How to Avoid Getting Zombied in Dating

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How to Avoid Getting Zombied in Dating

Navigating the Zombie Apocalypse to Find True Love

You’re dating someone new and the connection is starting to blossom. Suddenly, they stop responding to your messages and you feel that familiar disappointment. Another promising relationship that didn’t work out! Until they arise from the dead days or even weeks later and start lighting up your text chain once again. No, it’s not a scene from Night of the Living Dead. It’s a dating phenomenon called zombieing, and it makes the process of finding authentic relationships even harder than it needs to be.  

As an experienced therapist and dating coach, I know that the struggle is real. When someone you like disappears and then suddenly reappears in your life, it takes you on an emotional rollercoaster of confusion, hope, and disappointment. It can also signal the beginning of a very unhealthy relationship that you want to avoid. In this article, we’ll explore what zombieing is, how to spot the signs that you’re dating a member of the undead, and how to avoid getting zombied so that you can find true love

What Is Zombieing?

Zombieing happens when the person you’re dating vanishes into thin air. No text, no call, no explanation, just an abrupt departure from your life as if they’ve been abducted by aliens. But just when you’ve given up hope, they re-emerge, usually acting as if nothing happened. This bizarre and frustrating behavior is what’s known as “zombieing” in the dating world.

Being zombied is annoying, yes, but it’s also a clear sign that this relationship is not going to be a healthy one, if you choose to continue. It can indicate that the person you’re dating is ambivalent about the relationship, struggles with commitment, is emotionally unavailable, or that for whatever reason they’re just not able to be consistent. 
Yet, despite how anxious and crappy this behavior makes us feel, and what a bad omen it is for the future of the relationship, many of us struggle to let go of a zombie and move forward. Especially if you have an anxious attachment style, saying “goodbye” to someone you like is never easy, even when they’re not treating you the way you deserve to be treated.

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Signs They’re Zombieing You

How can you tell if you’re dating a zombie? Here are a few warning signs to watch out for:

Unexplained Disappearances: After communicating regularly, they suddenly go silent for a day or more, and you have no idea why they’ve dropped off the face of the earth. You start to feel anxious about the relationship and wonder what you did to push them away.

Inconsistent Communication: When they reappear, they’re inconsistent in their messages or lack clear communication about their intentions. They may deflect from conversations about the relationship, where it’s headed, or even when they want to see you again.

No Acknowledgment of Absence: The person acts as if their disappearance never occurred, making no effort to explain or apologize for their behavior. Or, they make excuses that sound like just that. You may feel confused but also feel pressure to pretend it’s all cool, especially if you have some people pleasing tendencies

How to Avoid Getting Zombied in Dating

Here’s how you can avoid falling victim to this dating phenomenon:

1. Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries in your dating life. Don’t agree to last-minute plans, and don’t allow someone to come and go from your life as they please. Your time and emotional energy are precious, and you deserve love and respect.

2. Communicate Your Feelings and Expectations: Lay your expectations for contact and consistency out in the open. If the zombie tries to re-enter your life with no explanation, don’t let that slide. Make it clear that you’re not going to continue seeing them if you can’t talk about what’s really going on. And then follow through!

3. End Relationships that Don’t Progress: Zombies have a way of taking your relationship back to square one every time it moves forward, while you hang around like an anxious mess waiting to see if they’re really gone for good this time. Don’t play that game. Be clear about the direction that you want the relationship to head, and if it’s not moving in that direction, don’t be afraid to call it quits. Your emotional well-being is paramount, and you have the power to choose to date people who actually have the potential to be good life partners for you.

Support for Dating with Intention

I hope this article helps you avoid getting zombied and stay on the course to find a healthy relationship. The modern dating landscape has many pitfalls, but with thought and intention, it’s absolutely possible to steer clear of the walking dead and find the love you deserve

If you are struggling with difficult relationship patterns or you’d just like some support with dating, that’s a sign that you could benefit from working with a good dating coach. If you would like to do this valuable work with an expert on my team, I invite you to schedule a free consultation


Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

P.S. — For more advice on finding true love, check out my Dating Advice collection of articles and podcasts. I made it for you! 

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