Health & Wellness

The latest dating trend is called zombie-ing and it's pretty common

Maybe you've been there: You're dating someone for a while and he or she disappears, only to return a few months later, seemingly out of the blue, with a sly text, "Hey, how have you been?"

It's pretty common, dating expert Bela Gandhi told TODAY, and now, there's even a name for it: zombie-ing. Gandhi has also heard it referred to as haunting.

"Like a ghost (or a zombie!) comes back from the dead, they come back to haunt you," she said.

In an age where potential partners are easy to find — thanks, Tinder! — it's increasingly common. But it's also pretty rude.

"The haunter lacks so much self-awareness," said Gandhi, founder of the Smart Dating Academy. "Like, 'I'm entitled to just come back in your life?'"

"I think a lot of times ... it comes from low self-esteem," she added. "Maybe they started to date someone else, and that's going off the rails, and they need that constant attention. It's not nice of the haunter to do and it's certainly not prudent for the hauntee to respond."

Zombie-ing is similar to breadcrumbing, a dating trend TODAY covered earlier this year that refers to people who lead potential partners on, sometimes with sporadic texts, without any intention of actually getting serious.

Closed Captioning
apply | reset x
font
size
T
T
T
T
color

What to do if 'ghosting' a former friend doesn't work

Play Video - 1:36

What to do if 'ghosting' a former friend doesn't work

Play Video - 1:36

So what should you do if you're being zombied? (Aside from boarding up your home, masking your scent and being reaaalllly quiet, duh.) You can reply if you're interested, but if there are any hurt feelings, or if the person is someone you're still trying to get over, it's probably best to cut off communication.

"You can respond, but ask the person what their intentions are," Gandhi said. "If you really had strong feelings for this person, and they start communicating with you, it can open up Pandora's box again and leave you unable to find someone who really wants you."

"When I want people to get over an ex, it's no contact — cut them out, block them on your phone," she added. "You need to stay away from people to start to heal."

TOP