21 Reasons Why Ghosters Always Come Back & How To React (2024)

Have you ever been ghosted only to have the ghoster suddenly reappear in your life? If so, you’re not alone. Ghosting is a common phenomenon and often, ghosters do come back.

Key Takeaways

  • Ghosters come back for various reasons:
    • missing you
    • regretting their action
    • realizing they have unresolved feelings
    • they are a “player” personality
  • What to do:
    • make your own emotions and well-being a priority
    • have an open conversation about why they ghosted you
    • communicate clear consequences if it happens again (and stick to it)

My article explains 21 reasons ghosters come back and how to react to prevent suffering for you.

1. They Feel Guilty of Their Decision

We all make mistakes sometimes. They might not be the same mistakes but they are mistakes nonetheless.

So your ghoster might have acted selfishly but then realized their mistake and are feeling guilty for hurting you.

If this is the case, such a ghoster would come with an apology, willing to do whatever it takes to make amends. They’ll show a change in their behavior to that of selflessness to win your trust back.

If this reason why ghosters always come back applies to your situation, you’re the one to choose whether you’ll:

  1. Forgive the ghoster and give the relationship a second chance
  2. Forgive the ghoster and reject them from your life
Why Ghosters Always Come Back
Image by Lothar Dieterich from Pixabay

2. They Don’t Like You Moving On

You’ll know this reason why ghosters always come back is at work in your situation if the moment you started showing interest or dating someone else, they showed up.

They may not want you to move on because it’ll hurt their pride or because they still love you. Whatever the case, this is someone not brave enough to commit to you or let you go either. They just want you single and open to them and only them.

Keep in mind that when this ghost returns, they can come with promises to keep you and commit to you only to get lost again. This cycle will keep on if you keep offering more and more chances.

Therefore, if you’ve offered a second chance before and the ghoster keeps showing up whenever you’re trying to move on with another relationship, don’t accept them back into your amazing life. 

Someone ready to keep you will be ready to commit to you. Anything else is deception.

Related: Why Do Exes Come Back When You Moved On

3. They Genuinely Miss You

A pretty obvious answer to why ghosters always come back is that they miss you. 

Perhaps you’ve had an experience in your life where you didn’t appreciate someone or something enough when you had them until you lost them.

The same thing may be happening to your ghoster. They might have thought the grass was greener on the other side only to realize it wasn’t when they lost you. So they started thinking about the moments you shared and the more they did, the more they missed you.

That’s why they’re back.

In this case, there’s no knowing whether their return to your life would be permanent unless you give them a chance if you want to. Unfortunately, if missing you is the only reason they’re back in your life – that they don’t feel sorry for ghosting you in the first place, they’re likely to ghost you again.

Therefore, accept back someone who doesn’t just come out of nowhere saying “I miss you” like nothing went wrong but someone who firstly accepts their mistake of hurting you with their ghosting behavior and will be glad if you choose to accept them back.

Giving them another chance would then show you if they’re truly serious about you.

4. They Figure That You Miss Them

Some people ghost you thinking that you don’t care about them and therefore, won’t be bothered when they’re missing.

Perhaps you rejected them or behaved uninterested with them. In an attempt to move on, they might ghost you. But then you start showing signs you miss them (at least they assume so).

In hopes of you accept what they offer, they might reconsider coming back into your life. This is one of the rather innocent reasons why ghosters always come back.

To deal with such an individual, you must ask whether this is the reason they ghosted you that you may decide whether:

  • You want them in your life with what they offer: If you were playing hard to get, you can accept them because you like them too
  • You want them in your life but with a set of conditions: Explain you are not ready for a serious relationship with them and give them conditions if they want to be in your life
  • You don’t want them in your life: If them being in your life is not wise, tell them and accept their leaving

Check out how to deal with a situation where an Emotionally Unavailable Man Keeps Coming Back.

5. They Don’t Know It’s Wrong

It may be tough to believe this reason why ghosters always come back but it’s possible. We grow in different environments so some people don’t know some of their behavior that hurts others.

Don’t Know It’s Wrong
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

This person may have ghosted you unintentionally and so doesn’t know it hurt you. They think it’s totally cool to not respond to texts for days or even weeks as long as they’re caught up with something in their lives. This is especially true with online dating apps than in real-life dating.

So they might get lost only to come back with a text like, “Hey friend, long time!”

While you’re on this end wondering why in this world would someone that seems so sincere would behave as nothing wrong happened, they’re on the other end happy to rekindle a dead thread.

Yeah, misunderstandings happen.

This is a person you must approach directly. Ask questions like, “I’m wondering why you’re behaving as nothing happened, do you understand you ghosted me?”

If this person’s reply would be of one having no clue, then you might have to explain how they should communicate in such situations.

Related: Clear Signs He Caught Feelings For You

6. They Think You’re Always Available for Them

If you’re the kind of person who’s always there for people whenever they need you, this might be the reason the ghoster in your life keeps coming back. Even when they know they hurt you, they blame you for letting them do so.

If this has happened a couple of times because you love the person, don’t blame yourself. You are naturally too kind to shut people down. 

