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Ghosted after a one-night stand? 4 ways to cope and move on

Being ghosted happens more often than you might think, and it's not the end of the world. Learn four ways to move on fast.

Nov 17, 2021 PUBLISHED

Some people engage in sex quickly hoping it will lead to a relationship. However, this isn't usually the case, and most people are left with a feeling of regret and disappointment. 

Ghosting happens when someone—usually a person you have been talking to or dating—suddenly disappears from your life without a trace. Although this could happen at any point in a relationship, it is much more common at the early stages–including after a one-night stand.

Being ghosted can be extremely difficult to handle, especially when you were hoping for more than just a one-night stand. Maybe you thought there was a connection. Better yet, what if they showed you the kind of affection and attention that you have been craving?

Luckily, getting ghosted doesn’t have to be the end of the world. 

Using online dating apps almost guarantees that at some point, someone you like will ghost you. In fact, according to a recent study, it’s estimated that between 13-23% of U.S. adults have been ghosted. 

If you approach online dating with a realistic mindset, you may save yourself some heartache. Reminding yourself that ghosting happens to lots of people, not just you can also make it feel less personal. 

It also shouldn't leave you feeling powerless or unwanted. Today, we take a comprehensive look at the top reasons for ghosting and how to cope with it.

ghosting stats

Top reasons people get ghosted

High expectations

First impressions matter in every aspect of your life, especially dating. Therefore, it's important to let out the best version of yourself. Ensure you set reasonable expectations, especially on the first few dates. Do not start planning for a family or picking baby names just yet.

People ghost because they don't know how to handle their inability to communicate. Setting high expectations will leave the second party feeling inadequate. Therefore, they will ghost you due to the fear of conflict.

Too clingy or desperate

Most people run for the hills when a person acts desperate and needy. This is especially true in the early stages of a potential relationship. 

For instance, did you message them immediately following the one-night stand? Bombarding someone with a series of text messages too soon is never a good look. It comes across poorly when it seems like you drop everything for someone new. Be aloof and mysterious. 

Little habits that act as turn offs

Some little habits–despite being relatively small–can be a huge turnoff. For example, how someone eats their food or talks to the waiter. Sometimes, it might be the way someone smells or their hygiene habits. Regardless of what it is, these little habits can be a deal-breaker.

Most people aren't aware they exhibit some of these little habits. Therefore, it can be rather difficult to adjust accordingly before a date. An excellent thing to do is to maintain your manners and act naturally.

Things are moving too fast

What do you want from a potential partner? A one-night stand or a long-lasting relationship? Usually, those looking for a long-term relationship will take things slowly. However, those who want a  quick fling or one-night stand will be looking to get hot and heavy as soon as possible. 

Do not start the foundation of a long-lasting relationship by getting into bed. You must put in some effort to know the other party when looking for a deeper connection. Work on building trust before engaging in sex.

A Monarch by SimplePractice illustration of a woman wearing a white top and blue pants sitting with her arm around a girl in an orange shirt hugging her knees.

How to cope with ghosting

According to Dr. Lori Lawrenz, a clinical psychologist, being ghosted is most likely not about you. Although it might not be easy to deal with, some coping mechanisms can help. Here are a few ways on how to deal with ghosting after a one-night stand.

Don’t blame yourself

It's normal to feel shame, regret, or embarrassment when someone suddenly disappears from your life. For starters, you took a shot in the dark, and it backfired. It stings now.

Just because you don't know the reason behind the ghosting doesn't mean you are to blame. Equally, don't raise your walls to ensure you never experience the same issue. Doing this will only make it more difficult to establish a stable relationship in the future.

It's okay to wallow

Although you shouldn't blame yourself, it's vital not to shove down your feelings. Call a friend who understands your pain and talk about it. Ensure you let your emotions run wild, thus forcing you to feel the frustration and anger.

Take a bit of time to mope around and deal with your feelings.Start by allocating a set amount of time to your wallow. A couple of days is usually all it takes to  move on and forget about the one-night stand.

Invest in self care

Moving forward starts with choosing self-care and self-compassion. Spend quality time with family and friends that support and understand you. It will also help to engage in activities that you enjoy.

The ghoster wasn't meant for you when you critically think about it. For starters, they failed to honor the basic code of a mature relationship–good communication and mutual respect. Choosing self-care will help you understand that you don't need such a person in your life.

Focus on the positive

However poorly the relationship might have ended, there is always something positive to take out of it. What life lessons did you learn from the one-night stand? Are there any red flags that you might have ignored? How can it help you move on as a stronger and wiser version of yourself?

Take these lessons and incorporate them into the way you act on future dates.. Doing this will help you move forward and avoid the same mistakes. 

Final thoughts

Being ghosted happens more often than you might think, and it's not the end of the world. The person who ghosted you didn't have the courage to be honest and upfront with you. But that’s okay. And if you’re having trouble coping with ghosting, you can always reach out to a mental health professional or friend for added help.

Article originally published Nov 17, 2021.

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