What Does It Mean When Someone ‘Zombies’ You?

Phones and online dating sites have changed the way we meet, flirt, and fall in love. Maybe even for the worse. Clearly, technology has been able to change and modify the English language, which is why we have so much new vocab to learn.

Not only are there tons of different terms out there (who can forget about YOLO), there are also lots of dating terms to learn about. Today, we’re going to focus on zombie-ing and haunting, which are pretty similar (so it’s okay if you still feel confused after reading this). Both terms are connected to ghosting, which is when a partner or hookup just flat out disappears, like a ghost.

There Are So Many New Dating Terms Out There

man hiding flowers behind his back for girl
Photo Credit: vjapratama / Pexels
Photo Credit: vjapratama / Pexels

There are so many crazy dating terms out there, I can hardly keep them straight. You can be breadcrumbed, which is basically another word for leading someone on.

But, apparently, you can also be zombied by an ex, and haunted.

I’m Sure You’ve Heard Of Ghosting

Ghosting is when someone you’re seeing just flat out disappears from your life, never to be seen again.

So if you’ve ever been texting someone back and forth and suddenly the conversation just ends and never gets picked back up, chances are you got ghosted.

So, What Exactly Is Zombie-ing?

woman using phone
Photo Credit: Blue Bird / Pexels
Photo Credit: Blue Bird / Pexels

Zombie-ing is when someone who you once dated comes back from the dead and reappears in your life.

Perhaps they reach out to you via social media and slip into your DMs, or even the old-fashioned way by a phone call or text.

They’re Trying To Resurrect The Relationship

zombies trying to get into house
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels

So, the same way zombies are humans that have come back from the dead, you’re being “zombies” if a person you once dated came back into your life and acted as if nothing happened.

You haven’t had contact with this person in quite some time, and now they’re back in your life. Zombie-ing can feel even worse than ghosting, because it is way more confusing.

Popping Back Into Your Life Unexpectedly

woman waving from inside window
Photo Credit: Wendy Wei / Pexels
Photo Credit: Wendy Wei / Pexels

According to Urban Dictionary: “It’s where someone you previously dated (and very likely cared for) or were even in a relationship with, ghosted you.”

“Only to then resurface sometime later, most likely in the form of some sort of social media interaction or an out of the blue text message.”

It May Come At A Bad Time

sad woman with hands pointing at her
Photo Credit: Monstera / Pexels
Photo Credit: Monstera / Pexels

“Usually the zombie-ing happens just when you’ve gotten over the hurt of having them ghost you in the first place.”

“Then, all of a sudden, they subtly reappear (I say subtle – it can feel like a slap in the face!) causing more emotional upset.”

It’s Worse Than Ghosting

man standing at lake at night
Photo Credit: Lukas Rychvalsky / Pexels
Photo Credit: Lukas Rychvalsky / Pexels

Being on the receiving end of a zombie can feel confusing. It can be super strange and hurtful when someone disappears out of your life for quite some time, then pops up again out of the blue.

Also, it can lead to an on-again-off-again relationship if the two of you start hooking up again.

It May Feel Flattering

woman smiling at phone screen while petting cat
Photo Credit: Sam Lion / Pexels
Photo Credit: Sam Lion / Pexels

But you may even feel flattered by it. If someone you were dating reaches out to you again after radio silence for quite some time, it can be a bit of an ego boost.

But just know if this person keeps inserting themselves into your life with confusing intentions, they probably have no idea what they want — and they are probably not worthy of your time.

Worthy Partners Don’t Confuse You

dating goal - find a relationship where you can't use any dating slang words to describe it
Photo Credit: @datedoctorisin / Twitter
Photo Credit: @datedoctorisin / Twitter

Just remember that people who are relationship-worthy should never leave you confused, and they should behave in a way that is consistent.

You deserve someone who KNOWS that they WANT to be with you.

They Reinsert Themselves Into Your Life Like Nothing Happened

man staring
Photo Credit: Sebastian Voortman / Pexels
Photo Credit: Sebastian Voortman / Pexels

If you’ve been zombied by an ex before, you’ll know that they continuously find ways to insert themselves back into your life. They’ll try to rekindle the relationship, or they want to hang out casually again.

If you say yes, it can be hard to let go of them again when you don’t really have any boundaries with one another.

It Could Work Out

happy couple holding hands in winter
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels

There are tons of successful relationships out there who have broken up and rekindled years later, but those are the SUCCESS stories.

And the guy probably isn’t trying to win you back by shooting you a message on social media.

Zombie-ing Is Different From Haunting

two people dressed as ghosts
Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels
Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

While zombie-ing refers to someone who was once in your life popping up again, there’s also haunting, which is a little different.

Zombie-ing can lead to a totally new and exciting relationship, while haunting isn’t as glamorous.

What is Haunting?

person commenting on instagram photo on phone
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels

Haunting, according to Urban Dictionary is “When someone tries to hit you up after ghosting you.”

So, although zomebie-ing usually refers to an ex or someone you saw for a longer period of time hitting you up after a breakup, a guy who is haunting you hits you up after full-on ghosting you.

They Continue To Vanish & Pop Up Again As Opposed To Doing It Once Like A Zombie

judgemental man looking up from phone
Photo Credit: John Diez / Pexels
Photo Credit: John Diez / Pexels

Basically, when a guy disappears on you and then returns only to vanish and reappear as per his convenience, he is haunting you.

So, maybe you went on a couple of dates, and he flat-out ghosts you. Then, he starts randomly replying to your Instagram stories and complimenting you or he’s texting you late at night once a month.

Both Dating Phenomenons Are Not New

two people clinking wine glasses at dinner
Photo Credit: Jep Gambardella / Pexels
Photo Credit: Jep Gambardella / Pexels

While there are all kinds of new terms referring to our dating lives, the actual actions aren’t very new.

There are plenty of Rom-Coms and personal stories featuring an old love popping back into someone’s life.

Social Media Helps Us Ghost People Easier

social networks folder on iphone
Photo Credit: Tracy Le Blanc / Pexels
Photo Credit: Tracy Le Blanc / Pexels

So, people have been ghosting and haunting one another since the beginning of time.

It’s just easier to reach out to someone after breaking up, or ghost someone with the help of social media and the internet. And now we finally have scary, yet fitting terms for these things.