Girl meets boy. Boy meets girl. An instant connection forms. You go out on a few dates, talk all the time, and you’re off to the start of a great romance, right? Wrong. Suddenly, nothing … zip …silence. He or she is gone, as if they were a ghost. We’ve all been there. You know… unrequited romantic love, the kind where the love you give is not returned. Being ghosted is one of the more painful relationship issues and can feel like betrayal, especially if there was (what seemed like) a real connection.

First, let’s define ghosting. Ghosting, in the world of dating, is the practice of cutting romantic ties with no forewarning or explanation. If you’ve ever been ghosted, you know how hard it can be to cope with the sudden absence of communication. It’s truly unacceptable and there is no need to dignify this kind of behavior.

So, how do you cope when someone ghosts you? You have a few options, let’s explore them.

Start by taking time to gather your thoughts

You’ve Been Ghosted… Now What

Ghosting hurts, and chances are, you’re having some significant feelings involving your self-esteem you haven’t quite sorted out. That’s okay! Allow yourself time to grieve the lost romance and understand how you’re feeling. Talk to your friends or a confidant. Processing your emotions is critical so you can start to recover and move forward.

Then, my friend, if and when you’re ready, you’re in control of what happens next.

Ghosted Go-To Option #1: Call them out

Ghosting causes feelings of rejection and hurt; yet, most people quietly accept it. If you’re not one of them, then pick up the phone or send a text message asking for clarification. Why not? You’re worth a response, and you never know what you might uncover. There’s always a possibility you’ll get closure from the conversation.

Most dating experts would disagree with this option. The truth is that if we are (as a society) going to have a dialogue about speaking your truth and being authentic, then it’s only fair that we do our part in holding people accountable for their actions. If they don’t respond, move on to option #2.

Ghosted Go-To Option #2: You can let them go peacefully

Is option one not your style? It’s okay if it isn’t, but then you’ll want to digest this – their immature, rather bad behavior doesn’t say anything about you, but it does, in fact, say a lot about them. You’re worthy of a kind, considerate someone who understands how to communicate like an adult.

Overall, ghosting is a negative form of romantic interaction (or lack thereof). Take care of yourself first by seeking to understand how you feel inside. And when you feel ready, make new connections and leave this one in the past.

You’re on your way to a better romantic future!