The Signs Someone Is "Submarining" You, Because Ghosting Wasn't Torturous Enough


As if we needed another new dating trend, submarining is here to make you feel like you're slowly losing your mind. Don't worry, it likely is not you — you're just dealing with a total jerk. Basically, it's sort of like zombieing, aka when someone who ghosted you comes back from the dead and into your life again, but this behavior is actually worse. Someone who submarines you just totally disappears from your life, only to resurface whenever they damn well please.

Why is it different than just being a zombie? Well, a zombie may stumble in with an excuse (Work was crazy! I've been busy! My phone was eaten by a unicorn and pooped out as rainbows!), a submariner just shows up again without any explanation. Maybe it's someone you've just been chatting to, maybe it's someone you had been seeing regularly — either way, it's totally infuriating.

"People who submarine you either want to hide the reasons for disappearing or gloss over it," Jonathan Bennett, Dating/Relationship Coach and Owner of The Popular Man, tells Bustle. "I’d guess that, in most cases, they were dating or spending time with someone else and that fell through. Since they don’t want to admit the truth, whatever that is, they resort to submarining instead — and hope you fall for it." But you really shouldn't, because there's likely something shady going on. How do you know if they're really busy or they're a total submarine? Here are the clues you need to look out for.

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They're Narcissistic

Do they seem full of themselves? "Submarining behavior appears to be driven by entitlement and narcissism," Bennett says. "People who submarine you assume that they can just instantly jump back in your life as if nothing happened and without any consequences." So if they're overly self-assured about the whole thing, it's a sign.


They Offer No Explanation

This is what makes submariners so much more annoying than zombies. Someone disappears for days, weeks, months — and then just pop in again without even referencing the disappearance. Even if you push them on it, you probably won't get more than a shrug. So. Effing. Annoying.


They Don't Get Why You're Annoyed

Even worse? They won't get why you're annoyed. "It’s ultimately insulting because it implies that you have no other options and should be grateful to hear from them," Bennett says. "If he or she stopped talking to you, then wants to reconnect as if nothing happened, it says a lot about that person’s lack of character and lack of respect for you." And if you try to kick up a fuss, they may act like you're overreacting. SPOILER ALERT: You're probably not.


There's No Warning When They Disappear

Sometimes people get busy, and that's totally fine. But if you're interested in someone, you'll probably give the person you're seeing a heads up that you are — or are about to be— really slammed. But with a submariner, they don't have enough respect to give you a heads up. Instead, they just disappear out of the blue and return as they please.


You Can't Get A Hold Of Them When You Need Them

A submariner is all about their needs and wants. If they show up when they need something — whether it's support, attention, or sex — but go quiet when you need them, then something is off.


They're Shady About You Meeting Their Friends

Another sign is that they're trying — for whatever reason — to hide whatever is going on between you. At some point, it's totally normal for you to start meeting the person you're dating or seeing's friends and family. If they're being shady about it or just straight up refuse to include you in other parts of their life, you should probably ask why.


You Get The Feeling There's Someone Else

As Bennett says, sometimes a person will submarine because they have more than one person in the mix. They basically just want to be able to bounce from one to the other at their leisure. If you get a sense that they're dating someone else — or they're open about the fact that they're doing it — and you're not comfortable with it, then you have every right to end it.

Submarining is really annoying, especially because of the person's overly relaxed attitude toward it. But you don't have to put up with it. If they can't stay in one place for long enough, and refuse to clue you in on what's going on, then feel free to kiss them goodbye.