More Terrible Dating Terms You Should Know

Since dating continues to be a wasteland of meaningless swiping, unreturned messages and first dates with people who “aren’t looking for anything serious”, it only makes sense that new terms for the things single-and-looking people are subjected to keep popping up. You’ve most likely already been ghosted, benched or zombie’ed (or maybe all three, sorry) at some point but it turns out that’s just the beginning.

We’re all nostalgic for the days when someone was simply interested in you or wasn’t but for some reason, it just isn’t that easy anymore. Here are the latest subtle rejection tactics you have to watch out for.

Cloaking
Have you ever shown up for a promising date only to realize that not only were you being stood up, but your date had blocked your number and unmatched you on the dating app you met them on? That’s cloaking. Being stood up is bad enough but as the minutes pass and you figure out you have no way of telling them what an asshole they are is even worse. While you nurse the vodka soda at the bar, you’ll go through a roller coaster of emotions from confusion to embarrassment to anger. The best thing you can do is call a friend to come salvage your evening. Or just go home to keep swiping.

Orbiting
Social media has its perks, but when it comes to dating (and breaking up) it’s usually nothing but a curse. Orbiting happens when someone you’ve gone on a couple dates with fades away without explanation but continues to passively engage with your social media presence. But never you. Pre-social media, if you weren’t interested in keeping in touch with someone, there was no way check up on what they were doing. Now, anyone you ever went on a date with can probably find you online and stalk you. Privacy settings exist for this very reason.

Stashing
Have you ever dated someone for months before realizing you’ve actually never met anyone else they know? No family, no friends, no colleagues, not even their favourite barista. Well, you, my friend, were being stashed. When someone isn’t introducing you to their core people, it probably means they don’t see any point in making the effort to integrate you into their life. Which means you’re temporary. If you’re both on the same page about this, great! If not, it’s time to move on.

Tuning
Similar to ‘benching’, tuning is when someone clearly has a thing for you, but they never do anything—or say anything—about it. The term refers to someone who flirts, follows you on social media, texts you and shows up to events you’re going to be at, meaning they’re obviously trying to “tune into your frequency” aka get your attention. The problem is, tuning never progresses into anything more. This person doesn’t ask you out or do anything to move things forward. Confusing? Yes.

Mooning
Since a major percentage of modern dating takes place through various screens, it only makes sense that a dating trend would be named after a smartphone function. The term “mooning” comes from the half moon symbol that is displayed when you’ve set it to “Do Not Disturb”. If someone is mooning you, they don’t want to see your messages. Maybe it’s only temporary, or maybe it’s forever. Maybe they don’t know yet. The point is, they’d rather pretend you don’t exist. You probably won’t even know if you’re being mooned, but if they take forever to respond and you find yourself double texting more often than not, it’s not looking good.

Houseplanting
There are some people who aren’t good at keeping houseplants alive. Either they just don’t have the touch—or they have a tendency to buy a plant and then just forget about it. Houseplanters mean well at first, and they will give you attention when they notice you’re starting to get fed up, but they always return to their neglectful ways until there’s nothing left of your relationship to revive. Consistency is what keeps a relationship (and a plant) alive, but if the person you’re seeing is consistently neglecting you for weeks on end, face it—you’re being houseplanted.

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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