Dating today is more complicated than Algebra. There are so many games, so many obstacles, and so many trends that it’s hard to wrap our head around just what is happening to us. It seems as though every day, new terms pop up into the Urban Dictionary of Love and we’re forced to decipher whether or not our latest Tinder date is “breadcrumbing” us or “love bombing” us. It’s hard to keep up, I know. It all started so simply with ghosting, but now, we’re left in the depths with submarining that just makes me think of The Beatles and not a relationship.
There are so many dating trends these days. I can't keep up! Ghosting, breadcrumbing, stashing, slow fade, love bombing, catch and release..
— Kaitlyn Muñoz (@KaitlynMunozTV) August 24, 2017
If you’re confused, which I’m sure as hell you are, we’re going to make your life simply just a bit more complicated and break down all of these horrific and obnoxious dating terms in one full-swoop.
Ghosting is pretty much the universal dating trend that everyone is aware of. It’s complicated, yet simple. You start talking to someone and you really like them and think you’re hitting it off, when all of the sudden they disappear as though they have died and become a ghost. You no longer see them, you no longer hear from them – it’s as if you two never even spoke.
The person didn’t have enough balls or respect for you to break it off verbally or even tell you why it didn’t work out – instead, they just disappear. This is a pretty bullsh*t way to end something with someone. If you’re not into dating someone any longer, the right thing to do is be upfront about it. You think that you’ll end up hurting someone, but think about how much worse it is to just disappear out of someone’s life without an explanation.
Wait. Why is it called ghosting? Ghosts stick around. THAT'S THEIR WHOLE DEAL.
— Jennifer Wright (@JenAshleyWright) September 21, 2017
Breadcrumbing is exactly what it sounds like – small pieces of something good. Breadcrumbing is when someone you’re into is nice to you or shows interest in you but only from time-to-time. They’re not consistent with their desire or their intentions and always leave you wanting more.
It’s a way that people keep the other person “interested” by giving them just enough to satisfy them, but never too much where it can be something super serious. It’s the typical “f*ckboy” motive to do. You keep a girl around, give her just enough attention to keep her into you and do your own thing at the same time. Pass.
If sleep were my friend it would be breadcrumbing me.
— Chris Harrison (@harrisonwriter) November 3, 2017
Submarining is also what it sounds like. Submarines are known to appear, dive underwater for an extended period of time without a trace and then boom, they appear again. Think of this in terms of dating. You’re talking to someone and you’re really feeling them, but they disappear for whatever reason (or no reason at all), almost like ghosting.
But, like a submarine, they reappear in your life again months or years later because they’re probably lonely and desperate for love. More likely than not, the person is going to reappear because they failed in another relationship and hate being alone. It’s a sure-fire sign that someone needs some therapy.
new trend "submarining"=someone will disappear and then re-emerge some time later.
That isn't new my dad's been doing that for 16 years.
— HALL! (@TheHallWay1) October 30, 2017
Cushioning is a trend that is pretty f*cked up within itself. It happens when you’re already in a relationship with someone, but fear the relationship may end and you don’t want to be left lonely. So, you have a few people in your life you keep “around” and flirt with – just in case your relationship ends.
This way, you’ll have a nice cushion to fall on instead of being completely alone. It basically showcases that whatever relationship you’re currently in is probably not even worth being in – and it’s time to move on. It’s borderline cheating if you ask me. Don’t be a f*cked up person to the other half of your relationship. If you’re interested in other people, you should break it off. Grow a pair.
Love-bombing happens at the very beginning of dating someone. It’s the stereotypical “middle school” dating experiment. It’s when you’re dating someone and they go into overdrive with romance, affection, and love from Day 1. They send you flowers, text you every moment of every day – they probably say “I love you” on the third date. It’s pretty toxic.
Eventually, they get tired or bored of the relationship and being on such a high overload that they completely change their tune – they leave. This leaves you alone, out of nowhere, with no clues in sight. In all honesty, it’s borderline harassment.
13. Cuffing Season:
Cuffing season describes the Fall/Winter seasons of the year when people usually want to stay in and cuddle with someone they’re dating. In modern-day dating, people are always worried that the person they are dating is only interested in being with them for “cuffing season,” but, come Spring/Summer, they’ll dump you to be back to their single, fun-loving, parting ways. It’s pretty annoying, immature and stupid – if you want to be single, just be single. Relationships aren’t “seasonal” or temporary.
cuffing season y’all pic.twitter.com/9KVKwMBBOz
— sexi lexi ™ (@lexiwilkes) November 1, 2017
Textlationships happen mostly with the emergence of dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. This describes a relationship that happens only via your phone, Facebook or a dating app. You’re only talking to this person via technology and you two have never met/hung out in real life. It’s pretty much like the days where you’d go into chat rooms on AOL and talk to strangers. Not. A. Relationship.
