25 Things to Say Instead of “Ghosting”

In an era where digital communication reigns supreme, the phenomenon of ‘ghosting’ – abruptly ending communication without explanation – has become increasingly common.

However, ghosting can leave the other party feeling confused, hurt, and disrespected. It’s often more considerate and effective to communicate your feelings or intentions clearly, even if it’s to say you need some space or can’t continue a conversation or relationship.

what to say instead of ghosting

What to Say Instead of “Ghosting”: 25 Ideas

This article provides 25 alternative ways to express this, each tailored to different contexts and intentions, along with detailed explanations of their appropriateness and ideal situations for use.

1. “I Need Some Time to Myself”

“I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and need some time to myself to recharge. I hope you understand and I appreciate your patience.”

This response is appropriate when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. It communicates your need for space honestly and respectfully.

2. “I’m Going Through a Busy Period”

“Currently, I’m going through a really busy period. I might not be able to communicate as often, but I wanted to let you know.”

Use this when your life is hectic, and you genuinely cannot maintain regular communication. It keeps the other person informed and shows respect for their expectations.

3. “I’m Not Ready for This Right Now”

“I’ve realized that I’m not ready for this kind of conversation/relationship right now. I need to focus on myself, and I hope you can respect that.”

This is suitable when you’re not emotionally or mentally prepared for a conversation or relationship. It’s a direct yet considerate way to communicate your feelings.

4. “I Think We’re Going in Different Directions”

“It seems to me that we’re going in different directions. I think it’s best if we acknowledge that and part ways amicably.”

Appropriate when your goals or desires are misaligned with the other person’s. It’s a respectful way to acknowledge differences and suggest a separation.

5. “I Need to Focus on My Personal Goals”

“Right now, I need to focus on my personal goals and I feel it’s best to do this on my own. I hope you can understand my need for this focus.”

Use this to express a desire to concentrate on personal growth or goals, indicating that you need to step back from the relationship or conversation.

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6. “I Don’t Think I Can Give This the Attention It Deserves”

“I don’t think I can give this conversation/relationship the attention it deserves at the moment. It wouldn’t be fair to you.”

This is appropriate when you cannot dedicate the necessary time or energy to the interaction, showing consideration for the other person’s needs.

7. “I’m Not Feeling a Connection”

“I think you’re great, but I’m not feeling a connection between us. I believe it’s better to be honest about this now.”

Best used when you do not feel a spark or connection. It’s a straightforward yet respectful way to address a lack of chemistry.

8. “I’m Dealing with Personal Issues”

“I’m currently dealing with some personal issues and need to step back from external commitments. I appreciate your understanding.”

Use this if you are facing personal challenges and need to focus on resolving them. It communicates your situation honestly without oversharing.

9. “I Appreciate Our Time Together, But…”

“I really appreciate the time we’ve spent together, but I feel it’s time for me to move on. Thank you for the memories.”

This is a gracious way to end a relationship or interaction, acknowledging the positive aspects while also expressing a desire to move on.

10. “My Feelings Have Changed”

“My feelings have changed, and I think it’s only fair to tell you. I believe we should go our separate ways.”

Appropriate when your feelings have evolved and you no longer wish to continue the relationship. It’s honest and direct.

11. “I Value Our Friendship Too Much”

“I value our friendship too much to lead you on. I don’t think pursuing anything further is the best idea for us.”

Use this if you want to maintain a platonic relationship and fear that continuing might jeopardize the friendship.

12. “I’m Not in the Right Head Space”

“I’m currently not in the right headspace for this kind of conversation/relationship. I need to sort out my own feelings first.”

This response is ideal when you are emotionally unsettled or confused and need time to understand your own feelings.

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13. “I Think We Want Different Things”

“It’s become clear to me that we want different things. It’s probably best if we acknowledge that and part ways.”

Suitable when there’s a fundamental mismatch in expectations or desires, and you want to address this divergence respectfully.

14. “I Need to Prioritize My Health/Well-being”

“Right now, I need to prioritize my health/well-being, which means stepping back from some commitments, including our conversations.”

This is appropriate when personal health or well-being necessitates a break from the relationship or conversation.

15. “I’m Not the Right Person for You”

“I think you’re looking for something I can’t provide. I’m not the right person for you, and I think it’s important to be honest about that.”

Use this when you believe the other person’s needs or expectations do not align with what you can offer.

16. “I’ve Enjoyed Our Conversations, However…”

“I’ve really enjoyed our conversations, however, I don’t see this moving forward. I wanted to be upfront about my feelings.”

This is a kind way to end conversations that are pleasant but lack potential for further development.

17. “I Think We Should Take a Break”

“I’ve been thinking, and I believe we should take a break. It will give us both some time to reflect on what we really want.”

Appropriate for relationships or interactions where a pause might be beneficial to reassess feelings or goals.

18. “I’m Working Through Some Things”

“I’m currently working through some things and need to do this alone. I hope you can respect my need for space.”

This response is suitable when personal issues require attention and space, and you wish to communicate this need clearly.

19. “I Don’t Want to Lead You On”

“I think you’re wonderful, but I don’t want to lead you on. My feelings aren’t developing as I had hoped.”

Use this when you want to communicate a lack of romantic interest honestly and kindly.

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20. “I’m Seeking Something Different”

“I’ve realized that I’m seeking something different in a relationship/conversation. I think it’s best we go our separate ways.”

Best used when your goals or desires in the relationship are different and you want to address this respectfully.

21. “It’s Not You, It’s Me”

“The classic ‘It’s not you, it’s me.’ In this case, it really is. I need to work on myself before committing to someone else.”

This cliché, when used sincerely, can convey the need to focus on personal growth or issues.

22. “I Need to Redefine My Priorities”

“I’m at a point where I need to redefine my priorities, and unfortunately, that means stepping back from our interaction for now.”

Use this when personal reflection and reevaluation of priorities necessitate a break from the relationship.

23. “I’m Not Sure What I Want”

“To be honest, I’m not sure what I want right now, and it wouldn’t be fair to keep this going while I figure that out.”

Suitable when you are uncertain about your feelings or intentions and need time to figure things out.

24. “I Appreciate You, But…”

“I truly appreciate you and everything you’ve offered, but I don’t think we’re compatible in the long run.”

This is a respectful way to express appreciation while also acknowledging a lack of long-term compatibility.

25. “Let’s Be Honest with Ourselves”

“Let’s be honest with ourselves – this isn’t working as we hoped. Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that and move on.”

Best for situations where mutual recognition of the relationship’s ineffectiveness can lead to a respectful conclusion.


Using these alternatives to ghosting can foster clearer communication, respect, and understanding in various interpersonal interactions.

Whether it’s a romantic relationship, a casual conversation, or even a professional interaction, choosing to communicate openly about your feelings or intentions is always a more respectful and considerate approach than ghosting.