A Glossary Of Dating Trends You Didn’t Know Had A Name

Above: For when you need to neatly categorize you heartbreak
Above: For when you need to neatly categorize you heartbreak

Modern dating has its pros and cons. Sure, dating apps have made meeting people easier than ever, but they’ve also made people a lot more picky. Swiping left is no big deal when there are hundreds more options waiting for you to scrutinize and reject. We’re all looking for that elusive “spark” but we’re also too busy with life to actually put any real time and effort into dating. That’s why there are so many ways to dump someone nowadays.

The term “dump” actually isn’t even accurate in most situations because if you haven’t DTR’ed (defined the relationship) and decided to be “exclusive” then you’re probably just in a casual “situationship” anyway. Can’t dump someone you aren’t in a relationship with, right? Anyway, if you’re putting serious effort into finding The One, you might as well be informed—here are just a few of the terrible dating trends you’re up against:

Ghosting
If you haven’t heard of ghosting you must be just getting back into the dating scene after a long hiatus. You’re in for a treat because now when people aren’t attracted to you, have someone else they like better, would rather scroll mindlessly through Instagram than text you back or just can’t be bothered to let you know they aren’t into you, they just stop talking to you without any explanation at all. It’s totally normal now—everyone does it. You’ll probably do it too.

Benching
We’re all looking for something pretty specific in a partner, even if what that is can’t always be put into words. Finding that person is a journey and you should be able to have fun along the way, right? That’s what benching is about. You meet someone you like, but not enough to go exclusive. So you bench them—keep in touch, like their Instagram selfies, but never really ask them to hang out. Unless your other plans fall through, then you’ll sub them in to salvage your Friday night.

Roaching
Roaching is one of the worst because it comes out of nowhere until you look back and realize you should have been more cautious. Basically, you’re having a great time with someone thinking you’re on the same page, until they casually let it drop that they’ve been seeing someone else. You two are just casual anyway, right? So you have no right to get upset. Just another example of why you can’t take anything for granted when it comes to dating.

Breadcrumbing
Breadcrumbing is arguably even worse than ghosting because it keeps unrealistic hope alive. It involves sending occasional flirty texts to someone you aren’t actually interested in dating pretty much just because you like the attention. By stringing the person along, you’re avoiding an actual confrontation but keeping a name in your phone for late night flirting sessions. You have no intention of ever meeting up with them, but you’ll never actually say that.

Cushioning
Some people are better at being alone than others. It’s the ones that somehow never seem to be single that are most likely to be guilty of “cushioning”. Basically, a cushioner will flirt with other people while in a relationship to ensure that if they’re current status does suddenly switch to “single”, they’ll have plenty of options to fall back on. They’re setting up possible rebounds so they’re fully prepared in the event of a break up. Not exactly the way to nurture a healthy relationship is it?

Firedooring
In an example of a deeply unhealthy relationship dynamic, firedooring is when someone will make the initiative to contact you first once in a blue moon. The rest of the time, you’re sending them flirty texts that go completely ignored, asking if they want to meet up at the bar only to never get an answer and liking their Instagram posts without ever getting a double tap in return. They pretty much forget you exist until it’s convenient for them and just when you’ve decided to write them off, they contact you and act like everything is totally normal.

Haunting
Haunting can start with a full on ghosting or it might have been a legitimate breakup. Either way, subtle reminders that the person is still lurking around, like for example they watched your Instagram story after being MIA for the last month keep popping up. They aren’t actively trying to get in touch with you and they’re definitely not asking you out, but they are also not trying to avoid you either. The reason for the haunting is anyone’s guess, but if we’re being real, you’re probably just reading too much into it.

Stashing
You might think everything is going well—you go out to dinner, check out art exhibits, spend plenty of time at each other’s places—until you realize you never go dinner in their neighbourhood and they actually made you hide in the closet that one time their friend dropped by unexpectedly. If you’ve never met any of their friends, family, coworkers, or favourite baristas, they’re hiding—or stashing—you away. You deserve better than that.

Zombie-ing
The first step in zombie-ing someone is a classic ghost. The disappearing act has to be seamless and complete. So complete that the ghosted party actually wonders if the ghoster might have died. Then out of nowhere, the ghoster comes back from the dead with a random “like” on social media or the always-popular “U up?” at 2am. It’s a bold move on the ghoster’s part, but that’s the dating world we now live in.

Kittenfished
You’ve probably heard of catfishing—that’s when you meet someone online but they act weird about meeting in person and you eventually find out it’s because they aren’t at all who they pretended to be. Kittenfishing is a little more tame, but that just means it happens a lot more often. If you’ve been kittenfished, you might notice your date is a few inches shorter than they claimed, or they aren’t a lawyer, but a law student. Micro-lies, but aren’t those just the gateway drug?

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on AmongMen.com, 29secrets.com, therichest.com, and ELLECanada.com.  When she isn’t writing about relationships, and the best TV shows and books you should really already know about, she is working on her novel. She hopes to have it published by 2025. You can follow her on Twitter @Courtooo.

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