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Why ghosting hurts so much, according to a therapist

Insider
Insider
 2022-01-26

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  • Getting ghosted, when a love interest suddenly stops all communication without an explanation, is common in online dating.
  • According to therapists, ghosting can hurt so much because it's human nature to assume we did something to deserve the silence.
  • Self-esteem and the potential you saw in the relationship can impact how much it hurts to get ghosted.

When you've been hitting it off with a new dating app match and they ghost you after a seemingly great streak of dates, the experience can shatter your self-esteem .

But you shouldn't feel guilty about the emotional turmoil you might feel after a match ghosts you, or suddenly cuts off communication with no explanation, Darcy Sterling , a New York City-based therapist and host of E! network's "Famously Single," told Insider.

According to Sterling, it's normal to assume you've done something wrong when a love interest disappears without explanation.

"When someone gets ghosted, they can feel like they were disposable or even just a placeholder. Since there is no conversation happening with the other person, they are stuck wondering and assuming why they would ghost you," Sterling told Insider.

Self-esteem can play a role in how much ghosting hurts

According to Sterling, the length of a romance doesn't define how much it will hurt to get ghosted.

Rather, it's the potential a person sees in a connection, and their own self-esteem, that determines how much a ghosting experience will sting.

If a person who has struggled with their self-esteem in past relationships gets ghosted, for example, they could have more trouble getting over the experience than someone with higher self-esteem, Tribeca Therapy therapist Kelly Scott previously told Insider.

"It can lead someone down a rabbit hole of questioning their own worth," Sterling said.

When someone ghosts you, they're protecting their feelings, not yours

If you've struggled with ghosting, Sterling said to remember your love interest's sudden disappearance has nothing to do with you.

According to Sterling, people often view ghosting as a way to protect another's feelings because they assume honesty will hurt more than silence. In reality, that's not the case.

"At the end of the day, it's actually not the person's feelings someone is trying to safeguard by ghosting them. It's their own discomfort. There's no bypassing discomfort when you're dealing with relationships," said Sterling.

To rebound from a ghost, Sterling said to focus on speaking with loved ones you trust and focus on your personal growth.

"You do not need an apology to heal," she said.

Read the original article on Insider

Comments / 5

scooterrooter
01-30

I've ghosted ppl several times. good ppl I really wanted to pursue relationships with. it was because I was mentally and emotionally going through something.

Reply
4
Lowell Wheaton
01-31

🤔Sometimes people aren't ghosting at all.Have y'all ever considered that they may be on the autism spectrum such as myself😎

Reply
2

Comments / 0