A survey by the Huffington Post in 2015 found that over half of people dating have experienced ghosting. According to a survey by Hinge in 2020, a staggering 91% of their users reported being ghosted at least once. 40% of those users who did the ghosting claimed they did so because they thought it was the least hurtful way to convey they were no longer interested, yet 85% of participants said they would rather be told that someone isn’t into them than be ghosted. And as if ghosting isn’t confusing and painful enough already, there seems to be another vicious weapon in the ghoster’s arsenal: the comeback. Yes, the burning question I’m answering in this article is: why do ghosters always come back?
What happens when a ghoster comes back?
It’s always a variation of:
“Heyyy, how are you?”
“You look great.”
“I was just thinking about you…”
“I’m sorry I was an a**hole and disappeared instead of telling you how I felt. That’s on me; I was going through X/Y/Z. You deserve way better than that.”
And, like clockwork, the ghost resurfaces the very moment that you finally stopped thinking about him. Your life is good. You got a promotion at work, you just booked a summer vacation to Greece with your girlfriends, and you flirted with a handsome man at your tennis club last week.
Cue the ghost. It’s as if he’s inside your head. “Oh, look at that; Jenny’s life is great right now; I’d better text her…”
So, why is he back? Deep down, does he regret what he did and want to make things right, or is he just bored sitting home alone on a Friday night and playing games again?
What is it called when a ghoster reappears?
When a man you’re talking to or dating suddenly vanishes without any explanation, it’s called ghosting. And when a ghost resurfaces months or even years later, he transitions from being a ghost into a zombie.
How long does it take for a ghoster to come back?
Do ghosters come back after months? Yes, and sometimes, they return after years, pretending nothing ever happened. There’s no set timeline for when a ghost will plot his big comeback.
Here’s what I want you to know:
- Everyone has their flaws, but ghosts are usually at the bottom of the barrel.
- Good men do not ghost people and then return without a darn good apology (anything other than his Grandmother dying/him losing his job/realizing he’s gay is not good enough).
- A high-value woman knows it’s not her job to enable his careless, entitled behavior by responding.
What percentage of ghosters come back?
There’s no accurate figure on the number of ghosters who come back, but the reason why they have a name for always returning is because a large number of them do. They can’t help themselves. They are serial ghosters. I feel like there should be a support group for guys like this by now? “Hi, my name’s Barry, and I’m a ghost-aholic.”
16 reasons why ghosters always come back
1. Because he’s bored
The reason a ghost ghosts in the first place is often because he’s bored or over talking to you. Now, he finds himself bored of something or someone else, so he reaches out to you—what a toxic, messed up cycle.
If the message you receive is completely generic and void of effort, e.g., “Hey,” you can bet it’s because he’s got nothing else to do but search through his phone and hit up every woman who might be single.
2. Because he wants his ego fed
Why do ghosters always come back? Because they’re looking for a quick ego boost with minimal effort. He’s feeling down, sorry for himself, or maybe someone just ghosted him. So, even though he does not care how you are or how much he hurt you, he’ll reach out to see if you respond. And if you do? His ego will smirkingly say, “I knew she still had feelings for me all this time 😏.”
He wants to prove that he can pick you up and drop you whenever he pleases.
Prove him wrong and shout my favorite four-letter word, “NEXT!”
3. Because he’s a narcissist
A narcissist believes the world revolves around them, and ghosters are often the same. He knew that disappearing off the face of the earth and leaving you without closure was wrong, but he did it anyway. And now that he’s back, the possibility that you might ignore him and hit the block button isn’t even on his radar. Why? Because, whether it has been weeks, months, or even years, he assumes that you’ve been pining over him all this time. Because that’s the kind of man every woman dreams of meeting, right? A narcissistic coward who thinks it’s okay to treat people like props.
4. Because he’s immature and oblivious to what he did
Okay, brace yourself for this one because it’s a tough pill to swallow. Sometimes, a ghoster comes back into your life because he genuinely is not aware that he has done anything wrong.
