Zombie Dating in 2023: Worse Than Ghosting

|Forget the horror movies and don’t bother keeping the lights on

Forget the horror movies and don’t bother keeping the lights on, because zombie dating is the hideous 2023 dating trend that’s even scarier than ghosting.

If you haven’t heard of zombie dating yet, there’s a good chance you’re either (A) in a long-term relationship where you don’t have to put up with crap like this, (B) you’re happily single or dating, and had no idea this term even existing, or (C) someone is “zombieing” you right now, and you just didn’t realize it had a name.

Grab your wooden stakes — wait, that’s for vampires, and I’m not combing through 96,400,000 Google results to figure out how to finish that analogy properly — because we’re about to dive into the weirdest dating trend you’ve ever encountered.

Zombie Dating in 2023: Worse Than Ghosting
Zombie Dating in 2023: Worse Than Ghosting

What is zombie dating?

Zombie dating is when someone you’ve dated staggers back into your life (like a zombie) after they were “dead” to you, or after they ghosted you. They may or may not be wearing shredded, tattered clothes and smelling like rotting flesh.

While you might be glad to have this person back in your life, zombie dating can be highly emotional (and unwanted) for many people. They might have spend ages getting over the breakup, and now the wound is being reopened, ugh.

How is “zombieing” different than “ghosting”?

In dating, “ghosting” is when someone seems to turn into a ghost because they’re no longer responding to messages, answering calls, or acknowledging you at all. They just kind of POOF out of your life instantly, or they slowly fade over time until there’s nothing but a faint cast of where they once stood in your life.

But when someone is “zombieing” you, they’re essentially like a ghost trying to come back to life … and come back to your life. They’re the dating undead, returning to mess with your mind (possibly again and again).

How do you know if someone is “zombieing” you?

Zombie dating can strike weeks, months, or even years after you’ve been in a relationship with someone. If they try to make a reappearance in your life, you might get one of the following texts*:

  • “Hey …”
  • “Miss you.”
  • “It’s been forever. How are you?”
  • “Was just thinking about you …”
  • “Oops! Didn’t mean to send that, but how’s it going?”

*Hint-y, emotionally-charged emojis and photos may also accompany a zombie text.

When is zombie dating mostly likely to strike?

Zombie dating usually happens with people are lonely, so it spikes around Valentine’s Day — and in the winter months in general, when people hole up in their homes feeling stir-crazy and/or emotionally yucky.

Zombie dating can also just happen out of the blue, for no real reason. Maybe the person has just gone through a breakup and they’re feeling like they won’t find someone else. Ping! Your name enters their brain, and they decide to check in.

How do I handle a zombie dater?

If you encounter a zombie dater in the wild, don’t panic!

STEP 1: Hopefully the zombie dater has called or texted on the temporary phone number from Hushed that you use to keep yourself safe while online dating

STEP 2: Feel free to burn your Hushed phone number so the zombie can’t contact you anymore

STEP 3: Get a new temporary phone number from Hushed, and live happily ever after, away from ALL zombies