Modern Online Dating Terms and What They Really Mean

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Nowadays, the style of life and the ways people communicate with each other have changed a lot under the influence of digital technology and a huge flow of information. There are many new dating slang terms, the meaning of which is not always possible to find in the dictionaries. Therefore, get acquainted with dating terms definitions that describe the complex and intricate situations that arise in romantic relationships. Let’s start with online dating terms and what they really mean.

Online Dating Terms


Benching is when you keep in touch with a person on a dating site but do not strive to transfer relationships to a new level and postpone a real meeting, as long as your attention is occupied by more interesting and important personalities. Literally, this is when you bench someone, that is, you don’t really like the person, but you are not ready to push them away or say downright no. Such relationships do not develop at a normal pace, but they do not stop as well. As Ph.D. Kelly Campbell explains, “This is a sports metaphor, indicating that the potential partner is not top-of-mind because there are better options.” It is one of the most popular dating terms.


Breadcrumbing is a behavior pattern, the purpose of which is to first attract the victim with some intrigue, periodical signs of attention, and flattery and then disappear or put the chill on this person. It is a manipulation, a way to control and dominate a partner, constantly making them wait. A breadcrumber avoids personal meetings, but at the same time, they stay in touch. Of course, it never comes to real meetings.


This is a situation in which a guy or a girl suddenly disappears from the life of another person. They stop calling, answering messages on social networks, and commenting on photos of a partner. At the same time, this person actively responds to messages and comments of other users.


Frequently, after ghosting, a person can move to “orbiting.” They will continue to follow you in social networks, leave comments, put likes on the photos, but they will never answer your messages and calls. In such a way, the interlocutor keeps you “close enough" to observe, but "too far" to communicate.


Zombieing is the same phenomenon as “ghosting,” but in this case, after some time (usually a few months), a person who disappeared from your life suddenly reveals themselves again and behaves as if nothing has happened. That is, in fact, you witnessed the return from the dead (zombie).

terms for dating


Curving is a way to break-up a relationship without telling a person that you are no longer interested in them. Curving can take several forms. For example, a person can do this through text messaging. It may take them weeks or even months to respond to your last message. But instead of leaving you alone (this is a sign of ghosting), the curver answers you, but their answers are very irregular and often apologetic. Another form of curving is when someone convinces you that they really want to see you in person but always cancel a meeting at the last minute.


This is a behavioral pattern when a person tries to show themselves from the best side and create an image that is far from reality. Catfishers are people who post false information about themselves and fake photos to make a no-obligation acquaintance and sweep somebody off their feet. Meeting such a person in real life, you will definitely be disappointed.


Gatsbying is named after the protagonist of the book The Great Gatsby. According to the story, Jay Gatsby held luxurious parties in the hope that someday his beloved one would notice and visit them. Practically the same is done by some users of social networks, deliberately posting on their page various photos and stories in order to attract the attention of a particular person. Posts can be provocative, frank, or simply in the interests of a potential partner.

Gatsbying is a rather unusual way of manifesting a dating initiative. However, since a particular user is not always able to guess that the posts are addressed to them, they may not respond at all.

Slide into the DM's

The abbreviation DM stands for "Direct Messages." So the phrase “Slide into the DM's” means an invitation to write you in private messages. Usually, such a message can be regarded as the fact that the interlocutor is interested in you, and they want to establish a more trusting relationship with you. This expression is often used to further acquaintance and relationships.

IRL Dating Terms

Love Bombing

This is a manipulative technique that is used to maintain power and control in relationships. This is an attempt to influence another person by showing excessive attention and affection. Its essence lies in the fact that a bomber does everything to win the favor of their partner, and then tries to control all their actions and manipulates their feelings. From the first days of acquaintance, they speak of love, present expensive gifts, make promises, constantly call, and listen attentively – in a word, they do everything so that the partner believes that they have met their soul mate. However, as soon as the victim shows an interest in anything besides relations with this person, for example, they are going to meet friends, the bomber gets savage, makes scenes, and even threatens bodily harm.


Stashing implies a relationship where one partner hides another from their friends and relatives. The reasons for such a behavior can be very different. This situation can occur even when people have been dating for a long time.


dating slang termsCushioning is a dating technique, in which, besides your main partner, you also have several “cushions,” that is, other people with whom you communicate and flirt. The person engaged in such a technique has a set of potential partners to mitigate the break-up in case, it does not work out with the present relationships. In other words, you have romantic relationships but keep in touch with other people. This is one of the most popular dating terms 2018.


Of course, this word comes from the popular scene from “The Matrix,” in which a person can either swallow a red pill that will make them know the truth about reality, or choose a blue pill instead, which will return them to the false reality that they knew before. In a relationship, such an approach means exposing one’s true identity, desires, and plans for a romantic relationship with someone.

