If you think you’re getting ghosted, you probably are. But before you conclude that an avoidant will never reach out or come back, make sure that you have indeed been ghosted and not an avoidant needing time and space to themselves.
When you have attachment anxiety, a few hours with no response can feel like days and a few days can feel like weeks. So make sure you have been ghosted.
A few days out to a couple of weeks without a response from an avoidant is “normal”. But if it’s been 4 – 6 weeks since an avoidant last responded and your messages are being left on read or looked at and quickly ignored, there is a high chance you’ve been ghosted.
Almost every expert and most people say that you should not to reach out to someone who has ghosted you; it’s just not worth your time or energy. I differ. I believe that if you can get some kind of resolution that you should try to get it. You may not get the answers you’re looking for, but at least you know you tried, and can move on.
I am not saying that if you have been ghosted, you should reach out to the ghoster, but rather if you want to, there is a way to do it and feel empowered and good about yourself because you didn’t lose your self-respect.
Text 1 – Check-in
Something along the lines: “xxx, I haven’t heard from you in a while. Just wanted to check in and make sure you are okay. I hope you are.”
You don’t want to jump to conclusions only to find out that their silence had nothing to do with you.
Check-ins usually don’t require a response if it’s a few days to a couple of weeks of no communication, but if after 4 or more weeks there is still not a word from them, ask why you haven’t heard from them.
Text 2 – Ask to talk
Send another text along the lines: “I get the sense you are no longer interested. If you want to end things, that is okay. However, I would appreciate an honest conversation about what happened. Let me know if this I something you are open to”.
Don’t be shy to ask for fear of pushing an avoidant away, they may have already pulled away and asking isn’t going to change anything, except get you the answers you need and the respect you deserve.
If you don’t need answers, and you probably don’t if:
1) You were only hooking up or dating casually
2) The relationship was mainly online and you never met, spoke on the phone or video chatted. Chances are your ex may not even be an avoidant, but a catfish; and catfish ghost.
3) You were together for less than three months (the time most honeymoon periods last) and they lost interest, and were not mature enough to communicate it. You are better off without them.
Skip this text and just move on. Yes, you deserve respect but you’ll probably lose more respect chasing after someone you who wasn’t into you to begin with.
Text 3 – Tell them you won’t contact the anymore
Wait another week or couple of weeks and if there is still no response send your last and final text along the lines:
”I thought we had a great connection and I really enjoyed our time together. I’m not sure what happed and had hoped that you would respect me enough to tell me. I’m going to take the fact that I haven’t heard from you as your way of saying you don’t want to be contacted anymore and this is the end of us. I wish you all the best.”
The reason for wording the text this way is to come from a place of self-respect and send a clear message that even though they didn’t respect you enough to communicate what happened or sit down with you and talk like adults, you’re still going to act with self-respect because that’s the kind of person you are.
The second reason for wording the text this way is to make sure they understand that you are not going to contact them again and if they contact you weeks or months later with something pointless and shows lack of self-awareness, you are not going to respond.
Should you take back someone who ghosted you?
This is a question that only you can answer. I’ve seen cases where reconnecting with a ghost was a bad idea and I have also seen cases relationships that worked even after being ghosted. My advice is is you still want to see what can happen after being ghosted, make sure their reach out explains why they ghosted you or they are at least willing to talk about what happened.
They say you teach people how to treat you, don’t teach an avoidant that they can walk in and out of your life as they wish and with no plausible explanation or apology. Take it from someone who was dismissive avoidant; if you don’t conduct yourself with self-respect, an avoidant will not respect you. I didn’t like someone calling me out on my DA behaviours but I respected them for the way they approached the situation, and often apologized.
That said, while avoidants ghost of their inability to handle or communicate in uncomfortable situations, feeling threatened when vulnerable or close to someone, holding back on telling someone the truth about how they truly feel, and insensitivity and cold indifference and unresponsiveness, it’s still a good idea to look inward and be honest with yourself if maybe there was something you did or said to cause an avoidant to ghost you. It doesn’t hurt take an honest self- inventory.
I had a client who said if she had been dating herself, she would ghost herself. You don’t come by that level of self-awareness and honesty every day – and her ex I’m sure recognized that because he came back. They’re still together 4 years later.
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