If he text you all day but never wanna see you y'all aint in no relationship that's a textlationship????
— FMOIG:Atlanta.Moods (@atlanta_moods) October 15, 2017
Tindstagramming has everything to do with social media apps and dating apps combined. This is a “stage five clinger” warning from people you’re just not interested in. When using Tinder, a person who’s into you may message you if you match, but, after you decide you’re not into it, you break off the conversation. Here’s where Tindstagramming comes into play – the person slides into your Instagram comments or DM’s to try and get your attention again. Not cool, and borderline creepy. Stalkers.
DTR stands for “define the relationship.” After you’ve been dating someone for a while and things are going well, it’s normal for one party to want to define whatever relationship you two have. This is the point where couples either happen or flat out don’t. Sometimes, people are ready to DTR, while others are not. It’s a conflicting time if the latter is true. Defining the relationship should happen pretty naturally and without force – who the f*ck wants to be with someone because you forced them to be with you? Nah, sis. I’m good.
Benching happens after you’ve been dating someone for a while and want to DTR, but, one person is unsure of what they want. If you’re into someone and they have uncertainties, you may get “benched” like an athlete on a sports team. The person doesn’t break things off with you but leaves you on the bench to explore other options or “figure out” what they want entirely. Most of the time, you end up looking like a hot, sweaty mess like NBA players on the bench. Move on.
Phubbing is something that happens on a date. This is when you go out with someone and the person is spending the entire time on their phone, rather than getting to know you or focusing on the date itself. It’s a combination of the words “phone,” and “snub,” so basically, they’re snubbing you with their phone, rather than appreciating the date or you. Pro-tip: Get up and leave.
— Berni the bitch (@bernithebitch) October 21, 2017
Layby is when someone is already in a relationship with someone, but the relationship is clearly failing. They are unhappy, unsatisfied and no longer want to date that person. But, they are unable to come to terms with how to end the relationship, so, they put the person on a “layby.”
They start looking for other people that peak their interest and invest in a “new relationship” before ever ending the old one. Much like cushioning, this is borderline cheating. Stop being a bunch of pansies and know when you need to end a relationship. Is it really that hard to do?
6. Slow Fade:
The slow fade is basically exactly as it sounds – someone you’re dating slowly begins to fade out of your life without warning. It’s similar to ghosting where they disappear in the end, but, it’s not as abrupt or instant as ghosting. Instead, they answer texts less frequently, make plans less, etc. Eventually, the end result is the same though.
The job search is the same as dating as a freshman. No one wants anything serious but no outright rejection. It's all about the slow fade.
— Robyn Shapiro (@robyn_shapiro) April 9, 2015
Haunting, also known as “Zombie-ing” is a direct result of ghosting. It’s also very much like submarining. The person you are dating completely disappears out of your life – ghosting. Then, when you’re completely gotten over it and moved on, they reappear like someone out of The Walking Dead. Hence, “haunting” you like a “zombie.” What a load of sh*t. If you’re gone, be f*cking gone.
Catfishing is a term that not a lot of people knew about back in the day – but, with MTV’s new reality TV show exposing all you catfishers out there, it’s taken on popularity. Catfishing is when you pretend to be someone online and flirt, date or talk to another person under this alias.
Many times, people choose models, influencers and other “good looking” people to use as their personas in order to entice people to talk to them. While it sounds wild, there are hundreds of people who have been in actual relationships where they’ve ended up being catfished – just watch the show on MTV, it’s wild.
Stashing happens when you’re dating someone for a while and you reach the step in your relationship where you want to meet their friends or family – but, they hide you away. They basically treat you like a “secret stash.” It’s a way that they can appear single and not tied down to someone, not having to answer heavy questions about commitment and probably date other people at the same time. If you’re dating someone for a while and you haven’t met their friends or family – they’re either a serial killer or they’re just not down to commit.
Gaslighting is actually a really toxic dating term that is borderline abuse. It’s when people manipulate you in a relationship and make you feel as though you’re going crazy. It’s as simple as lying to someone and as complicated as making someone feel as though they’re inferior and always wrong – or even sick in the head. Gaslighting is dangerous and when you’re with somebody or seeing somebody that does it, it’s a sure sign to run the other way.
Breezing is a dating term that isn’t all bad. It’s basically about “not giving a f*ck” and doing what you want when you want and how you want. Not aggressively to control someone, but in a way that you’re not trying too hard to play it cool and calm when you’re just not like that. It’s basically no games (whereas the rest of these terms are all games). When people are “breezing” they’re straightforward and themselves. It’s the way dating should be, in my eyes.