Сuffing season

Сuffing season is the name for winter and autumn. According to psychologists, it is precisely at this time that single people are more prone to finding a long-standing partner and creating strong relationships. People want to find love, thereby striving to prevent the winter routine and boredom.

The spring months mark the beginning of the “uncuffing season” – the time when the relationship started in the winter months comes to the end. People strive to free themselves from their previous connections in order to be open to new relationships in the spring and summer.

Dating Terms


Outsourcing is a kind of searching for a loved one when a person is so tired of swiping the profiles pages of potential partners on dating sites that they simply give the phone to a friend (or any other person) so that they do it for them. This is another by-product of dating exhaustion, and it will reach completely new heights in 2019! In general, a full-scale business infrastructure is emerging in this area. There are entire companies that are ready to take on your profile in dating applications, swipe for you, and even organize your romantic life. Outsourcing your relationship is an easy way out when you feel exhausted because of failed dates and endless blunders.

Niche dating

It is one of the most popular dating terms 2019. Niche dating is an innovative acquaintance of people who share common interests, passions, and views. As a rule, niche dating unites people who have a similar feature or a number of features. Niche dating is the best option for those who want to find a like-minded partner.


Hyperdating is a date with several different people at the same time. Such a date is suitable for those people who like diversity in communication. This type of dating attracts with its unpredictability, dynamics, and intrigue. Hyperdating is characterized by a large choice of partners and, in most cases, ends with success since at least one of the new acquaintances agrees to go out on a date. Today, every fifth lonely person shows interest in hyperdating. In addition, statistics prove that in a couple of years about 50% of singles will find love through different types of online dating.


Intellidating is an acquaintance between people who attach particular importance to the intellectual development and mental abilities of a partner. This type of dating is unhurried and calm. An intellectual acquaintance can occur in a museum, theater, at lectures, or various master classes. Such dating is a real gift for shy and calm people who want to share their love of art, culture, or science with a partner.

Sexuality Terms

Booty call

A booty call is a phone call which sole purpose is to encounter with sexual intentions. In simple words, it means to talk a girl into going out on a date with sexual consequences.

Thirst trap

Thirst trap (siren’s call) is a sexual photo or flirty message posted on social networks with the aim of forcing others to publicly admit their attraction to you.

Eggplant water emojis

Eggplant water emojis is a certain set of emojis that is used in messages to convey some kind of sexual overtone. Eggplant emoji is often combined with other emojis. In combination with the mouth emoji, it can mean oral sex. In combination with peach emoji, it is about anal or vaginal sex. In combination with sweat droplets, it can represent ejaculation.

One-night stand

A one-night stand is one-time sexual intercourse between two people who have just met or unfamiliar people with no intention to repeat the meeting or start a romantic relationship. The purpose of such intercourse is to meet your own sexual needs and the needs of the partner.

Sexual Orientation Terms


Demisexuality is something between sexuality and asexuality. Demisexuals may experience sexual desire and physical attraction only when they establish a strong emotional contact with a person.


dating terms 2019Sapiosexuality means attraction to a person, whose sexuality is expressed in the ability to be smart and reasonable. That is, the mind and intellectual data of the partner is the main object of sexual attraction of all the sapiosexuals.

Baseball Terms for Dating

Baseball terms are often used to refer to the degree of physical intimacy achieved in sexual relationships. Among the most commonly used metaphors, there are modern dating terms that describe levels of physical proximity. There are some typical ways to use these terms for dating:

  • First base is about the usual or French kisses.
  • Second base is about touching of the skin of a partner; in some contexts, it may refer to touching any erogenous zones through clothing.
  • Third base is about touching from the waist down (without sexual intercourse) or manual stimulation of the genitals; in some cases, the term may mean oral stimulation of the genital organs.
  • Homerun is about sexual intercourse.
  • Strikeout is about a failed attempt at foreplay or other sexual activity.

In addition, there are some interesting terms used to refer to sexual orientation:

  • Switch hitter is about a bisexual person.
  • Playing for the other team indicates that a person is gay or lesbian.
  • Playing for both teams means that the person is bisexual.


It is not necessary to memorize all the new terms to understand the trends of modern relationships. However, understanding their principles can help you avoid mistakes or make them less often. Also, do not think that only victims of hosting, stashing, benching etc. find themselves in a sticky situation. Psychologists believe that people do themselves more harm than good, using such tricks of disappearances and avoidance. They perceive others only as profiles on dating sites and do not know how to live relationships in reality, depriving themselves of real emotions and warm feelings.

Be careful and stop communicating with a person as soon as you have any suspicions about their personality and real intentions. Also, be especially careful on dating sites. Choose only safe and proven online dating services.

Moreover, be human. Respect other people and their desire to find true love. If you don't like a person, tell them about it directly. There is no need to rush into ignoring and deception. We wish you good luck and safe dating!

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