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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Officials to clear homeless encampment near campus in May
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • March 4, 2024

Ask Annie: How can I stop ghosting people?

Facing a problem yourself? Annie has answers. Ask away!

Nicholas Anastacio | Graphics Editor

Dear Annie,

I keep accidentally ghosting people. I don’t mean to – I just keep forgetting to respond. I went on two dates with this one girl, and I just forgot to text her back. I never meant to ghost her.

Help please,
Mike Kinsella

Dear Mike Kinsella,

Mr. Kinsella, lead vocalist and guitarist of the musical group “American Football,” it seems that Midwestern emo bands cannot catch a break! If you’re used to long Midwestern goodbyes, it may be hard to acknowledge “ghosting” is not the worst thing you could do.

Ghosting happens – especially as one gets busy with academics and extracurriculars. Don’t beat yourself up about stalled or stopped communication. Even a potential soulmate could easily slip away while talking over text. Perhaps you feared saying the wrong thing, had an all-consuming exam or simply forgot to respond without their physical presence.

Though you may not have intended to ghost this girl, let’s consider why you did. Maybe, at that moment in time, you weren’t that into her? It’s rare to neglect someone that you care about a lot. Or you may need consistent quality time with a person to motivate you to regularly respond to their messages. Take some time for introspection to consider if you’re actually interested in her.

Jenna Baer | Staff Cartoonist

If after further reflection you still want to slide back into her DMs, it is possible to reopen a line of communication with a lot of honesty and, perhaps, a planner.

To strike up communication with your unfinished business after falling off the face of the earth, you are going to have to send the first text. While it was never your intention, acknowledge how your neglect made her feel. Be vulnerable and share what prompted your behavior, whether District’s late-night fire alarms distracted you or you mentally replied but never sent an actual message. Though no reason will excuse your behavior, an explanation lets a ghosted girl know that ignoring her was unrelated to your interest in her.

When you text her a well-deserved apology, have a date idea in mind, like coffee or booking a study room in Gelman. If she responds favorably, you can quickly suggest an in-person activity, which shows your commitment to continuing to explore a relationship with her.

If she’s open to striking up a conversation again, you cannot fall off the face of the earth. Ghost the same girl once, shame on you. Ghost the same girl twice, she will feel like a fool – and you don’t want to be responsible for making her feel silly.

Consistency is key. Schedule time into your day to text her. Maybe every day at 5 p.m., you receive a reminder from your Google Calendar to text your possible paramour. When you text her, make a conscious effort to initiate in-person activities. Rather than engaging in a virtual conversation about her day, ask if she can grab dinner or go on a quick walk. The more you see each other in person, the less you have to worry about responding to texts.

Ghosting happens, whether we intend to disappear or not. With honesty, patience and effort to see each other in person, you can hopefully pick up where you left off. If you need any more help – my penitent phantom – I am always here. The best part of writing to an advice columnist? There’s no need for you to respond.

Don’t be a stranger,

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