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I've been exchanging messages online with someone of the opposite gender for an extended time now. We live in different countries. I think we get along fairly well, and there have been situations where there is a romantic undertone to some of our conversations.

Early this year, I lost my phone and her contact information in it. It was but one incident in a fairly crappy start of the year for me. Thankfully, I was able to recover it recently with the contact data still on it.

Since my contact stopped abruptly due to the incident, I fear that from her perspective it looks like I have ghosted her. I really enjoy our conversations, though, so I want to resume our exchange now that I have my phone back.

I want to know if there are points I should take into consideration before resuming after a long time without contact. The circumstances were out of my control, but it's something they have to take at my word. I want to assuage those worries (if they're even there and I'm not just overthinking this), but I don't know how I should phrase it, or how I should bring it up naturally, if I even should.

I would feel a bit sad if the same happened to me, so I want to know if there is a way to express that it was not my intention to 'ghost' her and that I still enjoy exchanging messages with her.

How can I tell my romantic interest I stopped talking to them because I lost my phone without them thinking I ghosted them?

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Online friendships are surprisingly resistant to downtime. Unless you've left the person "on read" when they were expecting a follow up from you, chances are they won't think you've ghosted them at all.

If that has happened, then it's better start fresh with a greeting and inform them of the incident, then ask them what has happened of interesting on their end this whole time. They may want you to explain what happened in a bit more detail, and things may have changed on their end; there should be plenty to talk about*. You may resume the pre-incident topic after you two are up to date on current affairs.

"Hi, Becky! My phone blew up with all my contacts a while ago and I lost your number, but I'm glad I could recover and find it again. It's been a while, how have things been?"

*Disclaimer: They may ask you why didn't you have their number, or any sort of e-mail, or Neopets account name, or whatever noted down somewhere if you really did care to keep super active contact with this person. You're on your own if this happens.


I have experienced almost 2 decades of online relationships where I've been friends with people of all sorts of occupations and backgrounds. Sometimes they disappear for a reason or another for up to a year, but when communications do resume it is usually easy to get back on track. This answer is close to one of the approaches that have been shared with me during one of those times.

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  • Hi there! That's some pretty good advice, it seems like you've had to face similar situations before. Could you tell us more about them? We need answers to come with backup so that we know answerers are experienced on the matter and that their advice is trustworthy and was tried before. Thanks! – avazula Feb 27 at 6:34

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