It’s that spooky time of year again. October brings ghosts, goblins, and all kinds of frightening fake horror decorations everywhere you look.
But don’t let the chintziness of the fake blood fool you.
The danger of zombies is actually real.
These aren’t the the undead kind that want to eat your brains that we watch in so many TV series these days. I’m talking about a different kind of zombie entirely.
Dating experts are actually using the term “zombieing” to describe the scenario of someone ghosting you and then trying to come back into your life from the dead.
It sounds kind of ominous. After all, “zombieing” is a flashy, image-evoking name. If we break it down, the phenomenon is not one we should take lightly.
It might sound appealing
If you’re the one who’s been ghosted, chances are it wasn’t your choice to end things with this person. If things had gone your way, you might still be dating them.
Most likely, when this person ghosted you, you were very hurt. Any hopes and dreams you may have had of this relationship being “the one” were dashed.
But now, here this person is again. They’ve come back into your life in one way or another, when you thought they were gone for good.
Maybe they’ve started interacting with you on social media. Perhaps they’ve even called you up, almost as if nothing dramatic had ever entered the picture to end things between the two of you.
There are a few different ways you might respond to something like this happening. Perhaps you feel anger and resentment over the way they’re approaching you after deserting you. Or maybe you feel a bit tempted to pick things right back up where you two left off.
If you had deep feelings for them, it is very natural to hope that a relationship is possible again, now that they’ve resurfaced.
You might remember all the things you loved about them, the great memories you had together. You might even feel like things are suddenly back to normal in your life now that they’re back in it.
But beware. “Back to normal” in a situation like this is almost never that easy.
The need for prudence
I’ve seen this scenario happen to single friends of mine long before I ever heard of this new and frightening name for it. I can’t say that I’ve actually ever seen a positive outcome from a person getting back together with someone who dumped them heartlessly.
If you focus on only the good memories and the feelings of happiness when you’re with this person, you’ll be failing to fully consider the harm they did and could do again.
If this person broke your heart once, what’s to say they won’t do it again?
This is where the need for prudence comes in. Prudence doesn’t just mean “cautiousness” or being a “prude,” as we might hear it used by people commonly nowadays.
Rather, the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines prudence as, “the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it” (1806).
So in this situation, being prudent would mean that you’re able to see and choose what is actually best for you, despite the temptation to give in to any feelings of affection or temptations to go back with someone who hasn’t given you reason to believe they’ll treat you well.
Surrender your zombie to God
Even if you know intellectually that this person has hurt you in the past and could very well do it again, that doesn’t mean it will be easy to let go of any feelings their reappearance in your life might have reignited.
Getting over heartbreak is never easy. But getting over feelings for someone who has resurfaced like this can be even harder.
It’s important to give the situation over to God. Give Him your pain and suffering, ask Him to give you true prudence, and ask for help in overcoming temptation.
Remember that God has a plan for your life and already knows who your future spouse is. He wants you to be happy, and He wants you to trust Him. Your pain is His pain, and He doesn’t want you to settle for anyone who treats you with less respect than you deserve.
Rely on the grace of the sacraments, try to strengthen your prayer life, perhaps turn to the saints for some extra help.
Don’t fall into the trap of emotion and go back to someone who has deserted you for no good reason. You deserve more than that, and God is already putting into place the pieces of His plan to bring that “more” about.