You’ve just started dating someone, and it’s going pretty well! You’ve been on four or five dates and text back and forth frequently in between.
You’re getting into a nice rhythm. Things might be getting serious.
At least, that’s what you thought a few days ago.
Today? You’re not so sure. That’s because it’s been a few days since this person stopped replying.
Now you’re wondering how many days you wait until it’s officially ghosting.
How many days is ghosting?
Well, my friend, that depends. Some people say after 3 days, it is officially ghosting, but an increasing number of people say that’s too long. If you don’t hear something after 24 hours, consider yourself ghosted.
Why such a short amount of time?
In a time when people are glued to their phones, failing to respond to a text from someone to who you previously had no issue replying is suspect after 24 hours.
If you are inclined to give someone the benefit of the doubt, you can extend that deadline to 3 days, but there are things you should consider.
What to consider before calling it ‘ghosting’:
If you’re worried about getting ghosted, think about a few things before officially calling it.
1. How long have you known each other?
If this is a brand new dating situation, you might not know this person’s texting habits. In which case, you might be inclined to extend your “is this ghosting?” window.
Some people are not good or consistent texters. They might be responsive one day and then slow and distracted the next.
Is this a sign they’re playing games or not that interested? Possibly!
But you don’t know because you’ve only just met.
You can give it time to see what happens, or you can decide early on that it’s not the right situation for you and be done with it.
2. What is your normal texting cadence?
If you’ve been seeing each other for some time, how often do you usually text?
Is it every day? Every couple of days?
What kind of texts are we talking about here? Conversations? Meme sharing? A bit of both?
Similarly, think about whether they are typically consistent or not.
If you’ve been regularly talking to someone for a few weeks or months and their behavior suddenly changes (i.e., they aren’t returning texts), that is a red flag. They could be soft ghosting you.
3. Are there any extenuating circumstances?
Has anything come up that might cause them to be distracted, like a new job or preparing for a big event?
That could explain an unusual lag between texts from someone who was previously more available but be forewarned.
This could indicate they aren’t ready for a relationship or do not consider the relationship serious enough to prioritize when things get busy.
That being said, if there are extenuating circumstances, but you still don’t hear from them after 3-5 days, I think it’s safe to assume that you are not on the same page and it’s time to move on.
Should you text them after 3 days?
Probably not. (link to the guide on texting after ghosting)
If this is someone you’ve been dating for a while, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to send a “Is everything okay?” text after a few days.
It is possible something did happen, in which case, you can let them know you are there for them. Even if that’s the case, you’ll need to have a larger conversation once the dust has settled.
You don’t want to date someone who disappears for small stretches of time whenever life gets stressful.
However, it’s more likely that nothing is wrong at all.
After you send that “check-in” text, be emotionally prepared to deal with more silence or a curt, “Yeah. Just been busy. What’s up?”
Both will be infuriating.
You don’t need to respond further at that point and can block their number. There’s no need to call out someone who ghosted you.
They’ve ghosted you. Now what?
First, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Ghosting sucks and says way more about them than it does you.
At this point, you know everything you need to about this person. It’s time to move on. Do not reach out or try to get closure.
The ghosting is the closure.
They presented themselves as one thing, but it’s clearly not the whole picture, and despite the hurt feelings, it’s good you found out sooner rather than later.
Not everybody is like this, and I hope you find someone with an EQ higher than 14 because that is what you deserve!
In the meantime, surround yourself with good friends and keep being the unproblematic catch you are!