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How does a ghosted person feel?

Being ghosted can be a painful and confusing experience. Ghosting is when someone you are dating or in a relationship with suddenly cuts off all communication without explanation. One day they are responding to your texts and making plans, and the next they have disappeared. This leaves the ghosted person full of questions and hurt feelings. In this article we will explore the range of emotions a ghosted person commonly experiences.

Shock and Confusion

When ghosting first happens, the most immediate feeling is typically shock and confusion. You are likely left wondering “what just happened here?” One day your relationship seemed fine, the next your partner has vanished. Their lack of responses makes you question if something is wrong with their phone, or if they are just busy. You may text them repeatedly or call them trying to figure out what is going on.

This confusion can go on for days or even weeks, as you hold out hope it is all just some misunderstanding. As the days of silence turn into weeks though, the reality starts to sink in that you have likely been ghosted. Even once this reality sets in, you are still likely extremely confused as to why it has happened. Without explanation or closure, it is natural to be left feeling very perplexed.


As the confusion fades, it often transitions into embarrassment. You may start to feel ashamed that someone has chosen to just ignore you and cut you out of their life so abruptly. It can be humiliating to realize they have essentially rejected you by stonewalling you without explanation. Even though ghosting says far more about their character than yours, it is normal to start to question yourself. You may wonder if you said or did something that drove them away or turned them off completely. Retracing your steps can lead to feeling ashamed and dwelling on what you could have done differently.


The embarrassment of being ignored can easily morph into feelings of inadequacy. You may take the ghosting as a sign that you were not good enough for them. Since they offered no details or closure, your mind may race imagining all the ways you failed to measure up and pushed them to cut contact. Without a concrete reason for the ghosting, it is natural to start piecing things together in a way that assigns you the blame. This blame leads to doubting yourself and feeling inadequate, unworthy and insufficient. Their silence sends a message that you just were not worth the effort to have a difficult conversation or proper goodbye.


As the reality of the ghosting sets in, many transition from self-blame to directing anger outward. You may start to feel indignation that someone you cared about could be so cowardly as to just ignore you rather than face you to end things properly. Anger often arises due to feeling disrespected and mistreated by their choice to just silently reject you instead of dealing with the situation in a mature way.

This anger can even extend to mutual friends. You may be angry at friends for still being in contact with this person who has treated you so poorly. Feeling isolated in being the only one cut off can fuel the fire of anger that grows from the silence.


Being ghosted can lead to obsessive thoughts as you rumination endlessly on what happened. Without answers, your mind craves understanding and explanation. You may find yourself compulsively checking your phone, rereading old texts, or even driving by their house. Trying to find answers and make sense of it becomes an obsession.

This obsession also stems from the hope that you may still get an apology, explanation or closure if you can just figure out how to reach them. You may send letter style texts or emails laying out all your thoughts and feelings in detail. Even though they never respond, the obsession continues as you are convinced if you just communicate in the “right” way, you will get a response.


At the core of all the other feelings, is a profound sense of loss. No matter how new or casual the relationship was, severing a connection with no explanation is deeply painful. You have lost not only a potential partner, but also lost a confidant, companion, and friend. The loss is amplified by the lack of understanding. A defined breakup or explanation would provide some closure. Ghosting leaves you with no framework for moving forward, stuck in a state of hanging loss.


In the absence of any clarity, it is unfortunately common to land back on blaming yourself. As much anger as you may direct outward initially, that anger eventually fades back inward. Not knowing exactly what went wrong leaves ample opportunity to find fault in your own actions. Rather than accepting that the choice to ghost says more about their flaws than yours, you may get stuck on what you could have done to drive them away. This self-blame and doubt becomes the narrative without any other clarity to go off.

Lingering Attachment

Even after weeks or months of silence, it is normal to still have some lingering attachment. Especially if the relationship was long-term or deeply connected, total detachment does not happen overnight. You may still find yourself missing them, sifting through old memories, or even still hoping to hear from them someday. Letting go completely is challenging when there is no sense of finality or closure. Getting ghosted can make it much harder to move on, as you are denied the chance to process the end in a healthy way.


Being on the receiving end of ghosting can create anxiety about it happening again. It may sow seeds of fear in future dating experiences or relationships. You may hold back emotionally or be on high alert for any signs that you are about to be ghosted again. It creates a distrust that leaves you feeling unable to fully commit. Having your trust violated in such an abrupt, inexplicable way makes it difficult to open yourself back up to that risk.

