Do you wonder if your last date was a magician because they disappeared into thin air? As more singles look for potential partners online, the risk of being ghosted increases.

Ghosting has become the term for describing a certain kind of dating behavior. It usually happens when you go out on a few dates that seem promising. Then, your new love interest stops returning your calls. They may even block you from their social media sites or erase the account where you met them.

Your date may be inconsiderate, or they may lack communication skills. Either way, it’s natural for you to feel upset or angry. Learn how to deal with ghosting while you’re looking for a healthy, loving relationship.

How to Cope with Being Ghosted:

1. Clarify the situation. If you’ve been living with someone for a year and want to cut ties, you probably owe them an explanation. If you had coffee a couple of times, there’s no relationship to break up. In between, there are grey areas where reasonable singles disagree about what’s required.

2. Lighten up. Even if you’ve been dumped, it’s rarely a reflection on you. As long as you treat others with compassion and courtesy, you can be sure you’re a great date.

3. Acknowledge your feelings. Your emotions may be intense regardless of how brief the relationship was. Give yourself time to recover from any doubts or regrets.

4. Seek support. Talking with family and friends will help you to heal. Let your loved ones know what you’re going through and how they can comfort you.

5. Stay busy. Are you frequently replaying recent events in your head, wondering what you did wrong or trying to spot warning signals that you missed? You’re unlikely to reach any certainty, so fill your time with more enriching activities like hobbies and physical exercise.

6. Build your self-worth. Ghosting can take a toll on your self-esteem. Boost your confidence by reflecting on your achievements and setting new goals.

7. Assert yourself. If you feel like it would give you some satisfaction, you may want to speak directly with the person who ghosted you to let them know how their behavior affected you. You could also write a letter to read to yourself if you can’t reach them.

8. Move on. Ultimately, the most important thing is to learn from the experience so you can look for a happier and healthier relationship. Figure out what you want in a potential partner and return to dating when you’re ready to try again.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Being Ghosted:

1. Pace yourself. How well did you really know your last date? It’s easy to feel close to someone when you’re caught up in romantic fantasies or enjoying an infatuation. On the other hand, your relationships will be more stable if you take things gradually.

2. Observe closely. If you’re paying attention, you may notice signs that your date could be unreliable. Do they sound bitter when they’re describing past relationships? Are they reluctant to share personal information? How do they interact with others in your presence?

3. Be direct. There’s no guarantee against ghosting, but skillful communication helps. Let your date know what you expect in a friendly and nonjudgmental way. They may feel more comfortable being honest with you too.

4. Set an example. When it’s your turn to initiate a break up, be gracious about it. You may help others to see that there are kinder alternatives to ghosting.

Remember that ghosting says more about your date than it does about you. Take care of yourself and stay positive, so you’ll be ready to find love with a partner who values and respects you.