ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

Zombies …. the only men that will love you for your brains!

Does Zombieing hurt more than Ghosting?

By Jo Lucas

Photo by Nathan Wright on Unsplash

If you’re like me then the word ‘Zombie’ either conjures up images of the tv show ‘The Walking Dead’ or the 90’s epic song by the Cranberriesyou’re singing the song in your head now aren’t you … yeah so am I! Well, I’m here to let you know that real-life zombies are living and walking amongst us in everyday life … well online dating at least! Zombieing is alive and flourishing in the online dating world and I believe it’s worse than its spooky cousin ghosting!

So, I’m back online dating, I’ve had a few months away to put myself back together and recharge my self-esteem but, as I’m either a sadist or a hopeless romantic, I feel ready to be rechallenged by the sheer array of damaged guys out there and get myself back into the dating world of shattered illusions and false hopes … or maybe this time it will be different?

I’ve had my fair share of being ghosted. Regretfully, I’ve even done it myself, when conversations have naturally dried up and they no longer reply to your messages or if they become way too weird — and there are weird guys out there — so I delete their profile, and Boo - I ghost away.

When I was very new to online dating I didn’t understand where they had gone or, more importantly, why? I used to think that the dating app was playing up or the majority of the time, as I was still fragile and broken up about my marriage ending, I took every disappearance personally. I would check back on my messages to see what I had said, or not said, to cause them to go away — sometimes in mid-conversation.

I’m not talking a few lines of messages either — I’m talking days where you feel like you’re starting to get to know the person and, sadly, getting to like them, and then ‘poof!’ they’re gone! Who knows where they go or more importantly why they go? Maybe someone new and shiny has entered the dating app and off they go like magpies — and that’s the thing with ghosting — you never find out the real reason and that’s why it hurts so much!

Photo by Tandem X Visuals on Unsplash

So, back to two weeks ago, and full of optimism, my new profile went live, and off I go swiping, matching, and messaging. I always read their bios and try to remain unjudgemental, avoiding dead fish and snake profile photos — and on that, I only have one question — why do men do that?

When up pops a guy with actual potential … he was good-looking, great profile bio. He could spell and communicate .. and he was funny! We began messaging each other and sparks were starting to fly until … suddenly it all seemed very familiar … vague memories started to spark in my mind … I recognized his style of messaging and asked him if we’d spoken before, and he told me that we had matched late last year and he’d been quite smitten with me!

It all started to come back to me …we hadn't only matched but in fact, exchanged daily messages and phone calls for about a week and had even arranged to meet up for a date, one that he had canceled and rearranged three times, before the inevitable disappearing act! I’d woken up one morning to see he was no longer on my dating feed of potential guys — he’d ghosted me the day we were supposed to be having our first date, my trip to the hairdressers was a wasted one and I cried as I was so cut up, but as you seem to develop a thicker skin dating in your late forties, I soon forgot about him with the help of chocolate and wine and went about my life again.

Until we connected and I recognized him again the other week, there was no apology, no explanation, and then to make it worse he told me he had often thought of me during the past few months and that he was gutted that we had ‘lost touch’ and he’d like to take me out for a date! I pointed out to him that we had not lost contact, but he had ghosted me! I’m not sure what I expected next from him, but the fact that he never replied to my message and immediately deleted me and ghosted me yet again actually made me laugh — got to love those red flags!

Photo by Katie Gerrard on Unsplash

A bizarre game of Hide and Seek …

I’d like to say that this is a one-off situation, but there are zombies everywhere!

I’ve had a few guys get back in touch with me randomly with the obligatory ‘Hey!’ introduction message that they all seem to favor… and because I’ve deleted their number in my phone, as I’ve presumed they have ascended to the spirit world where all dating ghosts go, I’ve had to ask … “Who is this?”

My favorite zombie though … really never thought I’d ever write that line… creeps up every time I load up a dating app. Zombie number two regularly matches with me, we say hello, ask how each other is doing, we even talk about current news and life in general … I know all about his family and how he ended up living in Australia, what he does for a job … he even knows my dogs’ names and asks how they’re going … and then he disappears … and ghosts me again. it’s been going on for a year now and I’ve never met him! It’s like a bizarre game of hide and seek that we play and now I only match with him to see if I can guess how many messages in he’ll evaporate to be seen no more … well I suppose that is until he resurfaces again next time hungry for brains!

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