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What Is Zombieing in Dating and How to Deal With It

Karen Whitefield loves to read, write, and nap. When she's not giving relationship advice, she hangs out with her German terrier.

Did the person who ghosted you suddenly reappear in your life?

Did the person who ghosted you suddenly reappear in your life?

What Is Zombieing and How Is It Different From Ghosting?

Zombieing is one of the latest terms to be added to the dating lexicon. You've probably heard of ghosting, which is when a guy stops responding to your messages—in other words, he just disappears into thin air, like a ghost! This is after you've and a few dates and were even convinced that they went so well that you were probably going have a summer wedding...

Zombieing, on the other hand, is when they come back from the dead, just like a zombie! If a guy who ghosted you comes back and contacts you out of nowhere, he just zombied you.

"If a guy who ghosted you suddenly comes back from out of nowhere, he just zombied you."

Why Do People Do It?

Many of the things that happen in dating are truly mysterious. People are complex and everyone has their own reasons for doing what they do. But my theory has always been this: have you ever stopped texting someone because dealing with them would have been more difficult? That's the only reason. Sometimes, it's because of self-esteem issues—some people are just afraid of confrontation, and in the disposable world of today's dating, no-contact is just so easy. It's not like one has to stand by some morals of marriage! But then, when you do realize that maybe you did the wrong thing, the person who ghosted you reappears and the process starts all over again.


"Sometimes, it's because of self-esteem issues. People are just afraid of confrontation, and having no contact can sometimes seem easier. But then they realize they did the wrong thing and the person who ghosted you suddenly reappears."


Why Is It Wrong to Zombie Someone?

It's wrong because once you exit from someone's life without time, they have a hard time dealing with it. It's a huge blow to their self-confidence. And since they know any of their efforts to get in touch with you are not coming to fruition, they work very hard to forget about you, only to have you reappear in their lives. This is not fair on the person who gets ghosted and zombied. Basically, you are playing with their feelings, which is, at the very least, emotionally unethical. Granted there are no rules when it comes to dating, but there are certain ethical and moral considerations that one should honor.

"The problem with both ghosting and zombieing is that you are playing with someone's feelings. At the very least, it's emotionally unethical."


How Should I Respond?

So, you got a text from someone who you had had a good time with and then they suddenly got back to you? It's natural to be confused about how to respond, not least of all because zombies are always playing with your feelings. The first thing you need to do is ask yourself what their intentions are. Do you want to be played just as you were the last time? Or do you want to take a chance? It's possible their behavior may change and it's also possible that they may be sincere about their feelings this time. The best thing to do is to trust your gut. The basic rule of psychology is: past behavior is the predictor of future behavior. Having said that, dating isn't an exact science. So if you are willing to risk it again, you may reply back to this zombie. If you are a guy who has zombied a woman, it will take more than some fantastic jewelry to woo her!

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"Trust your gut. The basic rule of psychology is: past behavior is the predictor of future behavior. Having said that, dating isn't an exact science. If you are willing to risk getting hurt again, you may reply back to this zombie."



Karen Whitefield (author) from New York on February 23, 2020:

dashingscorpio, that is so true. People aren't willing to commit anymore it seems to me.

dashingscorpio from Chicago on January 10, 2020:

"Why People Do It?"

There are a variety of reasons this takes place in my opinion.

1. Whomever they really wanted is now out of the picture.

Most daters are engaged with multiple people especially if they are meeting prospects online. Sometimes one choose to focus on one person and ends up ghosting others they were dealing with.

Should that potential relationship fail they'll circle back to those they left by the wayside in an effort to "touch base" or "catch up".

A sports analogy would be the starter has gone down so now the coach is looking for someone on the bench to get into the game.

2. They want to test the waters to see if YOU are still into them.

Some people love the idea of having "options" even when they are in a committed relationship. Having someone to flirt with and believing they'd hookup with you if you wanted is an ego boost.

The "zombie" pops up periodically every few months to check in.

Generally speaking a zombie has no real interest in meeting you in person! Most zombies don't want to hear your voice/have a live talk. They're content with having a quick email or text exchange.

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