I ghosted a few times. I don’t regret a single one.
Mind you, this comes from someone who actually values respect, honesty, and loyalty. I’m genuinely a nice person.
I never ghosted out of cowardice, laziness, or anger. I never ghosted to hurt the other person.
However, if you have ghosted someone, you may regret it. You may have just realized it was the wrong decision, and feel sorry about the whole situation.
So what do you do, how and when do you reach out? Should you even try to reconnect with the person you’ve ghosted?
It’s not always guaranteed they will reply to your texts, or want to meet again (after the ghosting phase).
But if you reach out the right way, they’ll probably understand. Keep reading…
Do ghosters regret ghosting?
In this forum poll, users were asked if they ever regretted ghosting someone.
The result: 32 percent said they did, while the remaining 68 percent answered “no”. That’s two thirds of users saying they never regretted ghosting.
Now, the total voters were only 81. So it doesn’t necessarily reflect the truth in general.
But if you read the following comments on the forum, or posts on the same subject on Reddit, or if you just think of ghosters you’ve met yourself, then it does seem to be fairly accurate.
It does seem that most people who ghost don’t actually regret their decision.
And like I said, I fall into this category. There were always plenty of signs I was going to ghost anyway, so I’m not sure it even counted as ghosting. But still.
Is ghosting immature?
In a previous post I explained that blocking people can be considered immature only in two situations:
- When you block someone to avoid criticism, or to run away from issues or challenges you are supposed to deal with
- When you block someone to punish them, to make them feel bad on purpose, e.g. to make them feel guilty
And I believe the same applies to ghosting. Blocking and ghosting are basically the same thing anyway.
Running away from problems, lacking communication skills, being too emotionally fragile — these are definitely a sign of immaturity, and sometimes ghosting is the result of that.
But let’s say you’re ghosting someone because they are an actual threat to your mental health, because they are toxic people who are manipulative or controlling.
Obviously, that’s a different story. So it’s not like ghosting is always immature, or wrong. It just depends on the situation.
In an ideal world, in theory, I guess you would never actually need to ghost anyone. In practice, you probably do.
If you regret ghosting, do this…
1. Explain why
First of all, take the time to think of all the reasons why you ghosted the other person.
Perhaps it was nothing personal. Perhaps you were just going through a lot and didn’t have the time or the energy for a new relationship or friendship.
And then ghosted, impulsively and without too much thought. But although ghosting was wrong, you didn’t necessarily have bad intentions.
Did you ghost because you felt overwhelmed, because of impatience, anger, disappointment? Was it just a really stupid decision?
Whatever the reasons were — explain them to the person you have ghosted. Make sure they are aware. They may already have an idea, but they can’t read your mind.
Apologize. Say sorry. Even if at the time you didn’t mean to hurt the other person, chances are your behavior caused them pain and/or confusion.
Even when the ghoster gives plenty of warning signs, the person who is ghosted may not expect that. Things you don’t expect usually hurt the most.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to write them a letter. There is no need to send a huge text. There is no need to apologize as if you did the most horrible thing ever.
My advice: keep it short and simple. Be spontaneous. Clear, shorter messages usually seem more honest compared to walls of text.
If you do think it’s best to send a longer text or email, go for it. But typically, it’ll be easier and better to keep it simple.
It’s not guaranteed that the other person will want to meet again. It’s not guaranteed they’ll even reply to your texts, for that matter. But if you wish to reconnect, do tell them. Be proactive.
Just like you shouldn’t assume they know the reasons you ghosted them, you shouldn’t assume they’ll know you want to reconnect.
It may be awkward at first, but you never know what may happen if you both decide to see each other again.
How long has it been since you officially ghosted them? Perhaps you have changed, you have grown. Both of you.
Perhaps you now have the maturity to see each other differently, to deal with other issues that might come up in future.
We all make mistakes in life. If you have ghosted someone and regret it, you may have made a mistake. But know that you’re not alone.
The fact that you’re reading this, the fact that you regret doing what you’ve done — that’s actually a sign that you’ve learned a lesson, that you care.
Because to be honest, some people make mistakes and hurt others for years, and they just don’t change. Nor do they ever regret what they did in the past.
Accept responsibility. Learn the lesson. If you ghosted out of selfishness, try to be more aware of others and their needs.
But that’s it. Don’t agonize over it. Don’t punish yourself. You may have made a mistake, but that only makes you human.