“What do you mean it’s not cool to take a woman on a date then not respond to any of her messages ever again, even after telling her I had a great time and want to see her again, then resurface a year later and say, ‘hey’?”
Yes, this is perhaps the most infuriating of all the reasons on this list. Because somewhere in his mind, he has concluded that ignoring you until you got the message was an acceptable way to behave.
5. Because he doesn’t know what he wants
When you’re dating different guys and exploring new connections (Little Love Step #4), you’re bound to encounter people who don’t know what they want. The problem is that they tell women they know what they want. One minute he tells you he loves burritos, but a few dates later, he’s saying how gross burritos are. And it’s the same when it comes to his love life. He’ll make a date with a woman, then flake out at the last moment because he’s not in the mood. He’ll say he’s over his ex, then a few months later, what do you know, he’s back with his ex.
Men like this are flakey and distracted in every part of their lives. Is he in or out? Who cares? Don’t wait around for him to figure it out. Indecision is a decision.
6. Because he thinks you’re too nice to shut him down
Are you the kind of woman who always gives people second, third, fourth, heck, thirteenth chances? It’s your default setting to see the good in everybody, even if there’s more bad than good, even after they’ve hurt you. You have real trouble saying no, setting boundaries, and putting your happiness above everyone else’s.
Another reason why ghosters always come back is because they think you’re too nice to call them out on their BS. He thinks he can get away with coming in and out of your life whenever he pleases, without any consequences.
If this sounds familiar, it’s up to you, sexy single lady, to focus on Little Love Step #1 – love yourself, recognize your value, and never settle for anything less again.
7. Because he misses how you made him feel
When a ghoster comes back, you might try to convince yourself it’s because he realized he made the worst mistake of his life and wants to give things another go. But he might not miss you; he might just miss how you made him feel.
Maybe you were always his go-to when he was stressed at work. Maybe you were his midnight booty call, and he just misses the physical comfort of sex. Maybe he misses that shared interest you had now that you’re no longer in his life.
Men who ghost tend to be users. They don’t miss a person; they miss what they used to get from that person.
8. Because he can’t handle you moving on
Have you ever had a guy ghost you, and then the moment you moved on and started dating someone else, they came knocking? He sees you out to lunch with a man who’s not him, and that’s his cue to “check in.” Either he still loves you (does he, though?), or you’ve dented his pride. This is probably a classic case of a guy not wanting to be with you but not wanting anyone else to be with you. He may even promise you that he’s changed and beg you to give him a second chance, only to ghost you for a second time.
If he genuinely wants to be with you deep down in his heart, he’s got to work a lot harder than that to regain your trust before you even think about taking him back.
9. Because he wants the “girlfriend experience” without the commitment
Why do ghosters always come back? Because some of them want the benefits of having a girlfriend without the commitment. You know what I’m talking about: the reassuring texts, the emotional connection, the knowing that someone is always there if you need them. But if he’s not giving you the commitment you want, don’t give him the benefits of being in a relationship! Tell him to quit being so greedy – he cannot have it both ways.
10. Because he saw a hot photo of you online
Just because a guy appears to vanish into the dark abyss, it doesn’t mean he has disappeared. He’s probably a lot closer to home than you think (let’s just hope he’s not hiding behind a tree in your front yard).
If there was a spark between you at some point, there’s a strong possibility that he is still stalking you online (this is known as haunting). The minute you post a stunning photo of yourself lounging on a friend’s yacht in Saint Tropez, this guy will reach out. Why? Because he’s kicking himself for ever letting you go, even though he still doesn’t want to be with you.
He can look all he wants, but he can’t touch. Carry on living your best life.
11. Because he’s keeping you on the back-burner
Okay, brace yourself for this because it won’t sound great.
Some guys will know that they’re not into a girl, but they will vaguely stay in touch with her just in case things don’t work out with plan A, aka, the woman they’re really interested in. Hence the term “back-burner.”