Damaged Self-Esteem

In a lot of ways, being ghosted can feel like you are being broken up with without knowing why. It can leave you feeling just as rejected and unworthy as an actual breakup, if not more so. At least after an explicit breakup you may gain some insight into what went wrong. The silence of ghosting provides no ability to learn or gain closure. This leaves your self-esteem damaged as you are left believing you were not enough for them in some way, even if you do not know why.


Ultimately, the lack of control or understanding that comes from being ghosted can lead to profound feelings of helplessness. There is nothing you can do to gain answers or cause this person to communicate with you again. There are no magic words that will make them respond or provide closure. At a certain point you have to accept that you have zero power or sway in the situation. The choice to cut you off without explanation is theirs, and there is nothing you can do to change or justify it. Having to surrender your power is difficult and challenging.

Other Impacts

In addition to the emotional impact, being ghosted can take a psychological and physical toll:

Trouble Sleeping

The shock and constant rumination make it extremely difficult to quiet your thoughts and relax into sleep. Lack of sleep leaves you feeling even more emotional and compounds the distress.

Appetite Changes

The sadness can suppress your appetite, while the stress may also manifest in comfort eating. Either way, the ghosting takes a toll on your eating habits.

Decreased Motivation

When you are expending so much mental energy trying to make sense of the situation, it drains your motivation to engage in other tasks. You may lose interest in activities that normally bring you joy.

Withdrawal from Friends

The sadness and embarrassment may lead you to isolate yourself from friends and family. You may avoid talking about it and shut down social invitations.

Difficulty Concentrating

Obsessive rumination makes it extremely challenging to concentrate at work or focus on anything else outside of the ghosting. It dominates mental headspace.

Physical Stress Symptoms

The anxiety of the situation manifests physically through headaches, stomach upset, tight chest, and overall tension. The mental and emotional stress taxes the body.

How to Cope with Being Ghosted

If you have been ghosted, here are some healthy ways to help you process it and move on:

Let Yourself Feel

Bottling up your emotions will only prolong the anguish. Let yourself fully feel and process the grief, anger, confusion, and sadness. Cry it out, vent to friends, write in a journal whatever helps you get the feelings out.

Remove Reminders and Temptations

Delete their number, texts, social media, pictures, gifts – any reminders need to go so you stop obsessing. Also resist urges to try to contact them.

Talk About It

Confide in trusted friends and family who can listen and validate what you are going through. Just be sure to avoid excessive venting to the point of obsessiveness. Choose your sounding board wisely.

Get Outside Support

Therapy is always a great option if you find it difficult to move forward on your own. Having an outside expert provide strategies for processing the loss and boosting self-esteem can help.

Throw Yourself into Self-Care

Make a conscious effort to engage in activities that make you feel good and boost confidence. Socialize with friends, hit the gym, pursue hobbies – anything healthy that serves you.

Focus on The Positives

Remind yourself of your self-worth by listing out all your positive qualities and accomplishments. Seek out affirmation from loved ones as well.

Take the High Road

As hard as it is, avoid any urges to trash talk them or publicly bash. Take the high road and keep your dignity intact.

Know It Says More About Them

Their choice reflects their issues. Likely they avoided a difficult conversation out of their own cowardice, immaturity, or lack of emotional intelligence.

Allow Time to Heal

There is no perfect amount of time to “get over it.” Go at your own pace and know you will feel better eventually. Let it become a distant memory rather than an open wound.

Forgive Yourself

Forgive yourself for any mistakes you think you may have made. You are only human. Ultimately it was their choice to handle it via ghosting.

Set Healthy Boundaries Moving Forward

In future relationships, make your expectations clear around communication and how to handle conflicts or breakups. Do not accept ghosting from others.


Being ghosted can certainly be traumatic and leave you with lingering feelings of loss even after moving forward. While ghosting unfortunately remains a common dating phenomenon, there are ways to heal and regain your self-confidence after. Seeking support, allowing yourself to fully process the emotions, and focusing inward on self-care can all help lessen the blow. While ghosters may be avoiding a difficult conversation, their choice reflects a flaw in their character, not yours. With time, proper self-care and boundaries, you can absolutely overcome the sting of being ghosted and pursue healthier relationships.