I have a former (male) client who has what I’ll call a "ghosting pattern.”

He will text someone after a date he thinks went well to ask her out again. She doesn’t answer. He writes to her again. She doesn’t answer again. He writes again (maybe this time on Facebook and LinkedIn, too) … you get it.

While most of us can see she’s obviously not interested, some people just can’t (or don’t want to see it).

For the woman in this scenario, I can’t encourage her strongly enough to use a tactful yet firm form of this: “I’m no longer interested, but I wish you all the best.”

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I have tried to get this client to stop sending messages after a non-response (or two).

The woman got the message and made a deliberate choice not to reply. Let’s think about that.

She looked at her phone, saw the text, and decided, “No, I don’t want to reply.” Then she probably blocked him because now he's being creepy with all the texts.

But it still wasn’t getting through.

He thought he still had a chance with her since she never directly said “no.”

Even a few weeks ago, I wrote an article about why we want the person we can’t have with this same client in mind.

Below is the advice I gave to that client to try to come at things from a bit of a different angle.

“I've never disagreed that the best way to reject someone is to actually reject someone. None of this no-response business. For that part, I am 100% in agreement with you.

But, not everyone is capable or comfortable (they lack courage, confrontation skills, etc.) to do that, unfortunately. Do I tell all of my clients (both male and female, mind you) to send a kind but first rejection text in order to provide closure? Yes, I do. But if someone doesn't give you the courtesy of doing that, you have to take her non-response as a proxy for rejection. While it doesn't give you the closure you need, it's still a ‘no.’

I want you to try going through this thought process instead:

Why would you ever want to be with someone who can't express herself? Someone who can't write a simple ‘I'm not interested’ to you? Who can't be both confident and courteous enough to say ‘stop writing to me’? They don't want to ‘hurt your feelings.’ Baloney! They are too uncomfortable with confrontation to do it. So, is that someone you'd ever want to be with?

So, I'm asking you to stop writing to women who don't get back to you. They've made it abundantly clear that they don't want to communicate. The only communication I'd like you to use after a non-response is a ‘closure’ type of message from you to them:

‘I'm disappointed I never heard back from you. I was looking forward to getting to know you. All the best.’

And that will have to be the same for you as her saying it outright. I've used messages like that before with men who have ghosted me (and there have been plenty — you're not unique in that way). It's just something that allows me (and, in this case, you) to be the bigger person and have the last word, essentially saying, I'm better than being ignored. Please notice the difference between this note and the ones you're sending. In yours, you keep trying for something you know is off the table. In this one, you're confident and expressive … and know how to end something. She has already closed the door. You just need to lock it.

Rather than defending your patterns of behavior that are clearly not working, or sharing with me why you do what you do, it's time to change that pattern, and this is the perfect opportunity to do it.”

Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating. ©2020 Erika Ettin Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.