So, you ghosted someone. Despite your daily "I live in truth" affirmations, Brené Brown #boundaries, and Megan Thee Stallion power playlist, you totally chickened out and left your date on read —
forever. But in the words of Justin Bieber, it isn't too late now to say sorry. And if you're trying to take accountability for your past actions (or lack thereof), these nine texts to send to someone you ghosted are a great place to start.
"With this type of thing, we don't apologize enough," dating coach
Clara Artschwager tells Bustle. "It's so easy for people to slip out the digital back door that there's so much power in even apologizing in the first place."
Although you may feel stressed to pen the perfect text, Artschwager urges you not to overcomplicate it. "Just think of the most human response," Artschwager says. "Own your mistake and let that be that."
reaching out to someone you ghosted, Artschwager says not to expect a response from them. It's not the ghostee's job to make you feel better about blowing them off.
"Get clear on
why you're sending the message in the first place, Artschwager says. "It's not that person's responsibility to absolve you from the guilt you have or soothe your anxiety."
Here are nine texts to send someone you
left in the lurch. 1 "Hey Sam! Griffin from Hinge here. I wanted to apologize for ghosting you last fall. That wasn't kind of me and you didn't deserve it."
In an attempt to Marie Kondo their social lives, Artschwager explains your date may have deleted your number post-ghosting. Stating your name, then giving a concise apology lets you take accountability without making your date go, "New phone, who dis?"
2 "I'm sorry that I fell off the map last spring. I was going through a lot and should have communicated that more clearly at the time. That wasn't fair to you."
Although you may feel compelled to explain that your dad was sick, your awful ex got engaged, your roommate moved out, and your boss doubled your workload all at the same time, Artschwager says that a laundry list of reasons
why you ghosted isn't necessary. "Something simple, short, and tight," Artschwager says. "If it feels appropriate, you can say, 'I was going through something,' but you don't want it to be an excuse." 3 "Hey, I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to you in weeks. That was really rude of me. I wish you the best."
If your date was more into you than you were into them, you may be afraid that reaching out could come across as wanting to see them again. Let them know you're sorry for bailing while (gently) establishing that this is the end of your connection.
4 "Hey Nick, I enjoyed getting to know you but was afraid to tell you that it wasn't a right fit for me. I'm sorry for not being mature enough to tell you that at the time."
While you certainly don't need to say that you hated how they chewed with mouth open, liked terrible music, or talked about their ex for an hour, Artschwager explains that you can level with them. If you ghosted someone because you were afraid to capital-R Reject them, address that you acted immaturely, and take ownership of your mistakes.
5 "Woah, went to close my eyes for an hour and fell asleep for three weeks. What did I miss?"
If your date was a casual hookup or you always had a sarcastic rapport, it may feel appropriate to make a joke about your sudden absence. But remember to read the room. If you were fully dating someone and evaporated into thin air, making a joke and minimizing their feelings isn't cute.
6 "Hey Alex, I'm sorry I disappeared last month. I was just getting out of a breakup and was not ready to date again. I should have been more mature and explained my situation sooner."
Sometimes, you don't realize that you're not in a place to date until you're seeing someone and totally drop the ball. While you don't need to read them an entry from your diary, let your date know you're sorry for getting them involved in your transitional time.
7 "Yo, I blew it. I hope you're doing well, and I'm sorry if I caused you stress, you didn't deserve that."
You don't have to walk through the desert on your knees for 100 miles repenting à la Mary Oliver. Address that you messed up without making yourself the victim.
8 "I had a great time with you and would love to see you again, but I completely understand if you're looking for someone more reliable."
Just as you are entitled to creating new healthy dating habits, your date is entitled to not take you up on your offer. If you're still into them, let them know you'd like to see them again, but you don't expect them to forgive and forget instantly.
9 "I was just thinking about you, and I feel so embarrassed with how I handled everything. Ghosting you wasn't cool and I'm sorry."
Maybe something random happened that made you remember your first date with this person. Or maybe your bestie just got ghosted, and now you're feeling guilty for ghosting someone. Whatever the case, if the person you ghosted crosses your mind, Artschwager suggests quickly reaching out to them and saying sorry.