaning “the practice of suddenly ending all contact with a person without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship.” Now this ghosting definition apply in any type of situation or relationship; friends, dates, co-workers, etc. can ghost you, but the most common form of ghosting happens in dating and relationships.
Almost everyone has experienced this ghosting definition in one form or another in their life. It's that common. Even I have been ghosted before in the past. So I completely understand how you feel if you have ever experienced this before or are currently asking yourself "Is she ghosting me?"
How It Feels To Be Ghosted
If you've never experienced being ghosted before, consider yourself lucky, because it is so common, especially in the modern dating world. In fact, technology has made it super easy for us to ghost someone and totally "disappear" from their world.
When you've been ghosted, it can make you feel terrible. Imagine, someone you are interested in, someone you like, someone who is close to you, and/or someone you even love, just completely disappearing out of your world. Being ghosted can cause frustration, heartache, confusion, and so many other feelings.
When someone ghosts you, you are left with a lot of uncertainty and questions like:
"Was it something I said or did?"
"Where did they go?"
"Why did they disappear?"
People who get ghosted, especially those who suffer from low confidence, self-esteem issues, and negative mindsets, often put the blame on themselves. They automatically start re-reading old texts and conversations, thinking back to things they might have done, and start criticizing themselves on a personal level. They might even say things like "She ghosted me because I'm too weird" or "I knew I wasn't attractive enough."
Ghosting can bring out the worst in us and lead us to think of the worst possible scenarios to explain why someone treated us this way. It's in our human nature to find the answers to unexplained questions after all. But here's the thing, ghosting sucks. And a big reason why ghosting sucks is because it leaves us with no closure. We never get the answer to the big "Why?" question in our minds.
The 3 Types Of Ghosting
As shared, ghosting someone is defined as cutting off all communication with that person. However, the ghosting meaning is a pretty broad term and definition in itself. So how can we differentiate a certain type of ghosting?
Well ghosting itself, particularly when it happens within the context of romantic relationships, can actually be broken up into three different categories, or types, of ghosting:
Each ghosting type contains its own definition and what it entails in each stage, as well as the reasons why a woman might ghost you in this stage in a romantic relationship context or situation. This blog explores all three types of ghosting in-depth.
Lightweight Ghosting is the first type of ghosting and it happens the earliest on. The good news though is that it's also the easiest to handle, get over, and move on. Before I share more about this type of ghosting though, I have a confession to make first.
I shared earlier about how I also experienced ghosting and how much it sucks, but I also have something to reveal too. While I’ve been ghosted many times myself, I also ghosted certain men over the years too. Now before you grab your pitchforks and torches to burn me at the stake (lol), hear me out.
As someone who has experienced ghosting, I know exactly how you feel if you've ever experienced it before too. But as someone who used is experienced in ghosting someone as well, I can give you, as a single man, some insight into why it might have happened to you if it has.
So starting off with Lightweight Ghosting, as shared, it's something that happens early on in the "connection" phase. In this phase, you usually have just met or started talking to a new woman or just sent out a first message to a woman through online dating whose profile and pictures you liked.
So how does Lightweight Ghosting happen exactly? Some examples might include:
A woman not responding to your first message you send out through online dating.
A woman blocking you after exchanging only a few messages back-and-forth.
A woman who stops speaking to you after your first phone call.
A woman who you never hear from again after meeting for the first time after a date.
I could list more examples, but I think you get the point. Being ghosted is something that happens at the very beginning when you are trying to form, or just formed, a new connection with a woman in some sort of way and then she suddenly disappears.
Why Women Lightweight Ghost Men
So why do women ghost at this stage? Honestly, there could be a hundred reasons I could name off for why a woman could possibly ghost you at this stage so early on. Now some of these reasons could be within your control (as it could have been something you did or said), but usually it's for a reason that is not in your control.
For example, here are just a few reasons why I personally chose to ghost men in the past:
I knew right away I wasn’t interested in him and I didn’t want to waste his or my time by responding to his initial message.
I received so many messages in my inbox daily for my online dating profile, I just didn’t have the time to sit there and respond back to every man I wasn’t interested in.
I told him that I wasn’t interested right away and he called me a “bitch” and then still attempted to message me asking why I wasn’t responding to his messages now.
I didn’t have the time (or the emotional/mental energy) to deal with follow-up questions like “Well why aren’t you interested in me?” and “What’s wrong with me then?” and other follow-up messages when I did say I wasn’t interested in the first place.
He made me feel uncomfortable, icky, awkward, etc. whether he realizes it or not, and it turned me completely off.
