Haunting Ghosts: Why Do Guys Always Come Back After Ghosting?

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why do guys always come back after ghosting

It’s a familiar scenario: you start dating a guy. Maybe you’re into him, perhaps you’re still feeling him out. 

You might even have pending plans together. Then, poof! All of a sudden, there’s nothing but a silent response to your messages. The witty banter has gone one-sided. And while you know you’re entertaining, a response would be nice. 

You’ve been ghosted. What follows is a lot of confusion, sadness, and anger. And then you get on with your life. Months (maybe even years) later, your ghost comes back from the afterlife to haunt you—often without even mentioning his disappearing act. 

So, what’s the deal with ghosts? Why do guys always come back after ghosting? 

If you’re confused, we’re going to dive into the possible reasons a ghost may reappear in your life and how to handle the situation if he does. 

Why did he ghost in the first place?

Woman staring at the window while wondering why the man she's dating has ghosted her
Woman staring at the window while wondering why the man she’s dating has ghosted her.

Your guy decided to cut off communication with you, not even a courtesy explanation text.

Understanding the reason why he did it could be important in figuring out why he’s decided to reenter your life. It could even tell you if he’s a flight risk the second time around. 

There are some common reasons a guy might ghost you he’s not ready for you or any other relationship, he’s seeing other people; he’s just not vibing with you (ouch, I know); or he’s really busy. 

If your guy has decided to reappear, you shouldn’t have to guess his reasons for ghosting you in the first place. Let him explain if you want to. 

Remember, you’re now in control of the situation. Feel it out. If you’re totally past it, tell that ghost to keep flying. 

Why did the ghost reappear?

This sounds a bit like a common joke: why did the chicken cross the road? But, with the dating world today, it’s soon to become just as common of a phrase. Unfortunately, ghosting has become a normalized phenomenon. 

Chances are that a good majority of those ghosts are going to come back. It seems like a crazy person’s logic to disappear in such a hurtful, apathetic way and then pop back into your life, often as though nothing has happened. 

Nonetheless, it’s happening. 

If you’ve been ghosted, you’ve probably also had that ghost reappear. So, why did the ghost reappear? What makes these guys come back after their disappearing acts?

They felt guilty

A man feeling hurt after ghosting a woman she's dating
A man feeling hurt after ghosting a woman she’s dating.

Okay, Casper had emotions. There’s a good chance your ghost does as well. 

Ghosts are emotionally immature. Rather than deal with an uncomfortable confrontation, or understand what they’re feeling, they opt for the easy way out and just disappear without a word. 

In that moment, that may be the easiest choice, but maybe over time, your ghost has had time to think about how cruel the act of ghosting is. He feels bad, so he’s decided to reappear. 

While it may be difficult to hear this guy out and even let him make amends, it may help you to remember that people make mistakes but are often kind at the core. That’s a pretty good life and dating lesson to keep with you.

Their first option didn’t work out

Maybe the wording of this reason sounds harsh, but that’s the reality of the situation. If your ghost was seeing other people and decided to opt out of dating you to pursue someone else more seriously, then you weren’t the first choice. 

So now things haven’t worked out with his first choice. Maybe he’s even a little jaded or broken-hearted and he remembers that woman he dated, who he ghosted: you. Guys often ghost to leave a situation open-ended, thinking that not explaining will allow them to pop back up freely. 

Be careful when this ghost reappears because he most likely won’t be honest about his reasons for going silent in the first place. He’ll know they don’t sound great either. Who wants to be a backup plan?

He’s trying to hook up

Things slowed down on the dating app front, and while he may have had options before, now he’s hearing crickets. He remembers you and the good times you had together. 

In my opinion, there are a plethora of men to choose from who just want to hook up: men who haven’t insensitively ghosted you. If you’re into casual hook-ups, I say go for one of them. Don’t go for the guy who decided to disappear and leave you feeling hurt and confused by his avoidance tactics. 

Ghosts should know that the door doesn’t always stay open when they decide to leave. 

He’s bored or lonely

This guy is probably friends with our last ghost. He thought that ghosting you meant that he could hop back in whenever he wanted. 


If your ghost comes back but fails to explain why he left, assume that this is the reason he’s come back. He’s bored and, possibly, lonely. 

Those aren’t great reasons to date someone. They’re especially not great reasons to reappear from the afterlife and mess with your emotions yet again. 

My mom had a phrase she’d say to my sister and I when we were kids: “Only boring people get bored.” Now, it was a great tactic on my mom’s part to keep us from complaining of boredom. We didn’t want to be considered boring. 

If you need some motivation to stay away from this type of ghost, remember that phrase. He’s boring. Period. 

Date a guy who’s not. 

Life has calmed down

Man comforting woman after not seeing for a long time
Man comforting woman after not seeing for a long time.

Possibly one of the only valid reasons for ghosting is if some sort of big life crisis is happening to your ghost. Things get crazy, and common courtesy slips through the cracks while dealing with it all. 

If that’s happened, your ghost will likely come back with an explanation. Since you once really liked this guy, he may be one of the few ghosts you’d welcome back into your life. That’s up to you. 

However, if he was just super busy, with work or other things, he could have easily sent a message explaining that. That is how a considerate person would put things on pause while trying to get a handle on their chaotic lifestyle for a little while. 

