Here's what to do if you're being ghosted

Being ghosted? We've got you

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(Image credit: Getty Images / Tim Robberts)

The world of dating is not all fun and games. Among the sea of red flags are also a myriad of toxic dating trends you need to avoid and among the worst is 'ghosting.' It's probably one of the oldest tricks in the book and the most frustrating—but now you might have a final ace to play in the stalemate. Here's exactly what to do if you're being ghosted!

Life coach, boundaries expert, and author of The Joy of Being Selfish, Michelle Elman has shared a very easy last resort for those who may be falling victim to the dreaded ghost—that not only spares you endless unread texts but also gives you closure.

First things firsts though, what does 'ghosting' actually mean and how do you know if it's happening to you?

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(Image credit: Getty Images / Adam Kuylenstierna / EyeEm)

What is ‘Ghosting’?

For those who have been lucky enough to avoid this trend, ‘ghosting’ is when you are dating someone or talking to someone and they suddenly cut off contact. They stop replying to your messages and effectively ‘ghost’ you because they disappear from your life. 

Sharing her opinion on the trend Elman says ghosting: “causes unnecessary hurt because, alongside the abandonment and rejection that arises in other breakups, there is confusion and a lack of closure. They are unable to start the grieving process because they don't know it's over as soon as you do.”

Everyone deals with breakups differently and we all need time to mend and heal—in fact, we know breakups are increasingly harder to get over

Ghosting only adds to this, often prolonging the hurt because we are left waiting and hoping that ‘perhaps they’ll text back’ or ‘maybe they’re just busy’—or we automatically turn it inwards, and blame ourselves.

What to do when you're being 'ghosted'

Many of us will have experienced ghosting throughout our dating journeys and will know how horrible and confusing it can feel. 

It's one of those trends that we should all avoid doing to each other, as Elman explains: "You wouldn't like to be ghosted and therefore it's about having the decency to behave the way you would like to be treated."

However, sometimes the decision of having an open conversation is taken completely out of our hands. 

If you find yourself in a situation where your messages are going unread and your calls are being dodged, the natural response might be to keep contacting them. You're desperate for some sort of response and you just want to know where you stand because waiting is just so annoying—we've all been there.

It can make you feel really powerless but luckily for us, Elman has the perfect response that lets you get confirmation on your relationship status and tells you everything you need to know about your now ex.

Sharing a reel on Instagram, Elman shared her tips for dealing with ghosting. She suggests sending no more than two texts or a phone call and one genius message.

She says: "A lot of people hate phone calls, but if you haven’t heard from them, then pick up the phone and call them. If you don’t hear back from the call, send them a text saying ‘Hey, I tried calling but couldn’t get through. Please send me a text letting me know you’re OK because I’m worrying about you.'"

She explains this gives them the benefit of the doubt but if that message then gets ignored—that's your sign to 'leave it at that.'

If the person in question can't even respond to a message simply asking if they're okay and that you're worried about them—that tells you everything you need to know. As Elman adds: "Texting someone over and over again isn’t going to force a reply. If they want to ghost you, they will ghost you."

The Joy of Being Selfish by Michelle Elman. Published by Welbeck

'The Joy of Being Selfish' by Michelle Elman is out now.

(Image credit: Welbeck / Michelle Elman)
Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.