What does Zombieing mean?

Coming back to someone you suddenly left and pretending like you both agreed to end things

Zombieing is a slang term used when someone comes back into your life after they’ve ghosted you. They act as if everything ended on good terms, even though they’re the ones who vanished without a trace. This term is a nod to the way zombies behave – they return from the dead, getting closer to you.

The term has been around since the mid-2010s, riding on the coattails of the term ‘ghosting’ which gained popularity in 2014. The exact origin or who came up with it, is not known. However, it became a common slang term around the late 2010s, along with the term ‘haunting’.

In essence, zombieing is a type of gaslighting – the person who ghosted you tries to manipulate your perception of reality. They reappear in your life after a long period of absence and pretend like everything is the same as before.

There could be several reasons why someone might decide to ‘zombie’ another person. They may have wanted to see what other options are out there, have been too busy with work, had a major life event come up, or they are just naturally indifferent.

If you find yourself being ‘zombied’, it’s important to tread carefully. It’s a big red flag in a relationship – the person who is zombieing you is at best unreliable, and at worst, a manipulator who should not be trusted.

Example for using ‘Zombieing’ in a conversation

Hey! You won’t believe what happened today. Remember that guy I was seeing a few months ago?

Oh yeah, the one who disappeared out of nowhere? What about him?

He just randomly texted me out of the blue, acting like we ended things mutually and wants to catch up. Can you believe it? πŸ™„

Wow, he’s totally zombieing you! That’s such a shady move. Be careful, he’s probably up to no good. πŸ‘€