The conversation got boring and there’s no spark. I’ve tried to make it more interesting, but it’s just not happening. I can’t waste anymore time.
This clearly isn’t going anywhere. He just wants to text/be my penpal and not actually meet up for a date.
These are just a handful of examples I’ve had for ghosting a man. Now I'm not going to say whether these situations were right or wrong for me to ghost the men in these scenarios above. I'm in a very different place now and I can't go back and change the past, and I think context is always key. I never believe in painting a person, or situation, with the same brush after all.
The thing is, I'm not alone in what I just shared. These examples aren't just what I've gone through myself. In fact, I personally polled a number of women, and they all agreed and had very similar examples to the ones I shared too for why they would ghost men.
So what do you do when you get ghosted in this stage? Move on and move forward. It’s really as simple as that. Don’t feel hurt. Don’t get offended. It’s way too early for you to have invested such feelings to really get so upset over this happening to you. Shrug it off and move on. Because clearly this woman isn’t the one for you.
If anything, be thankful she didn’t waste any more of your time for you to quickly move on to the next woman.
Have you ever gone on a few dates with a woman and then all of a sudden she completely disappeared on you? She stopped replying to your texts and won’t return your messages. She never picks up the phone anymore when you call. It just feels like she totally fell off the face of the planet.
If you’ve ever gone through this before, then you have experienced what is called “Midweight Ghosting.” This is the middle type and is in-between the first/easiest form of ghosting and the last/hardest form of ghosting.
I have personally never ghosted a man in this stage. I had the belief/standard that if I chose to meet up with a man for a date and put forth that type of energy, time, effort, and in some cases, resources, to be with me, then I believed I owed him at least an explanation on why I felt a second date wouldn't be in the cards for us.
That being said, this is just my personal belief, but I also do have a good idea why some other women might choose to ghost a man at this stage. Keep in mind, some of these reasons might be in your control, but some of them might be not.
Why Women Midweight Ghost Men
There are a few reasons why a woman could ghost you at this stage of your relationship together so far. Some examples might include:
She has been dating multiple other guys at the same time as you and one guy stood above the crowd. She has been focusing her sole attention on him and dropped all the other guys (including you).
Things were getting too serious for her too quickly and she realized she wasn’t ready for any type of commitment (whether with you specifically or just on a general level with any guy).
She was just having fun/casually dating and you were acting more committed which made her feel awkward/uncomfortable.
She felt it would be easier just to avoid conflict/hurt your feelings and disappear then to simply tell you she lost interest/is no longer interested and have to have a long, drawn-out, awkward, uncomfortable, conversation about it.
You showcased way too many red flags to her over time to the point she knew she had to call it quits and so she wanted to end things as fast as possible by cutting all contact with you.
Something was said/done that completely was inappropriate and/or offensive to her to the point that she completely cut contact right away.
Something traumatic happened in her life (ex: a family member passed) and she has been dealing with this issue. You are the last thing on her mind when something like this happens.
These are just a handful of examples that a woman could have at this stage for ghosting you. And as you can see, majority of these examples have more to do with her, then to do with who you are, what you did, and/or what you said.
So what do you do when you get ghosted in this stage? Unfortunately, there’s very little you can do at this stage if she has completely been ignoring you/cut off contact with you. The best thing you can do is to not dwell on it and continue forward. Don't let this instance stop you from seeing and going on dates with other women. And above all else, definitely STOP CONTACTING HER (because I already know you've tried to reach out to her at least once or twice since she started ignoring you).
When this woman stops contacting you, one of two things will happen:
One - If she is interested, she will connect back with you and explain why she disappeared. Hopefully, it was for a legitimate reason. And if you choose to believe her reason, then give her one more chance and see how communication goes moving forward. If you don’t, then just continuing moving on.
Two - You just never hear from her ever again. In which case, move on. As the cliché goes “There are other fish in the sea” and there are plenty of women out there who will not ghost you.
Heavyweight ghosting is the hardest type of ghosting, and the most difficult to move on from. That's because this type of ghosting tends to happen once you have developed a stronger bond with someone in the form of an emotional and/or sexual relationship. You are invested in this person on every level and it seems to be mutual.
The best way I can best define Heavyweight Ghosting is to share a personal story of mine, where I experienced Heavyweight Ghosting firsthand from someone I really cared about. In fact, this is the worst form of ghosting I ever experienced in my life back in the day.
