Have you been zombied? The latest dating trend confusing singles the world over

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Elle Griffiths
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Words: Elle Griffiths

Not so long ago, there was pretty much only one way to get dumped by someone you’d been dating.

Now, thanks to the advent of dating apps and the prevalence of social media, there’s a seemingly endless amount of ways you can get kicked to the kerb or just generally messed about.

If you’re a seasoned Tinder user, you’ll no doubt have been ‘ghosted’, ‘bread-crumbed’, and/or ‘benched’.

But have you ever been “zombied”?

The latest term to emerge from the confusing world of 21st century dating, the term “zombied” refers to the process of being ‘ghosted’, only for the ghoster to unexpectedly reappear weeks – or even months – later.  

By this point, you’ll have probably moved on and have forgotten – or be on the verge of forgetting –  they exist. Then, all of a sudden, they pop up out of nowhere.

It could be a breezy text, pretending not to have noticed the two of you stopped talking in the first place. Or maybe it’s a not-so-casual Facebook friend request or like. Some anecdotal evidence suggests some zombies have even reached out over LinkedIn.

Speaking to the Washington Post about the phenomenon, dating coach Francesca Hogi explains: “As our technology advances and it becomes easier to contact people out of the blue, we see it more often.”

“All these very casual ways of reaching out and contacting people, I think it gives [people] permission to say: ‘Hey, the risk is very low. She’s not going to curse me out on the phone and hurt my feelings.

“She’s just going to ignore my text message.”

So, should we ignore the Zombie – aka the flake who’s eager to reconnect? 

Not according to Hogi, who argues that we should be less cynical: sometimes people really do miss connections, make mistakes, or dismiss people too quickly.

Addressing the potential zombies among us, she says: “If you are thinking of someone you lost contact with or might have ghosted, you should reach out to that person if you have any regret or curiosity but acknowledge the passage of time and your responsibility for it.”

And, perhaps most importantly, she adds: “Just do it respectfully and like a grownup.”

Sound advice for all aspects of dating, we feel.

Images: Rex Features


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Elle Griffiths

Elle Griffiths is a freelance writer living in Brighton. She divides her time pretty evenly between despairing about American Politics, watching Mad Men re-runs and complaining about Southern Rail delays.