The sad truth is you may never know why that cute guy stopped calling after an awesome third date, or why your best friend from college won’t respond to your attempts to make plans. Accept it and don’t force a confrontation. “It’s a lot worse to not know why someone doesn’t want to be with you than any of the reasons that it could be,” says Wendy Paris, author of the forthcoming book Splitopia. “The not knowing is what makes this an advanced placement recuperation challenge.”
But instead of wondering what you did wrong (or what is wrong with you), psychologist Dr. Randi Gunther says “the real question is: why would you invest in a relationship with someone who is mysterious, unaccountable, and too chicken to tell the truth?” Even if you do get your “ghost” to give you a reason, “explanations are highly likely to be lies or defensive maneuvers,” says Gunther.
“Don’t blame yourself,” Levine says of if you never get your answer. “Entertain the possibility that the decision to leave had more to do with the other person than it did with you. Sometimes people fail to communicate because they are harboring a secret, or they are fearful of the repercussions that might occur if they shared the reasons for the breakup.” Before you let your imagination run wild and your self-esteem nosedive, consider that “It’s not you, it’s me” could actually be true.
3. Learn from the experience.
Don’t kick yourself while you’re down or “make the mistake of thinking that the relationship was a total waste of time,” says Levine. “You shared good memories and hopefully grew from it. It’s prepared you for the next chapter of your life.” Being ghosted actually provides useful information—if you know how to look for it.