How To Handle It When A Guy Who Ghosted You Tries To Come Back Into Your Life
Ghosting is the worst.
Whether you are the person getting ghosted (which hurts like hell!) or the person doing the ghosting (shame on you!), the practice of ending a relationship by abruptly cutting off all communication is bad for everyone involved.
But what if it's not over?
In rare situations, you may find that a guy who ghosted texts you and wants to try to come back into your life. Your initial reaction might be to just ignore the message and never considering letting them back in.
But perhaps you considered it and ultimately decided that you want to give it some more thought.
Elite Daily spoke to experts to figure out how best to handle it when a guy who ghosted you shows up again.
1. Take Your Time Assessing The Message
Before you do anything, read the message carefully. Then, read it again. And maybe even a third time.
Marriage therapist Nicole Richardson says that in her practice, she has noticed that many people don't even read the “come back” text from someone who ghosted them. Often, this means they “read more into it than is actually there,” says Richardson.
Stef Safran, a Chicago-based matchmaker, agrees and says it's important to really take your time assessing that first communication. “See how they start communicating with you,” says Safran. “If it's just a quick text to say ‘Hi,' allow them to make more of an effort.”
When you receive a text from someone who ghosted you, give it all the time you need to make sure you are reading it correctly and that they are making an appropriate amount of effort. They ghosted you already, so they aren't starting with a baseline level of trust. They are starting from less than zero.
Make sure you go as slowly as you need to properly assess that first text.
2. Think About How You Feel
Once you've decided you've understood the text, the next thing to do is to continue taking things slow and take a moment (or several) to figure out how you really feel.
If the text contains an apology, that's great, says Richards. But it's not likely and a casual “hello” message might not be enough to give him another shot.
Safran says to think about it like a friendship: If a friend did something like that, you would expect something bigger than just a hi or hello.
No matter what, truly take the time to figure out your own feelings.
Regardless of how you choose to proceed, at this moment, you should be thinking about what it is that you need and want the most.
3. Make Sure He Acknowledges His Actions
If you've decided to communicate back to him, now's the time to put him in the hot seat.
“Ask why he ghosted you,” says Anita A. Chlipala, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love. “There's a high probability he's going to do it again unless he can demonstrate change in his belief system.”
According to Chlipala, if he ghosted to save your feelings, he needs to understand that the ghosting was worse. And he needs to be clear with you that he'll communicate better in the future.
April Masini, a New York-based relationship expert, also says that figuring out why he did it is important because it may not always be the worst-case scenario: “If a guy ghosts you because this is his normal behavior, move on. He's cowardly and rude. But… if he ghosted you because there was a miscommunication and he did contact you, but the email or text didn't go through, or it's in your spam folder, give him another chance.”
“The reason for the behavior is often just as important as the behavior itself, so if he comes back, and you're still interested, get a little intel,” she continues.
Either way, if he did actually ghost you, make sure he gets how wrong it was and apologizes.
4. Consider If It's Worth The Risk Of Him Ghosting Again
There's a big question hanging over any potential relationship with this guy: Will he ghost again?
And is starting something up again worth the risk?
Chlipala says it's probably not: “Ask yourself if you really want someone in your life who chooses to ghost rather than clearly communicate about what's going on with him. It won't get any better just because you're dating or in a relationship. If you've been ghosted, the person did you a favor by getting out of your life, so don't let him back in.”
If he's someone whom you know wasn't going to be that great for you long-term, it's really not a good idea to spend any more time on his childish antics. Similarly, even if you aren't sure about long-term potential but you know you wouldn't be happy if he ghosted again, move on.
You may have your own reasons for deciding that it is worth the risk. If you do, just be aware that you may end up being ghosted again.
5. Tread Carefully If You Decide To Move Forward
If you have decided you want to try again, be very, very careful with how you move forward.
Chlipala says, “Set your expectations really, really low. Don't get your hopes up that he's into you or wants to date you. He could be bored, knows you're available, and just wants to have some temporary fun.”
And if you do give it a go, she says, don't stop dating other people. It'll help you maintain some distance.
Richardson says it's also not a bad idea to keep your guard up: “Be aware that he is still likely to let you down. He has shown you already that he is capable of leaving you hanging, so do not assume that he's sorry and/or that he will not do it again.”
Even if everything seems to be going well, says Masini, hold back just a bit.
“Don't spill your heart, sleep with him again, or bring him to your sister's wedding if he ghosted you and is back again. You want to behave according to what you know, and if this is someone who's hurt your feelings in the past, be smart this time around.”
If you get a surprise text from a guy who ghosted you, it's OK to give it the consideration you think it deserves. Ghosting as a practice may be awful, but it's completely up to you whether to give someone who ghosted another chance.
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