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Dated a few ghosts lately?

You tentatively step out of the battlefield of separation, possibly months or years later thinking maybe it’s time to get back out there to find love again.

Recovery and healing have been a long slow process as you may have felt abandoned, betrayed or unappreciated. Your self-worth plummeted as you questioned what you could have done to have prevented the separation occurring. You may have been thinking there must have been something wrong with you as the harsh words lashed out at you as they left to placate their own guilt sits heavy on your heart. Do you take the chance to be rejected again? Do you think you could endure such hurt and pain to be made to feel unlovable again?

You want to be brave, courageous and believe you deserve happiness, so you put yourself out there on a dating app awaiting the opportunity to emotionally connect again. The hope of romance, love and companionship sends your heart aflutter as soon as likes, winks, or kisses start arriving in your inbox.

You start chatting online with someone and every time your phone pings that a new message from a prospective date arrives you almost dive across the room somersaulting to pick up your phone to read the message of hope. There maybe a good connection with someone that you start messaging with every night and actually can’t wait to get home from work to connect with your new ‘virtual companion’. You feel like a teenager again like sending love notes across the desk which brings a smile to your face and a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart. You start to think you might have found the ‘one’ and imagine going on dates and having a loving relationship………then suddenly they stop messaging……you panic. What did you do wrong? you re-read the reams of messages to see what they may have taken offense to or what your messages may have revealed about yourself which might have turned them off you. You send a message asking how they are, but it is met with silence……. over the following days you feel low, sad, disappointed and possibly think you will never meet someone special.

You are unaware that you have been ghosted! You pluck up the courage to try again!

The next person is so much better and they progress to talking to you on the phone. The euphoric feeling returns and you talk to each other nightly and the connection grows. You may even plan meeting up but once again they go missing in action, stop calling, stop messaging. This torturous cat and mouse game is an emotional rollercoaster and you may be annoyed with yourself for letting your guard down and letting someone in.

You are unaware that you have been ghosted! You pluck up the courage to try again!

Someone else connects with you and is keen to meet up after a couple of calls on the phone professing face to face is the only way to be sure if there is a true connection, so you arrange a date. You may be partly nervous and partly excited as you may not have dated in years. You get dressed up and meet up for a coffee or a drink to see if there is any chemistry. You feel a spark and the conversation flows making you feel this may be the one. At the end of the night, you both exclaim you had a nice time and must do it again. You go home so happy and excited that you have found someone you may have a future with, even letting your friends know how the night went. The next day you don’t hear from the date and send them a message saying what a lovely night you had…….no response……you check your phone throughout the day and evening hoping for a reply but nothing.

You are unaware that you have been ghosted!

Being ghosted can make you feel rejected, disrespected and unwanted bringing back similar painful emotions from your relationship breakup from your ex.

Guess what……it isn’t about you!

Ghosting has become quite common in our disposable society, discarding people without explanation abruptly ceasing communication. This can not only trigger past relationship breakup emotions but also trigger childhood traumas of abandonment and emotional neglect.

There are many reasons why people ghost others. They could;

1. be avoiding confrontation and perceived conflict they may endure by telling you they don’t think it will work.

2. feel they don’t want to witness hurting you, so slip away silently.

3. be emotionally unavailable and feel your intensity for a relationship scares them off.

4. feel their own inadequacies on not being able to meet your needs

5. have experienced their boundaries repeatedly violated.

The key is to –

1. know your worth and any perceived rejection may be a lucky escape for you concluding you deserve better

2. Understand you may be seeking a serious relationship whilst others may want more of a casual relationship as they are not ready for any commitment

3. talk to your friends about it as they usually see red flags before you do

4. journal about your experience, how it made you feel and what you learned from it

So, always know you are perfect for someone and not everyone is perfect for you.

Be confident, own your power and when ghosted click your fingers and say ‘NEXT’

Author – Cheryl Duffy

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