Submarining: What To Know About The Frustrating Dating Trend

Ghosting, benching, and now ... submarining? Yep, there's a new term to add to your dating dictionary. Despite its goofy name, it's actually a common problem, and it might have already happened to you at some point in your single life. You know how there are some people that seem to pop up in and out of your life? You went on a couple of dates — or even considered yourself an item — then they disappeared without a trace? It sounds like ghosting, but the difference is the person eventually resurfaces (like a submarine), typically without a rhyme or reason for their disappearance.


It's possible they may have been seeing someone else and things didn't work out, or maybe they lost interest for a while. Whatever the reason, they try to weasel their way back into your life as if nothing ever happened. It could be a one-time thing, or maybe they're a known repeat offender. Submarining is not only disrespectful but can have a major effect on your dating life.

Why submarining is a problem

Submarining can be an indication of narcissistic behavior, as narcissists are known to break up with a person, resurface, and do the same thing all over again, life coach Kamini Wood explains. This type of person doesn't possess the empathy to recognize their toxic behavior, which is why they continuously dip out of your life, only to end up back in your DMs later on. It's incredibly disrespectful, and a clear sign they don't value you or your time. Maybe they're bored and are looking for something to do, and playing games with you is just what they need.


Besides being incredibly rude and a blatant waste of your time, submarining makes any situation incredibly confusing. If that person indicated they are no longer interested, why are they contacting you again? Are they into you or not? Why did they disappear in the first place? We hate to say it but don't be surprised if you never receive an answer.

How to handle submarining

When you have a feeling someone is submarining you, it's important to stand up for yourself, and why wouldn't you? This person obviously doesn't care about your feelings at all; they're only concerned about themselves and their best interest. Remember, you're the one who is in control here, not them. It's time to take back your power and tell them not to contact you anymore. Much like any narcissistic relationship, if given another chance, that person will continue to repeat their behavior, so it's necessary to cease all contact with them, according to PsychCentral.


They need to understand you are not a doormat they can walk all over, and by cutting them off, you're telling them they don't have as much power over you as they thought. When a person like this doesn't get the attention they want, they'll get bored and leave you alone, Inner Toxic Relief explains. It may seem easier said than done, but by cutting out the bad, you can make way for the good.