How long before you’ve been ghosted? Plus, how do deal with it

So you were getting along great and then just like that, they vanished. So how long until you can officially call it ‘ghosting’? And should you contact them asking why they ghosted you? A leading relationship expert reveals all. 

Ghosting is a relatively new phenomenon that typically refers to dating and new relationships, when someone simply cuts off all communication without any explanation.

In most cases, it refers to not receiving any response to a text or phone call. But in more extreme cases it can refer to someone seemingly disappearing off the face of the earth. Typically, it looks like this: the relationship can be going along smoothly with constant communication, then all of a sudden, nothing. No response, no call back and sometimes, complete blocking on social media.

It’s likely ghosting has been happening for years, however in the age of online dating and social media, it has now become a widely prevalent dating and relationship response.

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How long before you’ve been ghosted?

Let’s be clear about one thing – no one likes the feeling of being ignored or forgotten. But just how long does it take to be officially classified as ‘ghosted’?

Well, in short, just three days.

While every relationship is different, three days is enough time to consider yourself ghosted. Sure, everyone has emergencies or can come up with a valid excuse for not responding, but letting things linger for three days or longer is enough to categorise it as a ghosted situation.

Three days is a decent amount of time to wait. Any more than that and you’re simply not valuing yourself or your time. You deserve to be treated with respect and as someone’s priority. If that person can’t bother to make you one, let them fade into the distance.

Should I text them after being ghosted?

So, you’ve waited the three days and still nothing? Time to forget about it and move on. Here’s some tips to deal with being ghosted.

1. Don’t contact them

Yes, I know, the first impulse is to reach out with a sassy text and let that person know how disgraceful their behaviour is.

However, if they were avoiding you then what’s to stop them from avoiding you now? And that’s only going to make things feel worse for you.

Don’t waste the energy because they’re not worth your rant. Instead, let your journal or a supportive friend hear what you have to say.

2. Don’t write a cryptic Facebook posts about what happened

We all know those types of posts – usually reserved for old high school friends – the ones that go something like this: “This will be the last time that I open my heart/sorry I wasn’t good enough for you” etc etc.

They’re type of posts that don’t actually say anything specific but are clearly directed to someone in particular.

Those posts just make you look sad and attention seeking, and absolutely will not make the object of your affection come running back to you. Again, tell your journal about it and don’t air your grievances on social media.

3. Don’t be bitter

Similar to a sad Facebook post, being bitter just makes you look bad, not them. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on.

Without sounding too much like your mum with this cliché, there really are ‘plenty more fish in the sea’. There’s a whole world out there of suitable dating candidates who will respect and appreciate you; don’t dwell or become bitter over the one that doesn’t.

4. Don’t be rude if you run into them

Similar to acting bitter, being rude to your ghoster if you happen to run into them in real life will only make you look bad.

The last thing you want is to look like you cared too much or are bitter about it, which can essentially feed their ego. Better to show them that you’re actually a great, decent person and that they’re missing out on what you had to offer.

5. Don’t blame yourself

It’s easy to go around in circles and over-analyse the entire exchange trying to figure out what you did wrong, but the truth is, you didn’t do anything wrong. You just weren’t quite right for that person and that’s A-OK. Plus, you don’t actually know what else is going on in their lives so you can’t blame yourself. Perhaps they’ve rekindled a flame with an ex, maybe they met their soul mate in someone else or maybe they’re just a douchebag. Whatever the excuse is, chalk it up to the fact that you might never find out and let it be.

6. Don’t get back with them if they come crawling back

Ghosters have been known to resurface and when they do, run a mile. Do not, I repeat, do not, get back with them!

If a relationship with someone starts off on a negative note, chances are it will continue that way. They’ve basically saved you a whole lot of hassle by ghosting you early on and now you know their true colours.

Sure, everyone in life should deserve a second chance, but are they going to be worth it? Probably not. Instead, put your time into yourself, or focus your energy on the better candidates waiting to meet you.

7. Do remember the experience and learn from it

It doesn’t feel good to be ghosted, so make sure you remember how it feels so you don’t ever get tempted to do it yourself.

Committing the act of ghosting can be an easy way out, especially if you don’t have the courage to tell someone you don’t like them. But you know how it feels and it really sucks, so don’t become a ghoster yourself.

Dr Lurve is one of Australia’s leading love and relationship expert. Follow her on Instagram @dr.lurve.