Becoming ‘zombie’ is the new dating trend — and it’s worse than ‘ghosting’
Singer-songwriter Mariel Darling took to TikTok to share the latest horrifying dating trend: being “zombied.”
“Girl, you’re being ghosted? I’m being zombied,” she shared with her 255, 900 followers on the platform.
“It’s like ghosting, but he comes back from the dead after a couple months and hits you up,” she explained in the video with 1.5 million views and 151,100 likes.
In a follow-up video, she added that dating in New York City is very much like a zombie apocalypse “mixed with the ‘Thriller’ music video, because all these boys are tap dancing around commitment.”
People in the comments agreed and shared their personal “zombie” experiences.
“Have you ever noticed that they all zombie you at the same time? Like why are four guys from my past all hitting me up on the same day???” one person said.
“Mine has a Jesus Christ complex, he comes back every 3 days,” another joked.
“It’s because the girl he thought was better than you realized he’s terrible and ghosted him!” someone suggested.
“I saw someone say she puts gravestone emojis on their name in contacts so she knows not to deal with them anymore,” a user wrote.
“Tell me why this happened to me three times in the last three weeks,” someone shared.
“Try being zombied by a guy named zombie. I didn’t know he was just living up to his potential,” another wrote.
“I think I’m being zombied. One day he ignores me, one day he looks at me as if I’m the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen and texts me till 3 am,” a user admitted.
“This just happened to me. Only I went out with the guy twice, SIX years ago!” one person said.
According to dating expert Samantha Jayne, this trend has been around as long as relationships have been, and players love to zombie.
“It can be extremely damaging and confusing. Impacts self-confidence and leaves someone feeling anxious about abandonment, then when that person reappears can give a sense of hope and a painful reminder of the random departure,” she told News.com.au.
“When an old flame you are over returns out of the blue without an explanation and expects things to be normal, it is cruel and can leave you feeling bewildered. Remember this person is appearing with no accountability and expects things to be back to normal as to where they left off,” Jayne said.
She shared that there are two main reasons people zombie — one being that the person is bad at communication and doesn’t know how to end things.
For the poor communicators, time eventually passes and they try to reconnect since they ghosted the person due to their own anxieties and insecurities.
The other reason is more “malicious” and is used as a strategy.
“They got back with an ex, met someone new and you are their backup plan,” Jayne explained. “They suddenly feel lonely, have run out of options and know that you are a sure thing to massage their egos until they find the next one.”
“Basically, they treat you like a doormat, so they reappear while disappearing again when they have a better option,” she continued.
“The main difference between the two is the one that was a poor communicator, anxious and overthinking will come to you with an explanation and often an apology versus the malicious type will have the mindset of, ‘Hey, lucky you, I’ve reappeared. Let’s have fun!’ “
But Jayne said it’s important to remember that the person on the other end is the one with the power.
“You can decide to delet their message, ignore it, after all this seems to be their style of communication and will send a strong message, or if you truly want an explanation, then ask. See what they come up with,” she explained. “Be mindful it could be them crawling back only to do it again, so often it’s not the best idea to dig up a zombie. You could also use this as an opportunity to have a say with a short message that allows you to have a voice.”