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Women dealing with a partner who is zombieing while dating.

Zombieing: The Meaning, Signs, and How To Avoid this New Dating Trend

There’s something spooky about online dating these days. Between all the ghosts and zombies dating online can be challenging, but we’re here to help you survive this dating apocalypse. For those confused, zombieing (or Zombie-ing) is a new dating term that means when someone ghosts you and then later reappears. It’s possible you’ve experienced a zombie in your dating life without even realizing it. Let’s make sure you know how to spot a zombie and survive the dating apocalypse.

Meaning of Zombieing

Zombieing is when someone who has previously ghosted you, cut off all communication with you, reappears and attempts to reconnect with you. The term was first used in a 2016 PrimeMind article and has since blown up in popularity. 

With the world on hold during the pandemic, it became a lot more common for people to completely ignore you one month, only to reconnect with you the next. While we all have friends that we may pop in and out of their lives, zombieing is different. Relationships with a “zombie” is often a cycle where you go from being very intense to radio silence. They will often reappear when they want something from you. The cycle of relationship highs and lows will leave you emotionally drained, and much like zombies in the movies, the earlier you can get rid of these people the better. The first step in surviving this zombie apocalypse is by knowing how to spot a zombie, so here are the 6 signs you are talking to a zombie.

Signs You’re Talking To A Zombie

They’ve Ghosted You Before

A sure sign that someone is zombieing you is if they have ghosted you before. As they say, once a ghost, always a ghost. Unless things between the two of you have changed drastically, or they’ve had a huge personal revelation, things are unlikely to end differently. Someone that feels like they can come in and out of your life without any repercussions will continue to do so until you cut them off.

They Don’t Answer Your Messages But They Like Your Social Media

If someone has time to watch your Snapchat story or like your Instagram, and they don’t respond to your texts they are sending you a message. That message is “I am completely ignoring you and will then reappear as if nothing happened”. If they’ve already ghosted you and they still follow you on social media, there is a good chance that this person is a zombie. They are waiting for when it is convenient for them to message you again. There’s a reason why they haven’t disconnected completely, and that’s because they are waiting for the right time to.

They Are Always Talking To More Than One Person

Early on when talking to someone it is normal to have options open, becoming non-monogamous may be a great idea for later in the relationship, but there’s got to be a line. When you’re a part of their roster that they can rotate in and out, you are being zombied. If they have all the dating apps, are flirty over social media, and are always talking to other potential partners, this is not someone that is considering you to be their long-term partner.

They’ll Love Bomb You

One second they are all over you, the next they are completely ignoring you. Love bombing is the act of overwhelming someone with signs of love and adoration. Love Bombing includes everything from constant compliments to grand gestures of affection, and some consider it to be a tool for manipulation. Not everyone that shows you overwhelming amounts of love is a manipulator, but if they follow it up by silence on their end you’re talking to a zombie.

They’re Non-Committal

After they’re done love-bombing they’ll go back to their non-committal ways. Sound familiar? They call that one “get them emotionally invested and then leave”, and that’s part of the zombie-ing playbook. You may recognize the warning signs, cancelling last minute, telling you their next few weeks are super busy, and the classic, leaving you ghosted. These are signs that this person only wants to talk to you when they are in the mood, and it is a clear sign of a zombie.

They’re Only Interested In One Thing

Zombies usually have a goal in mind. In the movies, it’s usually “BRAINS”, in the dating world it’s usually sex. If all they are doing while texting you is telling you what you want to hear before asking you if you want to come over they may be zombieing you. Other signs include only texting you late at night or on the weekend.

Zombieing Survival Tactics

Now that you recognize whether you are talking to a zombie it’s time to fight back (not literally). It may be exciting getting a text from someone you have a crush on that has been ghosting you for months, but you’ll need to resist the urge of going right back where you started from. Here are four ways to avoid falling into a zombieing cycle.

Ignore Them

When you’re done with them

If someone who you thought was ghosting you messages you out of the blue it means they were thinking about you. This means… you have the upper hand, and while it’s not a healthy way to look at relationships, it is the truth. They expect you to come crawling back to them so subvert their expectations by ignoring them. It will teach them that they cannot rely on you to be available whenever they need and that you aren’t going to let them use you.

Express Yourself

When you want to give them a chance

If you do feel the need to reconnect with them you should let them know how you feel about your relationship. Don’t let them get away with ghosting you without an apology or explanation. Let them know what you are looking for out of your relationship, and ask what they hope to get out of the relationship. It’s going to be difficult, but getting everything out in the open early will help you avoid the cycle of zombieing.

Don’t Give Them What They Want

When you want to make sure you don’t get ghosted in the first place

Tell them you are looking to take things slow, and that you want to go on dates, not hookup. Make them put in the effort to get you. If they are interested they will put more effort into the relationship. The more effort they put in the more they are invested, and the less likely they are to ghost you again.

Unfollow Them

When you want to avoid them reaching out to you

If someone ghosts you, but doesn’t unfollow you then they are more than likely to come back as a zombie. So, make the decision for them. Block them, unfollow them, make sure they don’t have a way of keeping tabs on you after they ghosted you. Avoid the zombie even before they reappear.

Tips for the Zombieing Apocalypse

With so many online daters ready to ghost you and then come out of the woodworks to talk to you when it’s convenient for them it’s important to know how to avoid this toxicity. The most important thing to remember is, you do not deserve to be with someone who is zombieing you. It demonstrates a lack of respect for you on their part, but it is avoidable. Use the four survival tactics wisely, and make sure you don’t end up in a cycle of ghosting and zombieing.

Good luck!

A couple in the honeymoon phase are infatuated with each other.
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