In the ever-evolving world of dating, it seems we’re constantly having to get to grips with new terminologies. The fast-paced, digital-based nature of modern dating has spawned a language all of its own, with terms like ‘ghosting‘, ‘catfishing‘, and ‘breadcrumbing’ becoming commonplace. Yet, one term that has recently gained momentum, especially among UK singles, is ‘zombied’. But what does it mean, and more importantly, how should we navigate it?
What is ‘Zombied’?
The term ‘zombied’ in the context of dating has nothing to do with the undead, although it could feel eerily similar. ‘Zombied’ refers to the act of a previous romantic interest, who disappeared without a trace (or ‘ghosted’ you), suddenly reappearing back in your life – as if they’ve come back from the dead. This resurrection might take the form of a casual text, a like or comment on a social media post, or even a direct message.
Why does someone ‘zombie’ another person? At the heart of it, ‘zombiing’ may be about a need for validation, a fear of commitment, or simply a lack of maturity. For the ‘zombie’, the seemingly innocent act of reaching out might serve to fulfil an immediate need for connection, or even an ego boost.
While it might seem harmless, the ‘zombie’ may not fully comprehend the emotional distress it can cause the person on the receiving end. This act can reignite feelings, create confusion, and even disrupt the healing process of someone who has moved on from the relationship.
Spotting a ‘Zombie’
Often, ‘zombies’ resurface after a significant period of silence. This can range from several weeks to even years after the initial ghosting. ‘Zombies’ rarely acknowledge their absence or offer an explanation for their sudden disappearance. Their communication can seem nonchalant, as if your relationship never skipped a beat.
If you find yourself being ‘zombied’, there are a few ways you can respond. First and foremost, it is essential to remember that you’re not obligated to engage with someone who has disrespected you by disappearing without explanation.
Assess your feelings: Before you respond, take time to understand your emotions. Are you still hurt from the ghosting? Do you still have feelings for this person? Are you curious, confused, or indifferent? This self-awareness can help you decide your next step.
Seek closure, if needed: If you feel that you need closure, it may be helpful to engage in a conversation. Ask for an explanation about their disappearance, but prepare yourself for the possibility that you might not receive a satisfactory or honest answer.
Set boundaries: If you choose to allow this person back into your life, set clear boundaries and expectations to protect yourself. If the person isn’t willing to respect these boundaries, it might be best to cut off communication.
Cut off communication: If the interaction is causing you distress, it’s okay to ignore the person or block them on social media. You’re under no obligation to entertain someone who has proven they can’t communicate effectively or respect your feelings.
In the world of modern dating, navigating the landscape can be a challenge. The phenomenon of being ‘zombied’ is a manifestation of the complicated, and at times, confusing dynamics of digital communication. As we continue to understand and address these trends, it’s important to remember your worth and to prioritize your emotional wellbeing. The right person will respect you, your time, and your feelings – even when the relationship ends.