You made peace with the fact that he ghosted you, he is no longer in your life and that’s it. Then all of a sudden, the screen on your phone lights up and you see a text from the guy you were sure would never contact you again.

Ghosting usually means that there is no contact—no goodbye, no explanation, no nothing from a guy you have been dating for a while, or maybe even had a relationship with. It’s one of the most disrespectful ways to end things.

At first, you are not sure whether you are delusional or the text is real. Once you acknowledge its authenticity (and probably send a screenshot to your friend, just to make sure you are not imagining things), you stop to think: “What happened that made that ghost reappear?”

The options may vary but the most likely scenario is that he wants to test the waters and see if he still has a shot with you.

It also might be a booty call. And the best case scenario is that he chickened out, he is truly sorry and he wants one more chance.

So don’t rush into texting him back—even if that’s your first instinct, resist it.

Maybe you are hoping for the best case scenario, and seeing his text made those ghosted butterflies in your stomach go all crazy again. Stop, take a deep breath and take your time to assess the situation.

Whatever you do, don’t get ahead of yourself; take your time in texting him back. This guy disappeared on you for no reason, for a long period of time.

He has hurt your feelings and maybe even shaken your self-esteem, so the least he can do is wait for your reply, if there is going to be a reply, that is.

You might have even secretly hoped that this day would come, but just never let him know that. You don’t know the real reason why he is texting you.

Maybe he is unworthy of your time anyway. Maybe he needs to prove himself worthy.

Whatever the case may be, by replying right away you are unintentionally suggesting that you put your life on hold waiting for him to reappear.

Here are some things you should do before answering the text and before letting him back into your life:

1. Read the text a couple of times, carefully

Don’t give the text a higher meaning. Look with your eyes and not your hopes. If he texts something simple, like, “Hello…” don’t even bother texting back.

He should step up his game or step down completely. Only when you see him making a real effort can you think about texting him back.

2. If you decide to text him, play it cool and always be nice

He hurt your feelings. You might be super-ecstatic about him reaching out again but don’t let that cloud your judgment when texting. Take it slow.

Don’t overcommunicate. Match his efforts. If he texts you three words, don’t reply to him with a novel. Keep it short and simple. Never let him detect anger or resentment in your texts.

3. Play your cards right

There are a few ways to do that. You can text back normally, like nothing happened, all in the boundaries of friendship, of course. But take your time in going out on a date with him.

Make him work for it. You can also be open and honest and say that his behavior wasn’t OK but you are willing to give him one last shot.

Or if you decide that you are not interested in him anymore and that that ship has sailed, be a better person than he is and tell him that you appreciate his invitation but you are no longer interested in him.

He will be surprised, both by your honesty and by the fact that you no longer wish to see his ghosty ass.

4. Question your emotions

Giving a second chance to someone who ghosted you can be really risky, as he might disappear on you all over again.

So make sure you want him back in the first place. After all, he displayed his true colors before you really even started anything.

However, if you decide that he is worth the risk and that you can handle him possibly vanishing into thin air once again, make him earn your trust.

He no longer has your trust and you can’t give him the benefit of the doubt so easily. He must acknowledge that what he did was wrong and he must be willing to work hard and to do his best to rebuild that trust.

If not, he is not worth your time.