Remember when you were at school and you were always having to learn new words to expand your vocabulary for English class? (Just try guys, I know it may seem like a while ago especially with all this adulting business going on!) Well, sadly, school isn’t quite out yet as it feels like a whole new class is in session with online dating in the mix. The rise of online dating has meant the birth of a whole lot of new dating terms. Essentially, there are now more phrases to describe a relationship that isn’t actually a relationship, so obviously getting a commitment is way easier now… NOT!
So, as much as you don’t want to hear them, ignorance truly is bliss after all, here are 12 dating terms you need, but definitely don’t want;
Not to be confused with leaving breadcrumbs, fairytale style, to find your way home like Hansel and Gretel, this is somewhat darker (much like the original Hansel and Gretel story, twisted sh**.) Breadcrumbing in our all too real world is when someone still wants to keep your attention without putting in any real effort or commitment in, so they leave little ‘breadcrumbs’ to keep you on the hook. Stuff like sending little flirtatious texts every now and then, or randomly liking an old Instagram post.
Be warned, whoever is leaving you breadcrumbs is probably leaving breadcrumbs for a whole lot of other people too. Some people just suck more than others, what can you do?
Catch and Release
Nope, sorry, this isn’t about actual fishing. No, this is about those awful people who like to make you think they’re interested but they just like extra attention. Essentially, they just like the beginning part of courting (old school) where they are being chased. You know the flirty bit before stuff gets real and serious? Yeah, they LIVE for that.
Once the person that they have been enticing to chase them has been ‘caught’, this lovely human being releases them back into the ‘wild’ to join the other fish in the sea, as they frolic away with no strings attached. Yay to recognising other people’s emotions and toying with them for attention, I guess?
Similar to the sports term that inspired it, benching is when you’re dating someone but they never actually want to meet up and yet they still keep chatting with you. This usually happens when someone is seeing other people but doesn’t want to keep all their eggs in one basket so they keep you on the bench, so to speak, just in case.
They’re keeping their options open by not completely cutting you out but, if it’s not clear already, to them you are not the priority. You are their plan B, the back-up. Sure, they may like you a little bit but not enough for you to be their priority. Screw that and run!
Things may have started off well but that doesn’t always mean that will continue. Most things in life have to come to an end (sad truth) but another thing to thank online dating for is the fact that a lot of people don’t feel like they need to keep the other person up to date on whether things are coming to an end or not. Fun… So now, not only do you have to analyse what people’s messages actually mean, you also have to guess whether you’re still together or not.
The slow fade is when someone just gradually stops being responsive over time. You may start to notice less messages, less meet ups, less effort altogether until suddenly they are never to be seen or heard from again.
This one is a pretty popular term, if you haven’t heard it yet or no one has explained what it means yet, let me help you out. Similar to the slow fade but more aggressive, it’s when you’re dating someone and they just disappear all of a sudden with no explanation.
Is it mean? Yes, but I suppose it depends on the circumstances. While running away from a problem isn’t ever really the answer, some people feel that ghosting can become a necessary evil. Truthfully, with the amount of people who use dating apps etc. these days, it’s pretty easy to disappear off someone’s radar and never see them again to face the consequences.
A lot of spooky names for dating terms, I’m assuming it’s because some people having dating stories that’ll keep you up at night? #realtalk. Anyway, haunting is sometimes the next stage after ghosting. This is when the person who ghosted you pops back up, by way of social media.
So, they’ll like your social media posts or they’ll always watch your Instagram stories first, but they won’t actually get in touch with you directly. Cowardly much? If you’re going to ghost, then ghost properly!
Now, a little forewarning here, if you thought the other terms were bad then this one takes the cake. This one made me extra sad about the state of humanity. * Deep breath * Layby is when someone is in a relationship that they may want to leave but may not be ready to yet, so they want a back-up plan just in case they actually go through with leaving their relationship.
They do this as a sort of insurance policy to make sure they have outside interest. Not necessarily cheating but, then again, it depends on how you define cheating. Again, it’s more behaviour that makes it clear that you are not the priority… so stay clear of that!
Now, all you daters out there know that when things start to get serious, there are certain stages that happen when you know that your partner is in it for the long haul. One of those stages is the meeting of their friends and family, as well as posting pictures of the two of you on social media.
If they aren’t doing any of that then you, my friend, are their little secret that they are keeping stashed away (get it?!) Now, not everyone is into social media. It also takes different people different amounts of time to be ready to introduce their partner to their friends and family. Also, maybe their friends and family are horrendous and they’re actually doing you a favour (although you don’t choose your family, you do choose your friends so why would they choose horrendous ones?!) If they haven’t told their family or friends about you, either way that’s also suspicious behaviour…
In case you didn’t know, right now is cuffing season. It started in November and will go on until March, yay… if you want to know why to avoid it, then have a look here! First though, you need to know what it is. Cuffing season is the time of year when single people are apparently overcome with the strongest urge to be coupled up during the winter months.
During the winter, this is when you feel that be snuggled up and watching TV would be better with someone else, so you find someone to be ‘cuffed too’. However, when the sun starts to peek out again, these winter casual arrangements drift away in favour of sun and less layers.
A new one to add to the list, just heard this one recently and didn’t know there was an actual name for it. To start, I’m not sure how they came up with the name ‘phubbing’, but each to their own and all that. I’m sure we’ve all been in that situation where you’re hanging out with someone and they are on their phone the whole time and you’re tempted to snatch it and snap it in two? (Aggression is never the answer… apparently.)
Well, turns out there’s a name for that! Phubbing is when you’re in a relationship or you’ve just started seeing someone and they would rather be on their phone the whole time than actually interact with you. Yeah, phones definitely keep us all SO connected and SO social, right?!
Another common phrase you’ve probably heard before, but mainly in terms of celebrity couples or your favourite TV pairings. Shipping is when your nearest and dearest give you their seal of approval by shipping your relationship.
Basically, they mean that they support it and hope you two lovebirds stay together forever as you give them hope that the world isn’t such a dark place after all! A true mark of support in this modern day and age 😉
Back to spookier terminology, Zombieing is when the ship sinks, essentially, but it’s when you and your partner don’t make it in the long run, so you break up. Scared you won’t see them again? Never fear, because zombieing is when they come back from the death you exiled them to when they became your ex.
This is when they reappear out of nowhere after a while acting like a complete stranger. Pretty sure this was happening well before we had a name for it but I guess this is helpful to know?
So, there you have it! A little crash course in dating terms 101. I’m sure there will be many more in the future and I only picked out a few. Look, all I can say is curl up with a bottle of wine and some Netflix to forget about the dumpster fire that dating seems to feel like sometimes! Alcohol and Netflix helps with most things 🙂