The INSIDER Summary:
- Ghosting is becoming a more and more common occurrence.
- Although it seems like ghosting can happen at any time, there can be some big flags that someone is about to ghost you.
- If someone is becoming more distant and canceling plans, these could be signs they’re about to bow out of your life.
There are a lot of ways you can be terrible to someone when you break up with them, but one increasingly common and particularly cruel way is to not break up with them at all, but to disappear from their life. It’s called ghosting.
For those who haven’t experienced it or are unfamiliar with the term, it basically means you stop having any form of contact with the person you were dating, talking to, or even living with.
Although in some cases there may not be any clear-cut signs you’re about to be ghosted (aka emotionally abandoned), there are some warning signs.
INSIDER asked relationship experts for a few clues you can look out for the next time you’re worried someone is about to slide on out of your life.
They cancel plans, often with no reschedule date.
If someone is planning on ghosting you, they may still want to keep you on the line a bit. They may make plans with you and then at the last second, they’ll cancel.
“A person often cancels the last minute, ‘I’m sorry for the short notice but I can’t make it tonight. Maybe next week will be better. I’ll let you know,'” relationship and divorce therapist Karolina Pasko told INSIDER.
Although people get busy and an occasional cancellation isn’t the end of the world, if they’re not giving you a plan to reschedule, it’s a sign they’re going to stop talking to you soon.
They go dark on social media.
Someone may still be talking to you via text, but if all of the sudden they’ve blocked you, unfriended you, or stopped interacting with you on social media then that should be a major red flag, Plenty of Fish‘s dating expert Kate MacLean told INSIDER.
They’re showing you that they don’t want any social media trace of your interactions and they’re also knocking out one form of communication before they stop talking to you for good.
You don’t have any friends in common — and you haven’t met each other’s friends.
It’s natural on your first few dates for it to just be the two of you, but if after a while they refuse to meet your friends or have you meet theirs, it could be a sign that they want to be able to disappear without a trace.
“One thing to take into account is if you have friends in common. If you don’t, then they have no one to be held accountable to and may be more inclined to disappear,” matchmaker and CEO of the VIP matchmaking service of Platinum Poire, Rori Sassoon told INSIDER.
They start taking a long time to get back to you.
Experts told us that one of the biggest signs that a person may be getting ready to ghost you is taking awhile to get back to you. Maybe you were used to getting a text every day from them, but now you find yourself waiting a week for a text. They’re probably testing to see when they’ll be able to stop talking to you completely.
“You have reached out on multiple occasions to ask what’s going on, only to receive radio silence for up to a week, if not longer, until they text you back when it’s convenient for them,” MacLean said. “It’s as though the person you’ve been dating for the last month is a figment of your own imagination.”
They don’t have too much to say when you do talk.
Even if someone isn’t waiting a week to text you, if you find that getting a conversation out of them is all of the sudden very difficult, that’s not a good sign.
“The person doesn’t have much to say when you do talk, a lot of awkward silences or one to two word responses on texts,” single life expert and author of the blog “Urban Spinster” Sadia Sanders told INSIDER.
If you’re getting two word texts from them when you’re sending paragraphs, that person is probably about to ghost.
In all of these cases, you may be saying to yourself that “well, this person is just busy!” or “they have a very important life as a teacher/astronaut/model that these experts know nothing about!” Although that may be true (it’s probably not), the fact is that when you care about someone, you make the time to see them and talk to them. Plain and simple.
If you have to beg someone to interact with you and are truly worried they’re about to walk out of your life, you should probably let them. Don’t settle for being with someone who wants to be with you only on their terms.