Disclaimer: The below is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.
Online dating culture has spawned a whole new vocabulary, and if you’re looking to use a dating app in the new year, it’s important to brush up on the latest lingo.
While catfishing (intentionally misrepresenting yourself on your profile) and ghosting (abruptly ceasing communication with a dating partner to end the relationship) are widely-known online dating phenomenon, but there are plenty of other terms you need to know. Here’s some dating slang you might encounter in your romantic adventures.
- Benching. Someone who “benches” a potential partner keeps that person waiting on the sidelines, only giving them enough attention to keep them interested. It’s not exactly the nicest thing to do – the person benching you refuses to commit to a relationship, but doesn’t want you to move on and find someone else, either.
- Breadcrumbing. Like benching, breadcrumbing involves stringing someone along without committing to them. The breadcrumber may send flirty messages to make the other person think there’s a chance of something more, but has no intention of taking the relationship any further.
- Cushioning. Not sure if your current relationship has long-term potential? You might consider cushioning – keeping in touch with one or more “backup” romantic partners in case things go south.
- DM slide. “Sliding into the DMs” has been in the millennial vernacular for the last several years. A DM slide involves sending a private or direct message to a crush on a social media platform, usually after a “public” interaction, such as liking or commenting on a post. The idea is to start up a flirty conversation – but be warned, DM slides aren’t always welcome!
- Instagrandstanding. This dating trend involves curating your Instagram feed with photos you think will appeal to your current crush.
- Microcheating. This is a term for what might be considered emotional cheating – flirting, suggestive text messages, requests for racy photos, etc. A microcheater may argue that they’re not really “cheating” because they never did anything physical with another person, but for most people in monogamous relationships, this behavior is still unacceptable.
- Roaching. If two people are getting serious but haven’t had “the relationship talk” yet, one partner may intentionally hide the fact that they’re still dating around. When the other partner finds out and confronts them, the “roach” will defend themselves by saying they hadn’t discussed monogamy.
- Tindstagramming. This common dating app challenge occurs when someone you’ve rejected or blocked on Tinder finds your Instagram account and attempts to continue the conversation there.
- Vulturing. Much like a vulture circling its weak or injured prey, vulturing happens when someone senses a relationship is falling apart, and then lines themselves up as a rebound for the party they’re interested in.
- You-Turning. If you’ve ever fallen fast for someone, only to change your mind about them a few days later, you’ve just done a “you-turn,” according to the Daily Mail.
Regardless of who you meet through your dating app, it’s a good idea research them up front. Run a public records search to check out their background and social media profiles, so you can get to know a little more about them before you agree to meet in person.