Been ghosted? We’re here to help.

If you’re in the range of two, three, four dates with a girl, the majority of your relationship is carried out through text messages. This is one of the major distinctions between “seeing” a woman and “being together” with a woman. You don’t need to make any phone calls—goodnight phone calls, congratulatory phone calls, etc. Your due diligence revolves around a few texts throughout the week, asking things like “How’d work go?” and “So what else is new?” in between dates.

So when a lady chooses to suddenly cut you off via text, without explicitly-stated cause, it’s hard to take it in stride. Case in point: The other day, a friend came to me about a ghosting situation he was suffering through. He had been seeing this woman for about two weeks, texting for maybe three to four, and he seemed to like her. I know this because when we’d play tennis, he’d always talk about her. I, for one, was focusing on the (tennis) match. But, him—you could tell he liked her.

He told me that communication with this lady broke down somewhat out of the blue. But, by the time he brought it up to me, he was already in the limbo stage: one full week without contact. I knew if I was going to help him, it would certainly require some careful strategizing. So I didn’t waste any time and got right to business.

Here’s what I told him.

The first step after realizing you’re involved in a potential ghosting situation is to try and assess the situation in as unbiased a manner as possible.

If she suddenly decided to stop speaking to you, it’s possible you did something that turned her off or made her feel you’re not a good match. Regardless of how ugly the truth might be, your main objective is to check the damage.

Once you get ghosted, you’re going to find yourself fighting an uphill battle back into her good graces. This is simply the nature of the business. If you did something that offended her or—even worse—hurt her, it only makes your task more difficult. But, keep in mind, making a mistake isn’t the end of the world—as long as you’re self-aware and avoid repeating the faux pas in the future.

If you said something offensive, figure out what it was and try to rectify it. If you flaked on a date, apologize a few more times and make plans you’ll actually stick to. Just make sure you didn’t do anything that can’t be fixed (like cheat)—because then this ghost might be around for the long haul.

Once communication breaks down with a lady, generally speaking, I like to wait until Friday to try and re-crack the ice. Why? Because Friday suggests a state of mind. It suggests a “vibe.” Texting someone at 11am on Monday clearly isn’t going to elicit the same response as texting on a Friday night.

Trust me: If you have any aspirations of seeing her that weekend, you’re not going to want to shoot a weeknight text to the girl who ghosted. A weeknight text just means asking a lot of yourself, as a conversationalist. But, hey, if you think you can maintain Monday-Thursday conversation with a chick you haven’t spoken to lately, send that text, champ.

But, if you decide to text during the week, it’s wise not to underestimate “rollover stress” from work and other obligations. My advice? Show some patience and wait until Friday. There’s nothing more deflating than watching your middle-of-the week effort flop—all because you were a bit antsy.

To be clear: I advocate for this time not for ignoble reasons (read: booty call) but rather for social ones. In my experience, I’ve found that sending the reentry text within the 9:00 window usually results in the most success.

Send a text around 9:15, maybe 9:30, and keep your fingers crossed. Chances are if she’s going out, she’ll be pregaming, pre-pregaming, or heading to a pregame. Either way, it’s infinitely more likely that she’ll be in a festive mood, finally able to release the stress of the workweek, and consequently more receptive to making plans for a date with you.

The 9:00 window is my comfort zone, but I like to adhere to a strict 10:30 cutoff. As soon as your texts start to encroach on 11pm with a lady you haven’t spoken to all that much, you inch closer to booty-call territory. Which, for obvious reasons, isn’t the best way to break the ice.

If you follow the above steps, you may find yourself on the road to recovery. That’s not to say that you’re going to ultimately marry the chick who previously ghosted you. But it’s likely that you’ll find yourself back in the picture.

At the very least, you’ll come out of your “ghost scare” with some added insight about the person who did the ghosting. You should now know her sensitive spots and what things to avoid saying or doing.

I’ll have you know that my tennis friend followed the steps above, and he’s got new plans with that girl tonight. I can only hope that the rest of you are as lucky. Godspeed, gentlemen.