How long does it take before it's ghosting?
There's not a set amount of time it takes before it's considered ghosting, and it doesn't matter how long you've known the person. If they stop communicating with you completely without a word despite your follow-ups, it's ghosting.
As far as how long to wait before moving on and assuming the ghost is officially gone, it depends. "If it is someone you recently met, it can be two weeks before it's time to move on. If it's a longer relationship, it ranges up to a month," says Douglas. "It truly depends on the circumstances around what was occurring before the ghosting occurred. Sometimes people just need space, and it's up to your comfort level of the time frame you want to allow for space."
Do people ever come back after ghosting?
Yes, people can sometimes come back after ghosting. This is sometimes referred to as getting zombied, i.e., someone first ghosts you but then reappears out of nowhere as if nothing happened.
Even if a person does come back after ghosting, it's important to get clarity as to why they disappeared and why they're suddenly coming back before you decide whether to let them back into your life. They may have just honestly been busy at the time of their disappearance and earnestly want to give it another go dating you, or they could just be bored and lonely and using you to fill the time—with all intentions of ghosting you again later.
Should I reach out to the person who ghosted me?
You absolutely can! If the person who ghosted you is someone you're legitimately interested in or whose disappearance has really hurt you, you can reach out to them to ask what's going on. They may respond and give you a good explanation for their behavior, and if they're genuinely interested in you, you may even be able to pick the relationship back up.
"If you ghosted because of a personal reason that you just didn't know how to address with the other person, you can try to open the conversation again and let them know what happened," says Battle. "Starting from a place of honesty and vulnerability could help reanimate a previously ghosted connection."
However, there's also a chance that you reach out to the person who ghosted you, and they continue to be unresponsive. If nothing else, that will tell you all you need to know about how that person really feels about you.
Is ghosting abuse?
"Ghosting can certainly be emotionally abusive in nature," Manly says. "Especially if the relationship was deeply connective or promises were made, the person who was ghosted can certainly suffer from significant anxiety and depression related to the ghosting incident."
Is ghosting ever OK?
Yes, ghosting is OK in situations where you're concerned about the other person lashing out at you for rejecting them. "In cases where people are jerks to you, cross your boundaries in some way, or display characteristics that feel unsafe for you to engage with them again, ghosting might be the best option," Battle says.