What to know before they go.

Carolyn Steber
Feb 18, 2021 @ 3:38 pm
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While it tends to be obvious when someone has already ghosted you—like, it's been three weeks and you're still left on read—the early warning signs of ghosting aren't as easy to detect. That is unless you know what to look for.

Being able to spot the signs can save you a lot of wasted time and heartache, especially if you've been ghosted in the past and want to try to avoid that very specific type of pain from ever occurring again. According to Julie Krafchick, a relationship expert and co-host of the Dateable Podcast, ghosting hurts because it leaves you with a ton of unanswered questions: Are they okay? Did I do something wrong? And then there's the betrayal, on top of it all.

If you're worried about being ghosted, you can always talk to the person you're dating about their preferred communication methods, relationship expectations, etc. But if nothing changes and they continue to drift away, go ahead and call it.

There are so many people out there, so don't waste your time on someone who isn't giving you their best foot forward—or who is constantly making you feel confused. If you notice any of these below signs they're about to ghost, simply cut your losses, wish them well, and move on.

Early signs of ghosting someone:

1. Their texts seem unenthusiastic.

Ever heard the phrase "if they wanted to, they would"? Sure, people get busy, people work, and things come up, but if this person wanted to have a fun conversation that moved your relationship forward, they would.

Instead, they take ten hours to text back, respond with one-word answers and don't seem too interested in keeping a conversation going. These are all signs they don't view you as a priority, Krafchick says, and that they're probably about to ghost.

2. They unmatched with you on their dating apps.

If you've detected the winds of change, head on over to your various apps and check to see if they've unfollowed you. Many times, when someone's about to ghost, they'll unmatch on the dating app where you met, Krafchick says. They might also unfollow you on Instagram, or wherever else you've been chatting, in preparation for moving on.

3. They don't mention going on another date.

Even if you got the best feeling on date number one, it's pretty telling if this person isn't jumping at the chance to talk about date number two. Again, things come up and life gets hectic. And yet, if they were super interested, Krafchick says, they'd let you know.

You'd be getting texts like, "I'm so sorry, I've been so busy. When do you want to meet up again? I'd love to go on a second date." Or maybe you'd send that text, and they'd respond right away with enthusiasm. It's all about effort. If you aren't noticing any, it's a major red flag.

4. They don't seem present when you hang out.

Let's say you're on a date and this person isn't making eye contact, keeps checking their phone, and/or isn't asking you any getting-to-know-you questions. If they seem distant, it's because they are—and according to certified relationship coach Julia McCurley, it's a sure sign they aren't that invested.

5. They seem bothered by you.

If you get the sense, in any way, that you're "bothering" this person, consider it a sign, relationship coach Liam Barnett says. You might notice that they pull away from a hug, seem annoyed via text, or send your calls to voicemail—even though they were all about you only days before.

"This is a sign that their approach to you is starting to change," he says, and that ghosting may be on the horizon. And you know what? Good. While ghosting is painful in the moment—and it's certainly not the kindest way to end a relationship—it's actually setting you free to find someone a million times better.