What does submarining mean when dating?

Dating a person, disappearing, then reappearing

Submarining is when a person dates someone, disappears, and then reappears, all without adequately communicating their absence to their ghosted partner. The term comes from how a submarine submerges underwater, then resurfaces at a later time.

People have submarined romantic partners for many years, but Metro actually coined the term submarining in 2017. Submarining may also go by the name of "zombie-ing."

This dating trend is a variation of ghosting in which the person returns to the crime scene, acting as if nothing happened. It's very frustrating for those who were submarined because there is no closure when the person leaves, then no helpful explanation when they return.

What does submarining look like?

A person submarining their partner may go on several dates with them but then inexplicably disappear in-person and online. Then, several months later, the submariner suddenly returns to their partner's life, causing much confusion.

Submarining is a red flag that the submariner doesn't care about the relationship because they are inconsiderate of their partner's feelings. They may return because they are bored, want to hook up, or want some sort of validation. You should be very wary of re-connecting with a partner who submarined you since you will never know when they might do it again.


Jack was caught submarining Kimbra and was called out in front of everyone at the club. It was epic!

Doubletake when seeing the date that submarined you

Related Slang


Updated August 25, 2021

Submarining definition by

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