young attractive woman holding mobile phone reading about dating terms

In the modern world, it can seem like dating is ever-changing. It’s very different from how it was years ago when meeting people in bars or at work was the most common occurrence. Before technology, it could be said that things were simpler. 

You didn’t need to understand all of the slang and dating terms that exist today. With technology evolving and the increase of dating apps, it makes sense that there is a dating lexicon today that we wouldn’t have used years ago. Ghosting was still a thing, of course, but it was simply different because there was no ‘easy’ way of disappearing from someone’s life pre-mobile phones. 

We are blessed to have technology that allows us to communicate with people who we would’ve never met had it not been for dating apps or social media. Having said that it can be hard to keep up with modern dating, especially if you’re quite new to it. We’ve created a helpful guide to help you navigate the dating world a little bit easier and it starts with learning more about these new and popular dating terms.

Dating Terms You Should Know

  • Benching

Benching has been around for decades, we just simply didn’t have a name for it until now. It means stringing someone along, even though you have no intention of dating them, simply because you don’t want them to move on and find someone much better. 

It’s a really hurtful thing to do to someone because it provides them with false hope. If they think that there’s even a slight chance that they’ll end up with you, they’d be willing to wait around forever. Nobody wants to be second best, though.

  • Breadcrumbing

It’s called breadcrumbing as it involves giving someone snippets of attention to keep them interested without ever committing to them. In simple terms, it works by sending flirty and endearing messages to someone over a length of time but never with the intention of it leading anywhere.

Often, you won’t have the guts to tell them that you’re not interested in a relationship with them, so you keep stringing them along as it’s the ‘safer’ option. It’s a little bit like benching but has a different intention behind it. 

  • Cushioning

Another thing that’s been around for ages is cushioning. This is when you keep several romantic interests around because you’re too afraid to commit to just one person in case it doesn’t work out. So, if things do go south with one of the people you’re dating, then you’ll always have a backup option. Basically, you have a ‘cushion’ to fall back on.

  • Haunting

So, you’re probably very familiar with ghosting, but in case you’re not: ghosting is when you suddenly disappear from someone’s life without warning. Ghosting is often done via dating apps since it’s an easier way of ending something without the confrontation and awkwardness. 

Haunting is the opposite. This is when you end things with someone but you still catch them checking up on you; this is often through liking photos or posts on social media. They don’t usually try to communicate with you but they do try to keep track of your movement and what you’re up to. Sometimes, it’s hard to shake someone off completely when there are still reminders of their existence. Hence why they are haunting you! 

  • Kittenfishing

Similar to catfishing, kittenfishing means to pretend to be someone that you’re not. You might not be using other people’s pictures, but the photos you upload could be very outdated or photoshopped and not really an accurate portrayal of what you currently look like. 

Kittenfishing is about deceit, so it could be lying about your occupation or perhaps telling someone that you regularly play the guitar even though you don’t own one. Even though we all try to paint ourselves in the best light on dating apps, there’s a clear difference between slightly bending the truth and creating a fake profile. You don’t have to lie to make a great dating profile.

  • Submarining

 Submarining is when someone ghosts you but then reappears in your life after a long period of time and tries to pick up from where you left off. It’s a confusing move to the recipient because it makes you question whether they are still interested in you or not. This is not normal behavior, though, and it’s a telltale sign that they aren’t interested in a real romantic relationship. They’re probably just bored.

So, there you have it. These are some of the most common dating terms to keep a lookout for when you’re online dating and when you’re dating IRL. The signs might not always be obvious, but they are there, you just have to keep your eyes peeled. Remember that if someone wants to be with you, then they will be. It’s very simple advice that should go a long way.

Now that you understand some of these popular dating terms, hopefully, it should make dating a little bit easier for you. But remember, to have fun and be kind out there!

Coralle Skye

Coralle Skye is a freelance writer with a focus on health and wellness, relationships and lifestyle. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading or playing animal crossing. You can find her at justcoralle.com, on Twitter, or Instagram.