One of the reasons why ghosters come back is they got dumped, or things didn’t work out as planned, and now they’re seeing if they can worm their way back into your life. They never directly end things with you because they want the option to pick you back up in the future. But you’re like a puppy: for life, not just for Christmas. NEXT.
12. Because he’s rebounding
Another possibility is this guy is freshly on the rebound, and even if he has no intention of talking to you for more than one night, he will contact you. He’s hurting, feels lonely, and wants someone or something to make the pain go away. Why bother hitting an online dating site or bar when he already knows you, and he believes there’s a good chance you’ll respond?
The bottom line is that ghosters are lackadaisical. They’re all about minimal effort and maximum reward. Just make sure none of those rewards are coming from you.
13. Because he’s curious about what you’re up to now
Because the ghoster never officially ended things, anything is still possible in his mind. So if he happens to be stalking on Instagram or scrolling through his WhatsApp contacts, he might just stumble on a gorgeous, intriguing photo of you, and curiosity will get the better of him. He wants to know where you are, what you’re up to, and who you’re with. He wants to know if you’re single or taken. He wants to know if you’re happy or lonely. And he wants to know if you’re still holding a grudge over what he did to you or if you’re up for “hanging out,” i.e., sex.
Let him wonder, ladies, because it’s none of his damn business what you’re up to.
14. Because he’s lazy
What’s easier than meeting new women and forming new connections?
Texting all the women whose numbers are saved on your phone and seeing if any of them will give you the time of day.
This is how ghosters operate. They come back into your life because they’re lazy. And if he’s showing clear signs of laziness before you’re even dating, just imagine what else he might be lazy with. Showering, remembering your birthday, foreplay…
15. Because he’s entitled, cocky, or stupid
Why do ghosters always come back? There are a few common themes running between all the guys who are serial ghosters: entitlement, stupidity, and the smug factor.
When someone ghosts you in the first place, this demonstrates how selfish and careless they are with other people’s hearts. And when they return weeks, months, or years down the line, it’s yet another demonstration of how they just don’t give a f*ck about you. They are not thinking about you, they have never been thinking about you, and they will never be thinking about you. This guy’s tune is always me me me.
16. Because he genuinely misses you and feels terrible about what he did
I’ve put this last on the list because this is the rarest of all reasons why ghosters come back. Too many women want to believe that this is the only reason a guy resurfaces after disappearing, but sadly, this is not the case.
Do ghosters miss you?
Most of the time, a ghoster doesn’t miss you. I know a text that says “I miss you” can be confusing, but this is just a throwaway line to mess with your head.
So, how do you know if a ghost is being genuine?
He will tell you he is sorry for the way he behaved, and he will have a darn good reason to back it up with. Ninety-five percent of the time, this won’t happen.
If the text is missing either of these things, bin him and don’t give that text another thought.
However, if the message he sends ticks both these boxes, and you decide to give him a second chance, proceed with caution and set some boundaries this time around (this is known as Little Love Step #6).
How do you respond to a Ghoster who comes back?
You’ve got three options.
- IGNORE him and hit the block button (remember, you do not owe him a response).
- If you can’t take the high road, send him a witty dig like “No thanks, I’ve moved on,” then hit that block button.
- Only decide to give him a second chance if he has a good reason for ghosting in the first place (ie. a family member died) and has apologized for it.
Are you tired of all these ghosts and zombies haunting you? What’s a lady got to do to find a kind, decent man who will take her to dinner then say he will call and actually call the next day?
Here’s the secret: be too busy dating other guys to care when a ghost disappears and resurfaces months or even years later. This is what I call Little Love Step #4, and it’s all about meeting as many high-value men as possible, exploring new connections, and never chasing anyone (because you are the prize).
Has a ghost ever come back into your life pretending like nothing ever happened?
What did you do?
Tell me about it in the comments below!