Ask the past: More ghosting etiquette

After last week's ghosting advice, I had the following question from a reader, on behalf of one of their friends:

What is the advice given to someone whose love is not being returned. Specifically when someone is ‘ghosting’ you? Mostly we just want them to own their feelings and be honest, since since there was an obvious connection at one point.

Questions like this are why it is so important to follow correct ghosting etiquette  to avoid confusion and hurt feelings. However, since the ghoster failed to do that, you're left needing to take matters into your own hands. As usual when dealing with difficult feelings, the best place to start is with flowers. The following selections from Australian Etiquette should make the situation very clear:

Love in a Mist - You puzzle me

Chrysanthemum, Yellow - Slighted love

Osier - Frankness

Filbert - Reconciliation

A flower with six pale blue petals and a green centre against a background of feathery looking bright green leaves.
You puzzle me. Photo by Julie Blake Edison

If your friend is actually interested in reconciliation with their ghoster, they may want to be more explicit about that. The best way to add emphasis to flowers is with baked goods,such as this recipe for filbert hardbake from the Harmsworth Household Encyclopedia:

Put 1/2 lb of demarara sugar, 1 gill of water, and 1 oz. of butter in a strong saucepan to boil. Stir in a pinch of cream of tartar and 2 teaspoonfuls of glucose, and boil the syrup to 300F, or until the syrup when tested in cold water is quite brittle and snaps across easily. Then pour it at once into a tin greased with salad oil, sprinkle over the toffee 4 oz of blanched, shredded filberts, and leave until cold, when it can be broken up as desired.

A close up photo of a clump of white berries on the end of a branch of dark green leaves with white edges
Frankness. Photo by Wyxina Tresse

If they want to send the flowers and/or toffee with a letter, this sample letter from The National Encyclopedia of Business and Social Forms is extremely clear:

From a Lady to her Lover who has not Written to her.

Whitehall, November 6th, 1876.

Dear John:

It is more than a month since you wrote to me. Are you ill ? or what causes your silence ? I have thought lately also that your letters were constrained and cold, as well as few and far between. Has your affection for me changed ? If so, speak frankly to me, dear John. I would not for the world hold you to your promise to me, if you desired to be released from it. Write to me immediately, and answer me truly.

I am, ever,

Yours affectionately,


I'm sure that will help.

Several dozen fluffy deep yellow flowers with lots of little petals against a black background
Slighted love. Photo by Elena Cosarca

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