Lucky us, we get to live through the dating digital age where there is a plethora of new ways to get dumped and an increased chance you’re going to be faced with dudes who have wronged you again and again. Thank you Facebook! Thank you Tinder radius settings!
However, as the digital space has evolved, so has our love for labelling our emotional states. Fortunately for women and men everywhere, ‘experts’ have spent a lot of time coining hilarious terms to label pretty shit dating situations that might have otherwise had you thinking ‘am I going fucking crazy for being annoyed?’.
And I, a woman of the people, have compiled a list some of my fave dating terms with some (completely unwarranted) advice on what to do if this happens to you…OR, what to do if YOU are the perpetrator, you dirty dog.
Definition – When someone disappears off the face of the earth with no warning. You go on a date, things seem good then…your date apparently doesn’t like you that much and drops off the radar.
Advice – This is a little controversial but hear me out; if you’ve been seeing this guy for a while and he was giving off serious vibes before ghosting you – he’s a dick and you deserve better. Go get yourself some ice-cream, wallow about it and take the time you need to move on. HOWEVER, if you met on Tinder and went on one date – I personally don’t think the person must formally tell you that you have not, in fact, swept them off their feet. Don’t wait around. Jump back on Tinder and give it another go.
Definition – When the bloody nuisance of a person you ghosted keeps trying to contact you.
“You could have explained, I just want to know why, I wanted to make sure you’re doing well”. The list of reasons goes on.
Advice – If this has happened to you, I know it sucks but STOP texting him. You’re better than chasing after someone and that energy is energy better spent elsewhere.
Definition – The modern word for a booty call. This is where one party keeps you at an arm’s length but calls upon you every few weeks just to let you know you’re still theirs. Complete fuckboy attitude.
Advice – If you’re tired of being benched I have one word for you sister; exclusivity. Sit down, have ‘the chat’ and if he’s not for it, he’s not for it. Then the ball is in your court to stay or leave. Unless he’s benching you for months at a time. That’s just a booty call and ‘the talk’ would be weird AF.
Definition – Pretty much the epitome of friends with benefits…but funnier to say. Breadcrumbing.
It’s where one person drops the other little hints of love often enough to keep them around, but never commits to full-time loving. They might make you dinner and go on nice dates, send you sweet texts or buy you presents. Hell, his friends might even know you exist and he might call you his girlfriend which is #verysweet #muchromance but you’re never going to get the happily ever after.
Advice – Attempt talks about future plans and where you’re headed. If he’s not receptive, you need to cut him loose. This one’s going to break your heart.
The catch and release…
Definition – Flirting hard with someone to reel them into a date only to cancel said date. Then doing it again and again because fishing is FUN!
Advice – Anyone who has ever been fishing will know it is in fact NOT fun and there are better ways to spend your time. Don’t fall into the trap of being on call time and time again. Tell him you’re busy and guuuurl, be busy.
Definition – When a person pretends to be someone else online in order to get the other person to like them.
Don’t be fooled by the happy endings in the TV show, Catfishing is downright creepy.
Advice – Run for the hills. And fast.
Definition – This is when someone is stashing you away from their world. I’m talking about not being introduced to friends or family and not accepting any public recognition of being together.
Advice – Some people are just private, particularly two weeks in. But if it’s been 6 months you need to address it. You do not get dressed up just to watch TV and go to dive bars.
Definition – My 15 y/o boyfriend…jks (but really). This is when things have ended, but the other person still emerges from the depths every so often just to remind you they’re alive…Because you care. Quite similar to benching except the continuous re-emergences are not necessarily for romantic or sexual reasons.
Advice – This is neither here nor there on my scale of relationship woes. Chances are if this person is only contacting you digitally, your lives don’t intertwine in the real world. You don’t really need to give it any sort of attention if you don’t want to.
Definition – This is a less kinky (read; less fun) version of what it sounds like. Cuffing is where the other person acts like they are cuffed to you – but only when it suits them. Is it winter? Are they on a rebound? You bet they wanna be Netflix and chilling aaaaall damn day because they’re a bonafide cuffer.
Advice – If you feel like you’re in one of these you need to 1) Notify your friends and family you’re alive because you’ve probably been in a hole of passion and cuffing for goodness knows how long 2) consider where it’s going for you.
Warning; if this at all resonates with you, GTFO.
Definition – Cushioning is where the other party can see things heading south in their current relationship and then YOU act as the cushion for their demise. I’m going to make a call and say this will usually come in the form of a drunk ex calling or texting you ‘they miss you’.
Advice – GTFO
Definition – This is the prepping stages for cushioning. It’s the period where one person spends time playing the field to scope out whether you are chill/fun/stupid enough to settle into a cushioning season.
Advice – Shut it down. You’ve got better things to do than listen to some dude rattle off how terrible his current girlfriend is and much better you’d be.
Definition – When you’re not sure if you’re attracted to a man or if you’re just attracted to his facial hair.
As a girlfriend of a man who has just shaved off quite an impressive beard, I am SO relieved there is a term for that hour of my life where I was seriously re-considering my relationship.
Advice – Make a decision on this one in 3-6 working days when your dude starts looking like himself again or at the very least, he stops stunning you everytime you open your eyes. Hot tip – spend time looking at his eyes or his butt to remind yourself of other features you enjoy.
Definition – When you leave someone on read for a period of time just to torture them.
This is the definition of evil but also I’m pretty sure it’s just another hilarious word for ghosting (recognising a trend?).
Advice – Refer back to ghosting.
Definition – Quite similar to the term ‘douchebag’ this refers to the act of ghosting someone (see above) only to return to their lives of YOUR OWN FREE WILL. Just like a zombie that you didn’t ask for, BAM they’re back from the dead and trying to wriggle into your life.
Advice – Don’t play into it. Unless the person is coming back with a seriously regretful message, ignore it. Zombies aren’t friends.
Definition – A dationship is when you’re ‘in’ a relationship but it’s more like you’re dating. You’re a couple but you just know they’re not ‘the one’.
Advice – I’m not against this one tbh if you’re both happy plodding along but if you think the other person feels like you’re marriage material, then you gotta shut it down or there will be a flashy new dating term named after your shitty actions.
Definition – Finding out details by stalking the other party’s social media presence, friendship circles etc prior to meeting them to get a one up on them.
Advice – I mean, we’re only human and curiosity is natural so a little sneak peek at what you’re in for never goes astray but do not go back further than you need to. If you start dropping in how much you love cars because you saw cars on his Facebook in 2009 you then need to keep up car chats for the length of the relationship.
Same goes with creeping on ex-girlfriends – it’s tempting, but weird.
Definition – When you’re dating several people at once and are juggling the game.
Advice – I’ve got no wise cracks for this. If you can manage this you deserve a medal because it is TOUGH. I mean, the worst that can happen for you is you meet someone you’re actually head over heels with and you need to let all six go… eh.
I could go all day with this and the internet is not short of delivering weird terms to describe every possible scenario if you need a little giggle or sanity check. Alas, a girl’s gotta get on with her real life with real people who are not ghosts or Zombies.
Just know, you are clearly not alone if this shit happens to you! And if you’re doing one of the above, be a good person – just have fun doing it 😉
Words by April Murphy.