But then if you want this to be over, you have to choose to say “never again!”

No matter how much you love them, if they’re taking advantage of that, it’s best to let them go. They’re not the best person for you and no matter how much you accept them, they’ll keep hurting you with their ghosting.

Related: Definite Signs Your Ex Will Eventually Come Back To You

7. They Want to Prove They Can Have You Whenever They Want You

The reason why ghosters always come back is majorly related to narcissists and players. 

If you’re dealing with a person with clear signs he’s a player or narcissistic tendencies, they’d probably ghost you and then come back to you whenever they like to prove to themselves, their best friend, mutual friends, and many others that they can have you whenever they want.

If someone suggested you’re a challenge, they’d use you as an ego boost, showing that no matter how tough you are, you are no match for them.

Often, you won’t get even an admission of the mistake from a narcissist. But on rare occasions, they’ll be willing to go to great lengths to convince you of their sincerity.

These types of people are broken people and unless you want to stay in their life to be heartbroken over and over again until they learn to become a decent human being, you better stay away from them and move on with your life.

8. They’re Bored

When thinking why ghosters always come back, this is one of the obvious reasons that pops right off anyone’s head. And it’s valid.

This person may have gotten bored of you and left without goodbyes and then got bored alone only to come back to you for an ego boost to feed his fragile self-esteem.

This is someone that isn’t ready for a serious relationship with you so they’ll keep ghosting you when bored with you and the same person would reappear whenever they like when bored of being alone. That’s if you allow this vicious cycle to happen.

If you realize this person gets in and out of your life out of boredom, cut off ties with them. You deserve someone who’s in your life because they want to make out a fun life with you, not one who’s only present for your attention.

Related: Why Does He Keep Coming Back

9. They Got Rejected

Do you know of anyone this ghoster was pursuing?

Check their life closely and if you find out they were interested in someone who rejected them recently, this is probably the only thing causing them to come back into your life.

It’s the worst feeling knowing somebody left you because of someone they assume is better. But even if they came back when they get rejected, it doesn’t mean they love you. 

It only means this person doesn’t want you for you, they want you because you’re an available option.

The best way to deal with such a person is by pointing out their mistake and making it clear you’re not interested in them because of that same reason. 

Giving in to their promises can lead you to another disappointment when they leave you for someone else again. You deserve better than that.

Related: Love Bombing Then Ghosting: 21 Reasons & Best Responses

10. They Want to Use You

When thinking why ghosters always come back, consider this common reason. Not everyone is a decent person like you, some people are only out to use others for their own gain.

They can go to great lengths of convincing you that they’re in love with you only to ghost you when they’re done getting what they need. This same person may come back because they need something and you have it.

Signs showing a ghoster wants to use you include:

  • The relationship is mostly about this person’s life – it’s like the world revolves around them
  • They come back to you whenever they need you to rescue them from something
  • They’re always asking for favors
  • They don’t consider your emotional needs and if they do on rare occurrences, it’s because it’s convenient for them
  • They guilt-trip you to avoid saying no
  • They break promises
  • They don’t show gratitude
  • They avoid talking about your future together
  • They’re dishonest

If your ghoster reveals most of these signs, it’s best to keep them away from your life, rejecting them no matter how they come back to you.

Related: 50+ Best Ghosting Responses & Guide

11. They Genuinely Want to Commit to You

I bet it’s tough to hear this valid reason why ghosters always come back. Especially if you’ve already struggled to move on.

But if you’re honest with yourself having known the red flags we’ve already discussed, you know this person is genuinely interested in having a committed relationship with you. 

If that’s the case, you need to remember we all make mistakes, and therefore, we all deserve second chances.

This person’s interest in you wavered but now they realize they made a huge mistake – that ghost genuinely feels bad. With all their flaws, you know deep down they’re a nice person. And that warm fuzzy feeling of attraction towards them is still there.

If these statements are true, it’s best to give them another chance. But again, that’s up to you.

12. They Just Need a Casual Hookup

We all know it’s easier to hook up with a welcoming ex with barely any effort than to convince a new person to get laid. This is one of the major reasons why ghosters always come back.

As if their dirty ghosting past is none existent, this person may come to you with half-hearted apologies only to sweet talk you to bed. All the pain they caused you doesn’t seem to matter because this person would sleep with you and ghost you. Again.

If you’re still in love with this person and are willing to give them another chance, tell them you don’t want to be intimate with them for a while to see how they behave. If their interest wanes over time, they probably got back to get laid.

Anyone who comes to you for nothing more than a night of pleasure isn’t worth your time.

Related: How To Get An Emotionally Unavailable Man To Chase You

13. They Think of You as Their Back up Plan

Even if you think no one can be such a bad person as to play games with the feelings of others, you’re wrong. One of the main reasons why ghosters always come back is to keep you as their backup plan.

If you pay attention to their dating life, you’d realize they continued dating after they ghosted you but got back with you when things didn’t work out with the other person. If you look closer or give them chances to prove who they are, you’ll realize that they play such head games all the time.

