Ghosting to zombieing: 11 modern dating slang terms you need to know
Ghosting. Breadcrumbing. Benching. Whether you're single or in a relationship, keeping up with dating slang can be hard. So, here's a dating dictionary to decode your love life.
There comes that moment in everyone's life when someone, usually someone younger, uses lingo you don't understand. At first, you panic — has it happened, am I old? Next, you nod along, too afraid to ask what it means. Finally, your flight instinct kicks in and you head to the nearest corner to Google, "SMH meaning". To make matters worse, there's one place where the rules are changing daily — dating. Back in the day, dating consisted of two steps — 'going steady' and getting married. Although most of us might have heard of ghosting by now, you might find yourself occasionally pretending you know what your friend means when she tells you, "Ugh, I think my Tinder date is kittenfishing me." "Oh good," you might say, thinking that kittens are adorable, so kittenfishing must be something positive. You'd be wrong.
Luckily for you, to make sure that you never mix up benching and breadcrumbing, ghosting and haunting, we've compiled a list of all the new dating terms you should know about.
Arguably the most popular of the dating terms, ghosting is what happens when someone who you are dating/seeing/texting suddenly disappears, instead of actively calling things off. They're not replying to your messages, they won't agree to see you.
Yes, haunting is related to ghosting. It's what you call it when someone ghosts you... but keeps watching your Instagram Stories or follows you on social media.
This dating term gets its name from Casper, the friendly ghost in the 1995 fantasy-drama. When Caspering, you let someone down gently instead of ghosting, saying something like, "I had a great time, but didn't really feel a spark."
Cushioning means you keep texting and flirting with potential love interests, even though you're already dating someone else. The other people are there to "cushion" the blow of a potential breakup.
Zombieing happens when an ex, or someone who previously ghosted you, pops up in your life again — usually in the form of a social media interaction.
A situationship feels like a relationship, but it's not one — it's a pseudo-relationship. In a situationship, you get intimate with each other regularly, connect emotionally, and text often, but you don't officially commit.
This may sound delicious, but in the dating world, breadcrumbing is bad news. Similar to benching, breadcrumbing means keeping someone interested in you by leaving them "breadcrumbs" — little nuggets of interest, like an occasional Instagram like — but never actually meeting up.
Has your latest crush kept up semi-regular communication but failed to actually show face at any real-life meetings? Welcome to the bench. Essentially, you're a safety net. Benching refers to the act of keeping a potential love interest "on the bench" by texting them and liking their social media posts, but never actually meeting up.
A thirst trap is a sneaky way of pretending to do one thing while really doing another. The intention is to make someone else thirsty or jealous but in a subtle manner. It is simply an alluring photo posted to a social media account with the full intent of making the viewer feel attracted to you.
Being catfished — what happens when someone pretends to be someone else and engages in an online relationship — is so prevalent in today's culture that you probably didn't need that definition.
Appropriately, kittenfishing is the baby version of catfishing. Instead of constructing a whole new online persona, you emphasise some of your traits and minimize others in order to create an appealing, but not-so-accurate portrayal of yourself. This might mean using out-of-date photos, saying you live in Delhi when you actually live in Noida, pretending you love hiking, so on and so forth.