How To Apologize After Ghosting Someone

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Love

Ghosting someone isn’t just something that happens on Halloween.

Many singles complain about being "ghosted" by someone they were dating — the object of their affection mysteriously disappearing after a few dates, never to be heard from again.

If you've experienced a connection with someone who abruptly cut off all contact, you may have felt confused, upset, or even abandoned.

No one likes to be ghosted, but that doesn’t stop many people from being ghosters, themselves.

RELATED: 9 Reasons It’s So Difficult To Move On After Being Ghosted — And What To Do About It

Ghosting someone is easy — but never OK.

Since you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve ghosted someone and you’re not feeling great about it.

Ghosting has become more common because people can easily get away with it when they’re meeting online — they feel anonymous.

In the past, we’d meet people to date through friends, school, or work, and we couldn’t as easily get away with disappearing out of someone’s life.

Now, the only one who will notice your rude behavior is the person you’re avoiding.

What are you really trying to avoid when you cut off all contact with someone you’re dating?

Maybe you're avoiding the discomfort of telling someone you’re not interested. Maybe you’re afraid of conflict. Or you might even be scared that you will be rejected, so you leave first.

Whatever your reason, you can confront your fear and apologize with grace.

First, you need to acknowledge whatever fears you have. Most people ghost someone when they don’t want to deal with bad feelings and don’t want to hurt the other person.

It may seem like escaping will solve the problem, but it often leaves both people feeling unsettled.

You really can rise above your fears, speak up instead of hiding, and treat others with the respect that you would like from them.

If it’s at all possible, meet in person or call them on the telephone. Texts and emails don’t always get read. If you must text or email, follow up and ask if they got the first message.

RELATED: 7 Times It's Totally OK To Ghost Someone

So, if you're ready for a kind and courageous next move, here are 4 steps to apologize after ghosting someone.

1. Take full responsibility.

Acknowledge and take full responsibility for what you did — or failed to do.

"Hi, I know that I disappeared on you and I want to take full responsibility for what I did. When you reached out to me, I should have answered you instead of stopping all communication."

2. Explain why and how it happened.

"I was afraid you’d get upset if I didn’t want to date you anymore, so I avoided any contact with you. I was afraid of having a confrontation with you, so I left instead."

3. Express remorse.

"I’m very sorry that I hurt you, and I sincerely apologize."

4. Make reparations.

What will you do to make it better? You don’t need to get back together, but you can have a conversation and wish them well.

"I know that you didn’t deserve to be treated that way, and I’m determined not to disappear in the future. Although I’ve realized we’re not a match, I did enjoy the time we spent together and I’d be happy to hear from you in the future. I wish you well with everything and hope you find what you’re looking for."

Part of dating is understanding and coping with feelings of rejection.

It’s important to be discerning and able to let go when it’s not a match. 

Remember, the vast majority of people you meet won’t be your ideal soulmate. Most of your first dates won’t go any further, and that’s OK.

Sometimes you’ll be the one being rejected, and sometimes you’ll be the rejector — and that’s OK, too.

Next time you’re ready to say, "Next!," don’t be a rude ghost.

You can say something like, "I enjoyed spending time with you, but I don’t think we’re right for each other/I don’t feel a connection/I’m not ready to date now. I wish you all the best.”

Give yourself a pat on the back for having the courage to be vulnerable and apologize for disappearing out of someone’s life.

When you communicate honestly and directly, both you and the other person will have clarity and closure.

Congratulations for showing up with empathy and bringing more kindness to dating!

RELATED: I've Ghosted A Lot Of People, And I Don't Feel Bad About It

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Dr. Wendy Lyon is a psychologist, master certified relationship coach, and best-selling author with Deepak Chopra. Since 1999, she has helped hundreds of singles and couples transform their lives and create loving relationships, and you can get her Roadmap to Relationship Success and a complimentary consultation on her website.