Ghosting is their way of keeping a back-burner relationship they can rekindle when the other flame dims. Such don’t regret ghosting and that fact would be pretty obvious after some time knowing them.

You should be the only plan to the one you commit to so anyone who treats you as a backup plan doesn’t deserve to be with you.

Related: The Infinite Power Of Silence After A Breakup

14. They Need Your Emotional Support

Even ghosters have emotions. They go through their own struggles and tough periods. And if they suddenly hit you up after months of ghosting, it may mean they’re going through something right now.

They want you back to be their shoulder to cry on. They need emotional support from you which is unacceptable because they don’t deserve you.

15. They Need Your Help With Something

Another selfish reason why a ghoster will come back to you all of a sudden is that they need a favor.

They need your help with something, whether that’s to help them move on from their past relationship or be there plus one at a wedding. Whatever it is, you don’t deserve to be treated that way.

Related: Reasons Why Men Come Back Months Later

16. They See Things That Remind Them Of You

Maybe they’ve been seeing all of their friends get married and have babies. Maybe they saw a movie that you two watched together. Or maybe someone asked them about you.

This is another common reason for a ghoster to come back. They are reminded of you far too often and they take it as a sign to call you back.

17. They Want Attention

Some people can’t handle being alone. They can’t survive without constant attention and affection. So if they don’t have enough attention in their life, they may try to get back with you.

18. They Are Narcissists

Narcissists want to have power over you. Ghosting alone is a power move where they try to put you in an inferior position. So when they come back to you, it’s just their way of controlling you or trying to feel superior again.

It’s important to learn to recognize narcissistic behavior, especially in a partner. Otherwise, you may end up in a toxic relationship again.

19. They Are Curious

Sometimes there’s no real reason to explain why ghosters come back. Sometimes things are simple – they’re just curious. They’re either curious to see whether they still hold a chance or they want to know your relationship status.

20. They Want To Get Over Someone Else

Another common reason why ghosters come back is that they need a rebound as soon as possible. They can’t handle the pain of being dumped so they run to you for a boost of confidence.

21. They Have Genuinely Grown And Matured

Let’s give ghosters the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes people grow. They come to realize their faults and they want to make amends. Some of them even realize what they had was really valuable and want to try to win you over.

In that case, it might be worth giving them a shot. But be careful!

Critical questions on reasons why ghosters come back

Do they always come back after ghosting you? Do guys who ghost come back?

Most ghosters come back after some time. They return because they already have an opportunity, having not ended the relationship officially. So they take advantage of the fact that they can explain their way back into your life.

Why Ghosters Come Back
Photo by mikoto.raw Photographer from Pexels

What percentage of ghosters come back?

A large percentage of ghosters eventually come back although no statistics show approximate numbers. Since they have a reason why they ghosted you and you’re hoping for closure, they take that opportunity to resurface into your life.

How long does it take a ghoster to come back?

It can take as little as three days for a ghoster to come back. Others take months and even years to return after they move on without explanation, thinking you might be available for them when they’re ready to return.

Why do guys Ghost and come back?

A guy can ghost and then come back because:

  1. They’re feeling guilty for their decision
  2. They don’t like you moving on
  3. They genuinely miss you – perhaps they saw your fire instagram post
  4. They figure that you miss them
  5. They don’t know it’s wrong
  6. The guy thinks you’re always available for them
  7. They want to prove they can have you whenever they want you
  8. They feel lonely and bored
  9. The guy got rejected
  10. They want to use you
  11. The guy genuinely wants to commit to you
  12. They just need a casual hookup
  13. The guy thinks of you as his backup plan

How do you respond to a Ghoster who comes back? What to do when a ghoster comes back

  • Ask for an explanation to make a sound decision
  • Don’t respond at all to a narcissist or player
  • Tell them you’re no longer interested in them
  • Accept them back into your life if the ghoster realizes their mistake – but with conditions
  • Let forgiveness be your first reaction
  • Learn to expect or assume nothing amazing from them like you used to in your past relationship
  • Focus on developing your new relationship if you have one

While some advise you to give them a taste of their own medicine by giving them silent treatment, you shouldn’t since they’ll keep that record for future reference to use it against you. Instead, handle them maturely with the above tips the same way you’d like to be treated.

Do ghosters feel guilty?

Some ghosters experience guilt but others don’t. The ghosters who explained leaving in a way that shows they consider your feelings are guilty for ghosting you. But others who pop up like nothing is wrong don’t possibly feel no guilt. Usually, they’re used to ghosting people.

How to make a ghoster regret

  • Close off all the doors into your life
  • Genuinely move on from that relationship
  • Find a way to live your best life without them
  • Stay unavailable
  • Work on being over them instead of striving to show them you’re over them
  • Make other genuine connections

Final Word

The most common reasons why ghosters always come back are negative. After all, to end things as if the other person doesn’t matter is a shameful entitled move. But it’s up to you to decide whether you can give a second chance based on the reason why they did it.

Have you discovered the reason why your ghoster came back? Which is it? What best way do you think you should respond? Let’s talk in the comments!

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About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.