The little glossary of dating

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Ghosting, Benching, Love Bombing, Freckling: Do you know what each term means? Our little glossary of dating is packed with information and tells you everything you need to know about the latest dating terminology.

Hop or top, wipe and away: dating trends with dreadful names are piling up online and on dating apps. Every week it feels like some new phenomenon is discovered and named for consumption. Our dating glossary clarifies all the new, strange and unfamiliar terminology and provides answers to every question you may have – once and for all.

#1: Ghosting

You’ve met at a party and instantly clicked. Maybe you’ve already been on a few dates and it went well. But suddenly one of you breaks off contact and doesn’t respond to any of the other’s attempts to get in touch. There’s no call, no email and no explanation. That’s what ghosting refers to. The term describes the action of lovers or friends who withdraw without warning. Not only is ghosting deeply painful, but it also leaves the person left behind to deal with feelings of anger and helplessness.

Modern communication technologies are largely to blame for the trend. With WhatsApp, Facebook or Tinder, we interact online in a way that could never be sustained in person. And as hard as it sounds, humans like their affairs to be uncomplicated. But that doesn’t mean it’s decent behavior to disappear without a word. So, if you’ve been ghosted before, just know this: you don’t want to be involved with a person who prefers the easy route out of a relationship anyway.

#2: Benching

Benching is like the pumped up version of ghosting. The practice involves leaving a (mostly recent) acquaintance stranded alone on a bench. It used to be called “keeping-warm”.

The cruel thing about benching is that the “benched one” may occasionally still receive a text message or an offer to meet, only for the bencher to then lose interest and cancel the meeting at short notice. Although communications may be charming and loving, they’re never binding. Indeed, 16% of Germans have previously been put on the bench and 15% even admitted to having benched someone else before.

#3: Binge Dating

Everyone knows what binge watching means: the marathon-like consumption of an entire season of a TV show or a franchise of movies. The equivalent in the dating world is referred to as binge dating. In plain English: binge daters are those who have five dates a week from five Tinder matches. Following a break-up, many people are prone to such behavior. At first, the dates serve to boost one’s self-esteem or act as a distraction. However, after the initial dating high, binge dating often leads to feelings of emptiness.

#4: Love Bombing

Love bombing is the opposite of ghosting or benching. Maybe you’ve met someone new and everything is going well. Even better, he or she is showering you with love. You’re together 24/7 and may even feel like you haven’t just met a new lover, but a soul mate. But beware, as soon as you want to do something with your friends (and not with your new partner), behaviors can rapidly change. You may be labelled as egoistic and be punished through withdrawal or even verbal abuse. In short, when you are love bombed, you are showered with love, but only for as long as you behave the way your love bomber wants you to. This can often be linked to narcissistic personality types and quickly leads to emotional abuse.

#5: Orbiting

Orbiting is an intermediate form of ghosting and benching. As with ghosting, any direct form of communication breaks down when one is being orbited. But the acquaintance may still react to social media posts and like a comment or share a photo. The common cause of this type of behavior is that the person doing the ‘orbiting’ cannot decide whether to stay in touch or not with the person being orbited. As with benching, the orbiter is keeping their options open without sending any direct messages.

#6: Freckling

Summer love affairs aren’t exactly new, but they’ve been given a new name – freckling. The term describes a light-hearted affair that only lasts during the months of summer. Just like the freckles that sometimes appear on our skin. When the first leaves fall in autumn, the romance is over.

#6: Stashing

The term stashing comes from the word “stash”. It refers to the practice of hiding a partner from the public. But stashing doesn’t just have to happen in person, it can also exist on social media networks. Take a look: did s/he ever post a photo of the two of you together or tag you in a video?

Don’t panic though! If you’ve only been going out for a few months, it might be that your partner doesn’t feel ready to introduce you to friends and family yet. That’s perfectly okay and should always be respected. But if such behavior continues over a longer period of time it could be a case of stashing.

#7: Gatsbying

No joke! It’s a genuine dating phenomenon. The origin of the term “Gatsbying” is the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel “The Great Gatsby” and the movie of the same name starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The story describes how the young, mysterious millionaire Jay Gastby tries to win the love of his childhood sweetheart Daisy. He organizes huge lavish parties to attract her attention.

And that is exactly what Gatsbying is: the attempt to impress. But more recently it’s been applied to certain kinds of behavior on social media and in particular Instagram. If you’re trying to impress someone by posting dozens of photos and stories that only show you from your very best side, it’s likely that you’re Gatsbying. Everyone’s probably Gatsbyed before, right?

#8: Hyping

You’ve met someone who has just recently come out of a relationship. Never mind – everything’s going well so far. And s/he only occasionally talks about the ex. But what if your new partner is only looking for reassurance from you? And as soon as their self-confidence has recovered, you’re left behind? That’s exactly what “hyping” refers to. It simply means taking advantage of someone as a gap filler.

Okay, that’s enough of the nasty dating terminology. Is it really true that there are nothing but narcissistic, vulgar and selfish characters circulating the world of dating? No, of course not! Even if our little glossary of dating sounds slightly cynical, we’ll say this: fortunately, there are still many moral, down-to-earth and wonderful people out there. And they are definitely worth dating. Alternatively, you could just date yourself. How? We’ll show you!


© Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash

Author: Friederike Hintze

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