The Anti-Ghosting Protocol

I've seen a bunch of questions here on GAG, a lot of them are people wondering why someone they've been talking to stopped responding suddenly and completely. That is usually attributed to the unfortunate behavior of ghosting. Ghosting can be annoying or hurtful, but what is the best thing to do in order to avoid being ghosted?

Personally, I have developed a protocol that has worked relatively well so far. Let's say you're talking to someone and you hit it off. You've spoken a few times and texted very frequently over the last month or so. However, this individual suddenly stopped responding to your texts. Here are the steps in a situation where you are definitely being ghosted.

When you're being ghosted by a guy, these are some other alternatives to what I would recommend.

Day 1 - 3: Calls and Texts Unanswered

As usual, after coming back home from work, you called your ghosting counterpart. There was no answer, so you sent a text, "Hey! How was your day? Call me whenever you're free." The call never comes, and your text isn't answered. The next day, you send a similar text asking how they're doing, and then the third day, you also send a text (not calling though). Still, you get no answer. That's when you start to wonder: Are they OK? Are they ignoring me? Was it something I said? You start to wonder what happened.

The reason why you should give someone at least a couple of days before assuming that they are ghosting you is that they may have an extenuating circumstance.

Who is this "Diary" person that everyone keeps writing to?

Day 3 - Week 2: Sit and Wait

After your third attempt of communication on the 3rd day, if you still don't get a reply, the next thing you should do is stop trying to communicate. What's the point of sending texts and calling constantly for days on end to a working number and still getting no response. Whether the person you're trying to contact is actively ignoring you, or is in a persistent vegetative state in some hospital, calling constantly will accomplish nothing. It is best to just let it go.

At this stage, there are 2 things to consider: First, it's giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Second, just stop asking the questions. Second, prepare yourself to "break it off" so to speak. You may be contacted by the person potentially ghosting you explaining why they weren't able to communicate with you. You might not.

The 2 week time period is only relative. Do you want to wait just 1 week or a whole month? Just wait at least a few days before moving to the next stage.

Assuming that the lack of communication was due to intentional ghosting, as demonstrated by this d'Artagnan wannabe, you shouldn't care for someone like that.

Week 2 and Beyond: Moving On

You're done. Consider this a breakup. Stop waiting, and do not try to reach out anymore. Just move on. If you do get a reply beyond the waiting period, you have the option of responding back or ignoring them. This is when your personality and personal judgment play a very big role.

If I was being ghosted, and I get a response almost a month later, even though I moved on and actually started a serious relationship, I would answer the phone or respond back promptly and officially end it. I would not, and would not advise, resorting to anger or name-calling. The high road is the best road.

This is what you should not do or say. Keep it classy, for your sake.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Ghosting is so hurtful especially when you think you've finally found someone who you could start something nice with. It just brings anxiety and doubt about the next person cause you're too worried they will do the same. I probably cry and just not talk to anyone for a long time lol

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Most Helpful Guy

  • I never bother waiting after 2 attempts, I don’t get upset anymore either, I figure every date that even went well I will still be ghosted so I don’t get disappointed since I’m right every time, if they do get back to me and want to see me then I’m in shock and happy. It’s the attitude I’ve been using lately and keeps me from getting annoyed at women

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    • I like your attitude, but it's unfortunate that this behavior is so prevalent. It's possible that it's either you're dating the wrong women, or ghosting is extremely prevalent in the local culture where you are; or both.

    • Seems to happen to women just as much, it’s like no one wants to be the one saying that they are not interested

Join the discussion

What Girls Said 14

  • Ghosting is not cool and for wimps. Toying with someone's heart is cruel. Be upfront with the person. If it's not working out, say so. Don't take the coward's way out.

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  • Wow, good Take and great tips! I have a rule of two though. I will send a text or call to say hi. If he doesn't respond, I'll send a, "Hey, how've you been?" If I still don't hear anything back from him, I don't contact him again. After 2 weeks I will delete his phone number because nobody is so busy that they can't at least text a hello. It often seems to happen that after 2 months I will hear from them again and that is when I will block their number because 100% of the time, they're only contacting me because things with option A, a woman they thought was better than me fell through or ended badly.

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  • Yeah, ghosting is hurtful. It’s still less hurtful then telling someone that you don’t like them because they’re weird and/or creepy.

    I blocked a guy’s number because we went on two dates and he talked about himself the whole time. I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Before anyone asks, I agreed to the second date because I figured he may have just been nervous on the first date... no. He just talked and talked and talked about nothing but himself. But somehow, despite not knowing anything at all about me, he was convinced that he loved me. I got a check-in “are you dead/okay?” text from my roommate and he was super into my ringtone. Oh, and he got incredibly drunk.

