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Lost in translation – breaking down the online dating jargon

By: Natasha Archary


Online, relationships begin and end with our smartphones. That’s the reality of the cyber-dating world. Keeping up with the virtual dating trends can be tricky and may involve some evasive maneuvers. Navigating the dating scene in general can be complicated but the online realm is just brutal.


With terminology that can leave you confused and with a bruised ego, let’s break down the dating jargon and decipher your “situationship.”


  1. Ghosting


All communication from the person you are dating (online or in real life) comes to an end without an apparent reason. You have just been dumped. Hardcore. Attempts to reach the person get lost in WIFI territory, they’ve blocked you on all social platforms and you have to accept that Casper is not as friendly as you’ve been led to believe.


  1. Haunting/Zombieing

A ghoster suddenly comes back from the dead and starts liking your pictures or follows you on Instagram again. The Walking Dead returns and much like the AMC series, it’s all fun until the ammo runs out. Block and protect yourself from these heartless zombies.


  1. Breadcrumbing


Your texting lover sends out flirtatious but non-commital texts to keep you pining for more. The typical message may elude to, “I can’t wait to see you on Friday night. Wear something sexy. I’ll confirm closer to the time.” Chances are something will come up and he/she will need to cancel plans at the last second. Honey, don’t follow the breadcrumbs, it isn’t happening.


  1. DTR


You’ve been together for three months and you decide it’s time to have THE conversation. You want clarity and ask the all important question, “Babe, Define The Relationship (aka DTR)?” This question is usually followed by you being benched (see next point) so tread carefully.


  1. Benching

So you decided to DTR and your online love has now dramatically reduced the number of texts throughout the day. You have not been ghosted yet but you are about to be. Benching usually happens when someone isn’t quite sure how they feel about you. They like hanging out with you and think you’re cool but then again, they aren’t entirely sure about jumping into an official relationship with you.


  1. Cuffing

Yes a direct play on handcuffing someone to your side, cuffing involves settling for a warm body to keep you company during colder months. It’s not a relationship but rather a mutual arrangement to have someone come over for cuddles, hot chocolate and well, whatever it takes to keep warm.


  1. Netflix and chill


Hanging out the couch and catching a movie with your online love is not even remotely what this term means. You may have the online streaming bouquet on but chances are neither of you will actually be watching. It’s basically a casual way of saying, “Come over for a hookup.”


  1. Stashing

You’ve been together for a while and have already survived the DTR conversation but you still haven’t been introduced to any of their friends or family? You, my dear, have been stashed. You’re in a secret relationship because bae is still weighing options in cyberspace.


  1. Peacocking


You notice new profile pictures up on their Insta account and bae is dressing up and looking finer everyday. Out for the attention of other males or females, your catch is on the prowl and not afraid to show you. They’ve either noticed you’re losing interest and have decided to teach you a lesson or this is no longer fun and they want to hook a new partner.


  1. Catch & Release

The thrill is in the chase. Getting as many Tinder likes and super likes are the objective of this game. Going on as many dates as is humanly possible with no real aim to stay in a relationship with any of them. Classic catch and release tactics. All the fun without any of the commitment.


Having a Ah-Ha moment are you? If you have experienced any of the above, chalk it up to experience and move right along. This is the new norm and nothing to lose sleep over. Identifying the signs may be easier now, so analyse, define and decide if the relationship is worth pursuing.


Written by: Natasha


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