#Relationships: What Is Zombieing And Why It Is Such A Toxic Dating Trend
The other night, I was watching ‘Modern Love’ on Amazon Prime Video and in the first episode, there’s this cute woman whose major thought at the end of a date is whether the guy will call her back or not. When she sleeps with a guy and he’s not next to her in the morning, she assumes he just fled the scene. Even though he hadn’t, it’s so common for people to just disappear in the dating scene, like they never existed. I mean, it must feel so weird that you shared such a nice time and then that person vanishes into thin air. I don’t know if it would hurt more right after the first date or further into the (potential) relationship. Honestly, I feel bad even if he doesn’t give me attention for a couple of days. Because of the whole disappearing trend, I overthink it and wonder if he is subtly fading away.
It’s like one week he was giving you all the romantic signals and leading you on to believe this is going somewhere. And then suddenly, he’s gone. If there weren’t his pictures, you’d probably visit a clinic and get yourself tested, wondering if it was all just a hallucination. And then your mind starts taking you to the most dangerous of scenarios. Is he okay? Is he missing? Is he alive? You stalk him on social media to find out if he is fine. Like at this point, you just want to know that because you just couldn’t have imagined him ghosting you. However, you realise that he was just not interested in taking things forward and he took the easy way out.
So you gather the shattered pieces of your ego and learn to carry on with your life with the false sense of security his affection offered. And almost every time, these guys return weeks and months and years later when you are at your shiniest. Like I am enjoying my life bitch. What do you even want? Some may have a whole sorry speech ready or some may prefer acting like time healed everything. Both ways, they come back from the dead — and that’s what is called Zombie-ing.
According to Psychology Today, “If the person who ghosted you comes back in a more consistent way from the virtual dead, you’ve been zombied. Zombie-ing refers to an ex reappearing and resurrecting a relationship. This is different from haunting in that zombie-ing needn’t be cyclical or half-hearted: It could be a full ‘on-again’ experience. While most people who initiate ghosting do so as a permanent, if indirect, relationship disengagement strategy, others use ghosting just to temporarily disappear and perhaps return later.” Haunting, if you must know, is the worse cousin of zombie-ing (as if that wasn’t bad enough). When a guy disappears on you and then returns only to vanish and reappear as per his convenience, he is haunting you.
“Neither haunting nor zombie-ing are new to the dating world. People have disappeared on each other, returned, left, and stayed for generations; but today people can do so more easily given our reliance on technology for communication,” Psychology Today clarifies.
So what do we do when an ex or a guy we were seeing returns? Do we just play along and let them in? Honestly, it would be very satisfying if you make them explain and apologise to you for the shitfest they pulled off when they ghosted you. If they have a legit reason, say having been transported to Mars for a year, I would *consider* giving them a shot. Or if they apologise with the most sincerity and then go on to prove themselves worthy.
But essentially and most often, these zombies are no good because seriously what kind of a person does that? If they treated you like a disposable date, what are the chances they won’t do it again? Why are they back even? Lack of options or a need for a quick rebound? Or did someone ghost them and karma stung where it hurts the most?
Lastly, it’s better if you consider where you are in life. If you want to even speak to them. Or if you want to hook up with them because now you have no expectations at all – think what you want. What would I do? I don’t house zombies in my life.