Lara had been talking with Bayo for three months. It had been all lovey-dovey until there suddenly seemed to be friction in their communication. She thinks it might just be the effect of having busy career lives till the texts cease then the calls follow suit and they become strangers again without knowing anything about each other.

Has this happened to you? Someone you like suddenly seems to stop liking you, and you can’t figure out why. The experience of having someone remove themselves from your life, ending all contact or communication with you without any explanation, is called ghosting. It can happen days, weeks, and even months into a relationship and is so common that in one study half of the men and women questioned said that they had either ghosted or been ghosted.

So what should you do if someone you like — friend, date, potential romantic partner — pulls a disappearing act? Should you reach out and push them to explain, or simply accept the rejection and move on? Should you examine your own behaviour, to try to understand what you might have done to create the problem? Do you need to figure out what’s wrong with the person who “ghosted” you?

The first step in deciding how to handle it involves understanding why the loss of a brief connection with another person can take up so much space in your psyche.

Although you may have felt intensely connected to the person who has disappeared, in many instances, it isn’t the loss of the relationship or even of the person that you are upset about. It’s the sudden interruption of your good feelings, the destruction of your hopes and dreams, and your deflated positive feeling about yourself.

Ensure you’ve legitimately been ghosted

Keep your distance 
This is the hardest one to do, because I know you want to drown them in hate texts, angry emails, and even sit on their front stoop declaring to everyone who walks by. Delete everything that reminds you of them. Since technology is essentially to blame for this behaviour, then technology is the first place you should go to rid yourself of them. Block their number, set their email address to spam, unfriend or block them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and remove them from your contacts on whatever other apps you’re connected on all of it.

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