Love, Lindsay

'Should I Give The Guy Who Ghosted Me A Second Chance?'

All your relationship questions answered — right here, right now.

Lindsay here, A Plus's resident relationship guru/columnist. While I may not know everything, I do know a lil something about love and our seemingly endless pursuit of it. Having written dozens of A Plus articles about dating, relationships, and sex, I'm ready and willing to investigate all of your romantically-inclined questions — because I've asked them myself. What I hope to bring to A Plus's readers is a sex-positive, body-positive, and most importantly, you-positive perspective on modern love. Consider Love, Lindsay your digital Cupid. 

Dear Lindsay,

I never thought I'd be sitting down to write this, but here I am seeking your wisdom! I'm a person that's usually confident in her decision making, but this is a situation that I can't seem to make my mind up about. 

This past winter, I met a boy and we hit it off immediately. We spoke all day every day, went on several dates a week and were hot and heavy from the start. He was staying in my apartment a few times a week, I'd met his friends, and we'd made future plans together. All this occurred within a month's time (fast I know). 

Cut to a few weeks later, where he abruptly becomes quiet on me. I knew his behavior had changed and I reached out with a simple, "Is everything OK?" text. He ghosted the shit out of me and disappeared as quickly as he came. 

I moved on with my life and was perfectly happy, however, he recently reached out with an unexpected apology. He expressed remorse for his behavior and for hurting me, but I chose to not answer.

Cut to today, and I can't. stop. thinking. about. him. I guess I'm just curious what would happen if we gave it another try. Do I even bother with an attempt to see him again, or just finally put it to rest and find a guy who wouldn't ghost me in the first place? 

Thanks for your help with this!

- Anna

Dear Anna,

I must admit that, despite writing for a positive journalism website, I'm not a huge believer in second chances. That said, because you don't know why he ghosted — and it could be for a legitimate reason, like a family member got sick, or he lost his job — I think you can give Casper here another shot, so long as you protect yourself. 

First things first. You gotta strap on your ghostbusters gear, and ask him, straight up, why he ghosted. 

Thomas Edwards of The Professional Wingman agrees, saying. "If there was [a reason], it better be good. If his reason seems general, vague, and dismissive, I would say he doesn't truly deserve just the normal second chance." 

If you really want to give this guy a second chance, you'll be more likely to have a healthy future with him if you effectively communicate and bust the ghost. 

 "No, it won't be a waste of time and no, it won't make you seem like a pushover," Edwards adds. "You want to give it a chance, create clarity, and have closure, all of which you deserve. That said, depending on his reasoning for disappearing to begin with, he should be on a zero-tolerance policy for the foreseeable future until he has earned your trust and you have reestablished your security in the relationship."

Edwards makes an important point here because, from what I've seen and experienced of modern dating, it often seems to hinge on who cares less. I mean, that's why ghosting was invented in the first place: to tell someone you care so little about them that not only do you not want to date them, you don't even want to acknowledge their existence — simply by doing it. 

When it comes down to it, a person who ghosts may not care about the person they're seeing because they're willing to lie to them, and in doing so, take the easy way out. It's lying by omission. Regardless of the reason, it's still a lie. 

Instead of letting you down and then letting you go, Danny Phantom let you hang in balance. And while you seem to be better for it (snaps), because he's ghosted you once, you can't automatically trust he won't do it again.

Now, because you both want to start over, you absolutely can — but you need to do so from a place of mutual trust. This requires honesty. 

If you decide to accept his honest reasoning, forgive him, and restart your relationship, you still need to protect your heart until you can fully trust he won't repeat this behavior. 

To do this, I suggest taking it slow the second time around. Whatever path this renewed relationship takes, it needs to operate on your schedule and in your comfort zone, not his. Does that necessarily mean withholding intimacy until you've defined your relationship? Of course not. It means doing — and not doing — whatever you need until you feel like you can trust him again. Emphasis, in case you didn't happen to catch it, on you. If he's suddenly not OK with the pace you've set, then you know what his true priorities are — and, more importantly, aren't.  

Now, I'm rooting for you guys to enter into a consensual, loving, ghost-busted relationship if that's what you both want, but until then, have fun and see other guys, especially if you were before this one came back into the picture. Keeping things open, if you so desire, is just another way to protect yourself from investing too much into someone who's already disappointed you once.  

But know this: No matter how much we care about someone and they care about us, we're bound to disappoint each other once in a while. The key is knowing how much and what kind of disappointment you're willing to forgive, and actually doing it. 

When we take a chance on someone, it could pay off nine times out of ten. But what happens on that tenth time? Do we just give up on them? Despite my gut reaction to do just that, I don't think we should. I think we should give them, well, a second chance — under the right conditions, of course. 

Love, Lindsay

If you thought all that was TL (too long) and DR (didn't read), check out my quick tip video:

Cover image via Unsplash

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