As a Dating & Relationship Coach, a lot of people out there (men and women) assume I’ve always had the perfect relationships or that I’ve never had men leave me before or I’ve never been ghosted. WRONG! I'm not perfect. And learning from my past relationships and mistakes are only just a part of what I bring to my years of experience as a Dating & Relationship Coach.
In the case of this story, we'll refer to the man in question as "Steve" (I apologize to all the the men named Steve out there, I swear I'm not picking on you personally haha). Now I met Steve previously through an online dating platform we were both on and we really connected right away. Steve was very handsome, charming, we had a lot in common, and we instantly clicked.
He was also the oldest guy I had dated at that time being 13 years older than me. I was purposely looking for someone around his age because I noticed they (the guys around his age) seemed to be the ones that were projecting themselves online as wanting to be in a committed and serious relationship (what I was also looking for at the time too).
Steve and I started talking and eventually went on a date. Fast forward down the line and we were regularly seeing each other and were getting more serious (in every sense of the word). He treated me like a princess (something I never expected and wasn’t used to at the time) and showered me in gifts and high-end restaurants and expensive dates.
We regularly shared about each other’s family and that we couldn’t wait to introduce each other to them. We talked about what we wanted in the future and our 5-year plans, both seeing if we can see each other in them. We seemed to genuinely care for each other. And the age difference didn’t seem to matter either.
The only thing that was missing for me? Was the “official” girlfriend title. I was with a man who treated me EXACTLY like he would a girlfriend but hadn’t “officially” referred to me as such (although we were exclusive to only each other). Looking back now, I would have of course handled this relationship much more differently, even if I didn’t know what was to come, because I am in a totally different place and such.
Now at the time, no one would have ever guessed what was about to happen. Why is that? Because down the line, but very quickly, he started to distance himself from me, and then one day *poof* he completely disappeared. He had blocked me everywhere.
This was a man who spent quite a bit of his time, effort, and resources on me and nurturing a relationship with me. And someone I too had invested every part of me into as well. I was in complete and utter shock. I was upset. I had no clue why. And frankly, because that is the nature of ghosting, I still don’t know 100% to this day why he disappeared.
Of course these days I’m in a much different situation, but back then, I had just experienced the worst form of ghosting. In fact, the most painful kind of ghosting. And it's no different for you men out there who might have experienced this before as well too.
Why Women Heavyweight Ghost Men
Now I realize that story I shared is from the perspective of me, as a woman, but the feelings I felt. The heartache, the pain, the frustration, the anger...it's no different than if a man were to go through the same situation with a woman.
So now why would someone ghost you at this stage? As I said, this type of ghosting is the most difficult to deal with, because unlike with Lightweight Ghosting, where someone could have a hundred reasons to ghost you, with this type of ghosting, it’s probably only just one thing (but it’s something really big).
In this stage, usually the reason simply comes down to fear. Now what that fear could be, it’s hard to say depending on the person, in fact:
They could have a fear of things moving too fast.
They could have a fear of commitment.
They could have a fear that they are not good enough for you.
And that's just a few examples. So what do you do when you get ghosted in this stage? First off, know that in this case, 98% of the time, the reason for ghosting is not a “you” problem, but a “them” problem. They are dealing with something inside themselves.
Something is stopping them. And they can’t seem to deal with it, so they choose to bury it instead and ghost so they don’t have to deal with it. Majority of the time, they feel that ghosting is being kinder to you and they are sparing your feelings (fear makes us think and do some crazy things).
It might be difficult at the time to do, but when it happens, one of the best things you can do is to know that if this is the case, that it’s something that is far out of your control. Similar to going through a break-up, take the time to grieve this relationship after it happens and to heal yourself inside.
Use this as a time to re-discover yourself and practice self-love. In fact, this is the time when you should be the most kind to yourself. Get yourself to a place where you can eventually be happy and ok with being single. And definitely don’t take what happened personally.
At the end of the day, ghosting is never easy, no matter what form it takes. When this happens to you, the best thing you can do is to remain confident in yourself and know that the right woman for you isn't going to ghost you.
Author: Rebecca Bartley, Dating & Relationship Coach for Single Men
Rebecca Bartley is the Founder/Dating & Relationship Coach for Dating Bites, a coaching company dedicated to helping single men tackle their dating and relationship issues to attract their dream woman and form a long-lasting relationship together. With over 10 years worth of industry knowledge and experience when it comes to dating and relationships, Rebecca has been coaching both men and women to become more successful in their relationships and the dating world overall. If you are interested in working one-on-one with Rebecca, click here to book a FREE Strategy Call with her to start seeing results and improving your love life today!