Is He “Submarining” You? Here Are 12 Ways To Tell

You know what being ghosted is, but WTF does it mean when a guy submarines you? No, it’s not something kinky—it’s actually a new dating trend that makes you want to pull your hair out! Here are signs it’s happening to you so you don’t give the loser doing it another second of your precious time.

  1. He ghosted you before. To qualify as a guy who’s submarining you, he has to have ghosted you before. Maybe he went AWOL after six months of dating and you never heard a word from him. Now, the jerk’s back and taking his shady behavior to another level.
  2. He pops up every now and then just to make his presence known. A guy who’s submarining you will pop in and out of your life every now and then. He might “like” your Facebook post even though he hasn’t spoken to you in weeks or call you up to say, “Hey, how’s it going?” even though you’re still waiting for him to confirm plans to go out…from a year ago. WTF?
  3. He doesn’t say he’s sorry. What makes this guy such an a-hole is that he has no shame! He never apologizes for why he’s left you hanging. He just thinks he can slot right back into your life as though he never left, whenever and however he wants. Um, does he have amnesia or something?
  4. He blames you and your drama. If you don’t accept this guy’s fake attempt to pretend that he didn’t do anything wrong and you call him out on his behavior, he’ll probably be arrogant enough to say that you’re creating drama or being unfair to him. Ha!
  5. He’s arrogant AF. A guy who has some empathy and kindness wouldn’t resort to such crappy behavior. He’d feel really bad about how he treated you and apologize or he’d make sure never to contact you again because it’s just inappropriate AF. The guy who submarines you doesn’t care about any of that. He only cares about himself and what he can get from you.
  6. He moves quickly. In order to keep you in his good books and prevent you from bringing up the negative past, a submariner is likely to move quickly and show you lots of interest. For instance, you might not have heard from him for weeks but then he’ll text and invite you to dinner tonight, no wasting time. It’s a way for him to make you believe he’s really interested in you and is here to stay. Disclaimer: he’s not.
  7. He pulls on your heartstrings. The submariner might try to reel you in with a touch of nostalgia or make you remember something great about him, like how fun he was to be around. So, he might text you and say, “Just saw a really cool second-hand bookstore and thought of you.” It’s sneaky because it makes you think that he’s been thinking of and missing you.
  8. He makes you think you can press the reset button. Maybe you became a tad clingy when he ghosted you, sending him loads of texts or calling him incessantly even though he obviously never replied. So now that he’s back and breezily trying to get into your life again, you might think it’s good that he’s pretending nothing happened. It’s like you’re both wiping the slate clean and starting over. He’s betting on you thinking in this way so that you can let him back in. Don’t!
  9. He’s a big mystery. It’s not just what he did to you that he’ll avoid talking about but also what happened in his life when he went AWOL. The submariner isn’t keen to connect with you or bond—he just wants to use you for the time that he’s resurfaced. That explains his mystery. What a loser.
  10. He doesn’t care. He acts like he’s super interested in you but honestly, how the hell can he be? The guy disappeared on you and didn’t even have the decency to apologize for it! He didn’t care enough about your feelings to give you an explanation. You might think he didn’t realize he hurt you so much, but of course he did. He’s just too much of a coward to own up to his bad behavior.
  11. It’s not like zombieing. FYI, submarining is similar to getting zombied. Both entail the dude disappearing then coming back onto the scene. The only difference is that when a guy zombies you, he gives you a reason (however stupid) for why he bolted. The guy who submarines you doesn’t even give you closure. He just sails back in acting like you’ll be so glad to have him back, you won’t ask any questions. What a loser.
  12. He’s a repeat offender. You’ll probably kick yourself for going along with his “Everything’s cool and I’m back” act because sooner or later, he’ll disappear again. Yup, just like a damn submarine. You wish you could throw him into the sea once and for all!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.