Just when you thought that the world of modern dating could not get any more confusing than when someone ghosts you (aka when someone disappears out of thin air), honey, you better think again.
The dating glossary has expanded to include viral terms like “orbiting,” “benching”, ‘’zombieing’’ and “paper-clipping”. The next thing we know, we could be dying. As we are entering a new era, it looks like online dating isn’t going to stop anytime soon, if only it’ll just get more frisky.
So, we’ve rounded up all of the new dating terms you need to know about. If you’re single, this might help you prepare for your next liaison. Or if you aren’t, and are currently basking in the glory of coupled-up bliss, trying to understand ‘’What the hell are these teenagers are talking about?’’, here is your ultimate dating dictionary of all the bizarre trends to look out for.
Hear me out, zombie-ing is somewhat related to ghosting, and it isn’t technically a new phenomenon either. Here’s how to know if you’re in a zombie situationship. Let’s just say it’s a term for someone that ‘’rising from the dead’’. To be zombied is to have someone you care about disappear from your life, only to have them popped back up unexpectedly in your life with an out-of-the-blue text or spamming you with ‘’likes’’ on social media.
For example, you haven’t heard from this person for quite some time and just when you thought you’re finally gotten over them and started to heal from the pain, they slide back into your DM’s out of nowhere. They’re kind of zombies on their way back into your life, how scary is that? Truth is, they are either looking for a rebound or just straight up using you for their personal advantages. Block them.
Described as “rejection with a smile”, curving is a way of letting someone down without explicitly telling them you’re no longer interested. More often than not, it’s rooted in communication, or a lack thereof. But rather than ignoring the text asking to “hang out”, a curver will reply, only it will be several days later.
For example, a guy you met online (who is completely not your type btw) asked you out for dinner, instead of replying right away, you waited for like 2 3 days just to come up with an excuse like ‘’Oh sorry, I’m currently fasting’’.
The Urban Dictionary defines breadcrumbing as the act of someone sending out flirtatious messages because they enjoy the attention but have no intention of taking things further. Basically, leading someone on, which is total D-move!
It’s suggesting a date without making a plan. It’s telling someone they looked “super hot” in their latest Insta but screening their phone calls. A breadcrumber is tactical: they want to leave little nuggets for you so you think they’re still interested. FYI, they’re not interested, but keeping you around and seeing you squirm boosts their ego.
Millennials are seriously into “cuffing” these days. Scary but kinky. In this definition, “cuffed” or “cuffing” refers to being “handcuffed” to another person, because you want to tie yourself to someone else, at least temporarily. It’s like you want to be in a relationship but you don’t want to be committed. Get it? Confusing, I know.
Cuffing season typically starts around the beginning of fall and ends when it’s no longer too frigid to do anything outside. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be. In short, you just want someone to do cute stuff together during Christmas time, or watching horror movies, cuddling on the couch during Halloween and as soon as the season is over, y’all don’t see each other anymore. A mess.
Roaching happens when someone hides the fact that they’re in a committed relationship—either with you, or with another person. They never want to admit that they are indeed in a stable relationship. The word ‘’roaching’’ originates from the idea that when you see a cockroach, there are a lot more you don’t see. So while you’re seeing this individual, they are also hiding a bunch of other lovers, matches and dates that you know nothing about. Parasites!
Paper-clipping is inspired by Brooklyn-based artist Samantha Rothenberg who used a cheeky illustration of Clippy (the Microsoft Word computer pop up assistant from the ‘90s) in an Instagram post to describe an ex who will not disappear after a breakup. This type of person wants to make sure that you do not forget them—popping up when you least expect it.
It’s not like they’re still in love with you anyway. They’re just mental manipulating. A sadist, really. They’re the ultimate dating trolls, and the moment you respond, silently seethe, or spend hours analyzing their message, they’re winning. So once you break up, straight away block them.
Okay, a full on cheating may involve physical contacts. But micro-cheating is more to emotional cheating. Get it? Micro-cheating happens when you create opportunities for affectionate behavior towards others outside of your relationship. This means flirty comments, flirty emojis, flirty texts, just straight up being flirty.
Late night phone calls, exchanging past traumas, talking about ‘’My partner doesn’t let me do this, do that’’, with someone who is not your official partner. Yup, that’s micro-cheating. You’re not doing the obvious cheating like sleeping around but the fact that you took your time to reply to their flirty messages and staying up late until 2am talking to them, this is micro-cheating, darling.
‘Orbiting’ is the term first coined by Man Repellerthe—phenomenon happens when ghosting meets social media. In theory, when people ghost, they cut off all forms of communication right? Well, not for orbiters. Orbiters will continue to interact with you on social media.
You break off direct contact with someone you’re dating, but you continue to engage with their content on social media. You like their Instagram posts. They favorites your tweets. You watch their Snapchat stories. They reacted to your Insta Story. A complete headache! When you’re still liking somebody else’s stuff, you’re staying attached. Move on!
While cuffing appears in fall to winter season, freckles are for the summer. Seriously. Basically, freckling is another term for what most would describe as a summer fling: love that lasts only a summer. Like freckles, these sorts of lovers appear for the summer, only to disappear again as the days get colder.
Dating a freckler can be filled with uncertainty because they’re pretty vague when it comes to relationships. They’re neither 100% committed, nor do they plan to break up. They’re neither here nor there, but they would appear very passionately in love with you when it suits them best. Whether you’ve known this freckler well or not, one thing’s for sure, you don’t actually know them as well as you think.
Benching is when a romantic interest leads you on but does not progress the relationship to the next level—keeping you on the sidelines. It is the same idea as in team sports: When you are benched, you are not actually playing. But, if their main love interest is not working out, you are back in the game.
After all the millennial dating trends that only serve up more headaches, “breezing” is one that actually, positively, doesn’t suck. In fact, we’re loving it! Breezing someone means acknowledging that you have feelings for someone—but not letting those feelings be the only good thing in your life at the moment.
If it’s not the “right time,” you can keep this person on the books. But you don’t string them along or “bench” them—you directly let them know that if and when they change their mind and are ready for you, you’ll take their call. NBD. It’s about being carefree, confident within yourself, and not worrying too much about what you’re supposed to be doing and what he’s thinking. Like the old saying, ‘’Let’s just go with the flow’’.