‘Zombied’ is a word so new to the English lexicon that Microsoft Word insists on correcting it to ‘zombie’ – you know, that mythical, undead creature with decaying skin, sunken eyes, and protruding bones that’s out to kill you. But, in reality, this word is a term that describes a dating trend that’s been on the rise for a few years, that of being contacted again by someone who had abruptly cut off all communication.
In an age of digital dating where Tinder, Grindr, TikTok, and Instagram play a central role in many people’s love lives, zombieing – no, that’s not a typo – seems to be on the rise. This, however, is in certain ways a follow-up to another dating trend whose term has entered the popular imagination – ghosting and an even newer one that delivers judgement on beige flags.
With ghosting, a person would suddenly stop replying to messages and/or phone calls for no apparent reason and with no explanation. Zombieing takes it a step further by seeing that person, who could be someone you casually chatted to, an ex, or an ex-lover, return from the digital dead.
There are now countless articles exploring this phenomenon and how to deal with being zombied. Some experts have stated that zombieing is not always a red flag, as a person who may have not been ready for commitment and healthy communication in the past, may be ready to do so now. Nevertheless, what is important is for the zombie to address their disappearing act and for you to set boundaries.
Either way, keep in mind that both ghosting and zombieing say more about the person doing the action, rather than the person at the receiving end.