How to find closure after being ghosted

Ghosting sucks – we asked a clairvoyant, grief expert and ChaptGPT how to heal and move on

Hero image in post
photo: A Ghost Story, 2017, A24
Hero image in post
photo: A Ghost Story, 2017, A24

Ghosting sucks – we asked a clairvoyant, grief expert and ChaptGPT how to heal and move on

By Sophie Lou Wilson06 Dec 2023
8 mins read time
8 mins read time

The holidays are round the corner, but you can forget about the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. The ghost you should really be worrying about is the situationship you dated for three months before they disappeared without a word like cold breath in the winter air. Perhaps you’re worried about seeing them in your hometown or at a friend’s Christmas party. Maybe they’ll try and reconnect after months of radio silence just because the festive season involves a lot of alcohol and ruminating and feeling lonely.

Getting ghosted by a situationship can sometimes hurt more than breaking up with a long term partner. This is partly due to the lack of closure which adds confusion to the feelings of hurt and rejection that come with a breakup. According to Headspace clinical psychologist and mental health expert Dr. Sophie Mort, “Ghosting in short term relationships or situationship may on occasion hurt more because more often than not, early in relationships we have more intense feelings and are projecting our hopes for the future onto the people we date. When the relationship suddenly and abruptly ends without warning or explanation, there is a huge sense of loss, uncertainty and rejection.”

Getting ghosted robs you of closure from the person who ghosted you, but ghosting is a form of closure in itself. Would you really want to be with someone with such little empathy and poor communication skills anyway? Besides, there are other ways to find that sense of closure you might crave. So, we asked a clairvoyant (someone who speaks to ghosts), a grief expert, a relationships coach, a psychologist, Reddit (where all the best relationship advice is, obvs) and ChatGPT how to find closure after being ghosted, from how to look after yourself and move forwards to whether you should ever try to reconnect.

Write a letter to process your feelings

"I am clairvoyant so I see spirits and I am able to hear them by way of tapping into their consciousness and thoughts. I give a voice to the spirit world and in some ways bring them closure. Being ghosted can be like grieving someone so you should take care of yourself and know it is a day by day process of healing. Reaching out can do more harm than good. There has already been rejection so you are setting yourself up for that over and over. One way of releasing is to write a letter to the person and really get all your thoughts and feelings out. You do not send the letter. It's part of your healing process." TJ Higgs, Clairvoyant

Text a friend saying what you would want to say to your ghoster

You could also try it via text "One thing that I’ve found helpful is texting a friend all of the things you wish you could say to the ghoster - get the feelings out while having someone empathize with the hurt it caused." Rebecca Feinglos, Grief Expert and Founder of Grieve Leave

Acknowledge your grief

"It can be so painful and confusing when someone you were dating suddenly disappears without explanation. First things, first: Let’s name that we feel grief when we get ghosted. Take time to sit with the grief and validate that you have experienced a real loss, even if it was a new relationship, or it was undefined. Getting ghosted can hurt our sense of self-worth, or make us obsess over what we think we may have done wrong. But try not to fall down that spiral of shame and self-blame: chances are that this person's avoidance speaks more to their own issues than anything you did. Ghosting is often rooted in fear - the ghoster is unable to confront the situation directly because they’re scared about how you’ll react, scared of having to face your feelings, and are uncomfortable facing their own. It’s not the best way to treat someone. You deserve so much more than someone disappearing without a trace." Rebecca Feinglos, Grief Expert and Founder of Grieve Leave

Practice self-care

"Surround yourself with supportive people, try out outlets like writing to process how you’re feeling, engage in some physical activity to release anger or pain, and small acts of self-care. As hard as it is, I would not recommend trying to contact the person who ghosted you. Since the ghoster has chosen not to communicate, the closure has to come from you – from within. Give yourself permission to fully feel how you feel. That might look like crying, talking with trusted friends who validate how hurtful ghosting is, journaling everything you wish you could say to the ghoster, engaging in activities like exercise or art to channel the feelings, and creating your own rituals around grieving the end of the relationship." Rebecca Feinglos, Grief Expert and Founder of Grieve Leave

Remember it's a blessing in disguise

"If you've been ghosted by someone you were dating it can feel like an absolute nightmare, but it is very important to remember that as an individual you're not alone. The truth is a lot of people have a cowardice approach in breaking things off and instead of telling you they don't see things working, they just run away. First and foremost you have to take care of yourself and your emotions. Allowing yourself to feel your emotions, but also try not to dwell on it too much. This is a blessing in disguise. You can't have a long term commitment with someone that lacks emotional maturity and struggles to have difficult conversations which we all have to have sometimes. It is hurtful but you need to date someone who shows you respect and consideration no matter how difficult the circumstances may be." Relationships Coach, Nia Williams at Miss Date Doctor

Work on personal development and improving your emotional intelligence

"Personal development and improving your relationship intelligence and emotional intelligence can make you feel so much better because you can understand your core values and emotional needs better and also have a better understanding of how to understand the red and green flags for future dates. Finding closure by yourself means delving deep into introspection and reflecting on what you have learned and what you can do better next time and it can feel so powerful when you feel like the situation has helped you evolve." Relationships Coach, Nia Williams at Miss Date Doctor

You can reach out if you want to

"It's essential to recognise that being ghosted can be emotionally painful. Whether to reach out for closure depends on your emotional readiness. If you feel it might help you find peace, consider sending a polite, non-confrontational message. However, be prepared for the possibility of no response. Ghosting often occurs when the person who ghosts wants to avoid dealing with confrontation, difficult conversations and/or someone else's feelings. Therefore, they may not face your closure message either - this isn’t always the case, so if you want to reach out, that's ok. You might want to read about the reasons people ghost so that you recognise this likely tells you more about the person who does this (e.g that they may avoid uncomfortable conversations), rather than who you are as a person in the dating world." Dr. Sophie Mort, Clinical Psychologist and Mental Health Expert at Headspace

Try meditating to manage your emotions

"If you don’t know where to start with managing your emotions, apps such as Headspace have brilliant courses you can start right now. In particular I would recommend ‘Healing After A Break-up” and ‘Self-Compassion’." Dr. Sophie Mort, Clinical Psychologist and Mental Health Expert at Headspace

Learn to live without closure, let it go

"There really is no such thing as closure on anything. It’s a feel good thing but anyone who has suffered through a trauma will never quite feel they have all their questions answered and that everything makes sense. You need to be able to close the door and move forward without that satisfaction. That is what rewards you in the long run… the ability to let go of whatever made you wonder about yourself, made you upset and left you feeling hallow. For every minute you spend suffering rewards the person who hurt you. It’s entirely up to you… so reward yourself by moving face-forward into a much brighter future." Reddit r/ghosting

And if you want to ignore human advice and turn to the machines for answers about complex emotional relationships, here's what ChatGPT had to say in 10 succinct bullet points:

"Experiencing ghosting can be incredibly hurtful and confusing. It can leave you feeling rejected and wondering what went wrong. Finding closure after being ghosted can be challenging, but it's essential for your emotional well-being. Here are some steps to help you navigate through this difficult situation:

  1. Allow Yourself to Feel
  2. Reach Out (Once)
  3. Avoid Blaming Yourself
  4. Talk to Friends and Family
  5. Focus on Self-Care
  6. Consider Professional Help
  7. Learn and Grow
  8. Avoid Reopening Wounds
  9. Be Open to New Relationships
  10. Forgive and Let Go

Remember, finding closure is a personal journey, and it might take time. Be patient with yourself and trust that, with time and self-compassion, you will heal and move on from this experience." ChatGPT