    All in all, bad date. Didn’t want to get into telling him why I didn’t want to see him again. Didn’t think any of my words would actually have any impact.

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  • If someone ghosts you they maybe just lost interest even tho it hurts but thats how reality is unfortunately. That's why I think when you are in thw tecting phase with someone its important to try as best bot to get attached. As now a days peoples feelings and ideas change just as much as you change your underwear. Its pretty pathetic that someone doesn't have the balls to just say to someone that they are not interested in them or whatever but yeah. I dont think there is any way of avoiding being ghosted as it is on HOW interested the other person is with you. If someone is clingy and wants to text all the time and doesn't give space people may ghost on them specially when they have no 'loyalties' yet towards them. I guess I don't know

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  • Good Take!

    Ghosting seems to be the trend with a lot of people. If someone ghosts me, i cut all means of contact, and move on.

    . I only ghost people who are manipulative or trying to play me. Or if they are liars and insincere. I gain control over them by ignoring them and cutting them off

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  • lmao xx

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  • I just clicked cause they were a pics of a ghost like my profil pics XD

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  • All depends on the situation. If the guy is crazy obsessive or weird, ghosting might be the right way to do it. In my own expierence, I told the guy I wanted to stay friends, and it was light chatting for a day before he began to hardcore flirt again even though I didn’t want it. So, i ghosted.

    On the otherhand, if the guy is normal and is just simply interested in you, telling him you’d rather stay friends is a better choice than ghosting.

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    • You’re basically looking for an asshole who will treat you like toilet paper. Have fun 👍🏽

  • Ghosting sucks. I hate when people do this. How hard is it to say. Not interested, thanks. And be done with it? Either way you're still the bad guy, yes. But you at least didn't leave someone hanging for days or weeks.

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  • interesting

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  • Will probably never stop

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  • give up on the male gender? feeemmmmennnnnnist!

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  • Interesting Take

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  • Good analysis

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What Guys Said 22

  • There's no protocol or rule book for these, things every situation is different. Obviously you've got to stop contacting them at some point, you can't text them every single day for the rest of your life. Personally, I don't contact them at all if they've ignored ONE of my texts.

    It's like a game of tennis. I hit the ball to them, they've got the ball, I can't keep hitting balls to them, I've got to wait for them to hit the ball back to me before I can hit it again.

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  • I totally agree with your model - If fairly regular contact dries up, have two grace periods as you say 0 to 3 days if they contact great, 3 days to two weeks yes some explanation would be appreciated after 2 weeks if they contact a full explanation is required with good possibility they will be rebuffed and lastly no contact yes move on to someone who cares about you, no point in chasing eventual hurt.

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  • This “ghosting” thing (better name required, like…IDK, ignoring?) should be punishable by death. Here is the thing. This happen to me countless times, with people, who I didn’t wanted to go to serious relationship with. We’re just friends, so I thought. But probably not. Suddenly, out of nothing, full ignoring. Posting everywhere wasn’t changed. This behavior should be considered as absolute worst. People should just say “hey, I don’t want to talk to you anymore” or some variant. With providing some reason why (common curtesy, which everyone would do, even though it would be optional).
    Nobody never teaches you how to take it when you’re ignored, yet it’s so critical. Now, I have similar protocol to yours actually. And I have this one role: if you do this to me, I don’t care anymore. Shit just hit the fan and if it comes to it, you’ll see the worst from me. If I’m not worth to simple “termination text” to you, then you are also not worth…just basic things.
    Sadly, this protocol has been in place more recently, and there were on incidents, where this would be active.

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    • Calm down, Eliot Roger.

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    • I don’t know why you think it’s funny to joke about killing women.

    • @Astoriana Aaaand you still don't get the point. Oh boy. How it's like to be you? Aaah, never mind, you live your life, there is no perspective.
      OK. Read carefully, please. It’s not about sex. It’s about one person deciding out of the blue to ignore another. OK? You feel me?
      Now, if I explicitly and directly say to someone, that I don’t think it’s working out and I will end the communication, then following ignore state is legit.
      I think you have misconceptions in your head and think, that I want something, what I actually don’t want.

  • Me when I turned 20, she suddenly quits texting. We've had sex 3 nights in a row, made out in clubs, everything seemed great... then nothing. I text and text... WHAT'S WRONG? WHAT DID I DO? et cetera...

    I finally get a text... basically it's not you... it's me.

    I'm like well whatever then and move on with my life.

    1 week later a friend has me meet a future prospect for our fraternity (not college), he's cool, and I accept him into the group. He's getting married tomorrow and wants me to meet his fiance...