They missed you

Your ghost knows they messed up. Maybe they freaked out at the possibility of a commitment and disappeared without thinking about what an opportunity they’d be missing out on. 

After some time in the dating world, they realize that you are one of a kind. They miss your goofy jokes and genuine smile. Basically, they know they made a mistake and want to be in your company again. 

Everyone makes mistakes, and if your ghost can fess up to his, then that’s a good attribute. Being able to say when you were wrong and apologize for mistakes made are great qualities in a partner. Ghosting, however, is not. Weigh the pros and cons of letting this guy come back. 

What to do when ghosts come back?

Not sure how to respond to a guy who ghosted you and then decides to reappear? You’ve got options. Ideally, you say goodbye to your ghost for the insensitive way in which they left things. But sometimes, in the dating world, things aren’t so simple. 

What to do when ghosts come back

Hear them out and consider their reasons

If your ghost has come back, then they better be ready to explain why they ghosted you in the first place. If they’re not willing to give you even that, then tell that ghost to disappear again. 

Easy or not, communication is one of the biggest factors in all of the relationships we have. If a guy can’t communicate well and is unwilling to even try, then it’s time to say goodbye. 

But if your ghost is willing to share with you what led him to ghost you in the first place, then consider his reasoning. Are his reasons legitimate for you? Could you move past the incident and share a nice time? Or do you just not trust him anymore?

Remember, you’re now in charge of the situation. Consider your feelings and do what’s best for you. Don’t let this ghost disrupt your emotional stability. 

Don’t let them gaslight you

Your ghost comes back. You ask the obvious question: Why did you ghost me in the first place? He goes into a hyper-defensive mode, twisting the situation and placing the blame back on you. 

RED FLAG. Do not let a ghost gaslight you. Barring physical or emotional violence, being ghosted is not your fault. If you were coming on too strong or the guy just wasn’t vibing with you, then he should be able to let you know. 

Dating is an emotionally vulnerable scenario. If a guy can’t be considerate of your feelings, then let him stay out of your dating world. If he tries to turn the situation on you, then give that guy a quick, easy goodbye. He’s not worth any more of your time. 

Tell them you’re not interested

You’ve heard them (your ghost) out. More often than not, you’re probably not taking him back. Trust is lost when someone decides to disappear on you like that. You don’t want to put yourself through the emotional trauma of that again. 

Show this guy how a mature adult ends a relationship. Be kind, considerate, and give them a polite, “No thank you but thank you for asking,” when they request to come back into your life. 

You can never go wrong with kindness. You’ll come out feeling good, and maybe this guy will think twice the next time he thinks about ghosting someone else. 

Once a ghost, always a ghost

This seems dramatic and maybe even extreme, but the reality is that to you, that ghost is still a ghost. Reappearing doesn’t erase the hurtful disappearing act they pulled. 

Carefully consider letting someone who ghosted you back into your life. Trust and communication are the pillars of healthy relationships. Whether it’s something casual or a serious relationship, respect and common courtesy are needed. Ghosts lack all those things. 

A man hides by the window
A man hides by the window.

They lack maturity

Ghosting is the epitome of emotional immaturity. Most people ghost because they are incapable of dealing with their emotions. If you can’t communicate your feelings or don’t even consider attempting to, then get out of the dating world. 

Sounds harsh but ghosting is hurtful and there’s seldom a valid reason for it happening. You don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who is lacking emotional maturity. You’ll be on an emotional rollercoaster ride that will be sure to make you sick. 

Regaining trust is hard

Dating can be hard. It’s easy to get jaded and bitter in the dating world. If you’re trying your hardest to stay optimistic and start each relationship with an open mind, then that’s great. You are probably giving people the benefit of the doubt. 

When someone loses your trust, it’s a hard thing to come back from. Doubts about them will probably stick in the back of your head. You may have a fear that they’ll disappear again. 

If the trust in the relationship can’t be recovered when a ghost comes back, then don’t even bother to give it a try. There are lots of other options out there. 

Communication is key

I think it’s been said various times now, but ghosts cannot communicate. There is no way you can have a healthy relationship without communication. 

Confrontation is hard, and so is being vulnerable around someone else. But, that’s life and that’s dating. If you’re able to do that, you’ll have better relationships in the long run. 

Ghosts are most likely incapable of both. Sure, things may change for them later on, but you don’t have to risk your emotional stability while they work out their issues. You’re not their dating trial run. 

Don’t let ghosts haunt you

Ghosting probably isn’t going to go away any time soon. As you’ve probably already experienced, most of those ghosts are going to reappear at some point. Don’t let their disappearance, or reappearance, haunt you. 

If you decide to give a ghost another chance, then that’s your call. You know what you can and can’t handle in the dating world. In the end, we’re all learning from our mistakes. But, if there are more cons than pros, tell that ghost to stay away. 

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Sarah is a writer at Flingorlove.com. While she enjoys writing on a variety of topics, her favorite is dating and relationships. She’s curious about dating trends and how they continuously evolve. When dating gets hard, she likes to find humor and reason in the situations that she affronts. Through a combination of personal experience and research, Sarah loves connecting with readers through her pieces on their shared dating experiences.