    Imagine my shock... but it made sense and I played it cool.

    Now here I am in my 30's describing that experience via internet in hopes that just one dumb kid will receive my message... if you get ghosted, there is a reason you're getting ghosted.

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    • I not so much as hit the enter button when I realized I've ghosted more women than imaginable compared to being ghosted myself. Yeah, I ghosted for reasons... I usually had 3 long term relationships going on at one time and other girls were just for fun... I didn't have time for them.

      My preferable breakup method... if I found myself face to face again, I could always make up a lost phone excuse and possibly fuck again if I wanted to. Sometimes I just didn't feel like explaining why I don't have time to talk.

      So like I said... there's a reason you're getting ghosted my dudes and chicks... there's always a reason. Don't get butt hurt at that fact.

    • 3 long term trelationships going on at one time? Did they accept eachother or were they affairs. And whats your game to get girls, or are you just rich

    • @DonRomeo Two knew about each other... the 3rd was just extra and turned out to be somebodies fiance. It had nothing to do with money and more about where I lived. In Japan, the girls that decide they want a man that fits a description pretty much throw themselves your way if you're a match to that description... I was just taking advantage of that.

      Basically if she's hell bent on having a black boyfriend, it's not going to happen... just a gaijin boyfriend... well, I'd make promises I didn't need to keep.

  • If your partner isn't responding to you then assume there's a reason. And no, you cannot prevent it - they're either there or they're not.

    I find too many rely on electronic communications - either testing or some kind of messaging media. The problem is you get no emotion and zero body language so at least half of what's being communicated is lost. Which leads to misunderstanding and confusion.
    You simply cannot forge a relationship with someone by texting - it's virtually impossible, but so many try to anyway. FAIL!

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    • Yes I agree, but girls unfortunately tend to use digital technology as a shield between them and guys. Its a major industry now - meeting up became phonecalls. Calls became texts. Texts became Facebook messages (ugh). Facebook messages became Snapchats. So we've gone from going for a drink with a girl, to watching a picture of a cocktail for a few seconds. Digital. I hate it.

    • @DonRomeo - Sure, I get it, but you just don't HAVE to go along with it.
      And never forget that YOU ARE THE PRIZE!

  • This image has it wrong. It's the female gender that needs to be given up on.
    cf.girlsaskguys.com/.../...d-b7c5-45e84cdf3a16.jpg
    Also I have already become an unofficial saint.

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    • Ancient people called it celibacy.
      Modern people call it MGTOW.
      best of luck bro, i am also considering going celibate forever. I'm done with female gender and their manipulation and deceiving.
      Monk mode on.

  • I've ghosted before, but it was only out of necessity I assure you. I broke up with my ex and sat down and explained to her that I really just want to be single right now. But she kept texting me and she even started to send me things in the mail. She was obsessed. So I texted her I need some space (She should get the hint now... right?) Nope, she gave me a few days and started texting me again. So I blocked her number so she could move on.

    She hated me for it. But at least I had the courage to block her, knowing I'd be playing the bad guy so she could find someone new to love. It's all about perspective, sure ghosting sucks and I've been ghosted before so I know. But sometimes it's needed as a last resort to get people to move on.

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  • Excellent lol

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  • Actually you can’t avoid it, but you can not care about it... by dating several people at once.

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  • Yea, ghosting sucks, but it is SOO easy. I guess thats why it happens

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  • 1. Show that you are open to communication.
    2. No longer contact them.
    3. In week three date someone else.

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  • I learned how to let go a long time ago but this is solid advise. People can definitely benefit from it!
    Good mytake!

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  • Ghosting will never stop. People are afraid to let other people know how they really feel. If you suspect someone Is ghosting you, just move on. That's all you can really do.

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  • Happens so often

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  • Excellent myTake

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  • Or just act like a grown up and keep living your life.

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  • just send idiot away

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  • How do you feel about being ghosted by someone who ghosted not just you but everyone they know because they're depressed? Would you want to still be friends later when they're better?

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  • Ok, I've read all this... But where's the protocol how not to get ghosted? :D

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  • Ghosted and been ghosted a few times. It's not nice but sometimes it seems like the lesser of two evils

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    • Ghosting is the act of an asshole. People ghost because they don't want to be seen like the jerks that they are. It takes courage to text someone, and politely tell someone that it is no longer working. When you could maintain a friendship. But many today take the easy way out for themselves, and treat people like shit. Ghosting is for cowards!

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    • @Poppykate but you lied to him, no?

    • @Poppykate Very well said Poppykate!! :-)

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