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Your complete list of 2020 Dating Terms


Dating has always been more complicated than necessary. Nowadays, however, there are plenty of punchy names for those awkward behaviours we are too familiar with . Here's a handy "little" list of the ones you may need to know in 2020.

Blue-stalling: When two people are dating and acting like a couple, but one person in the partnership states they're unready for any sort of label or commitment (despite acting in a different manner).

Breadcrumbing: Leaving ‘breadcrumbs’ of interest – random noncommittal messages and notifications that seem to lead on forever, but don’t actually end up taking you anywhere worthwhile Breadcrumbing is all about piquing someone’s interest without the payoff of a date or a relationship.

Caspering: Being a friendly ghost - meaning yes, you ghost, but you offer an explanation beforehand. Caspering is all about being a nice human being with common decency. A novel idea.

Catfish: Someone who uses a fake identity to lure dates online.

Cause-playing: 47% of singles have experienced this phenomenon, with singles in their early 40s are the most guilty of doing it. It refers to getting back in touch with an ex after you’ve broken up to ask for a favour, usually something charity-related like donating to your just giving page. If you’ve ever had ‘hey, I’m playing a gig/running a marathon/doing a stand-up show, could you come along/donate?’ then you’ve probably been victim.

Clearing: Clearing season happens in January. It’s when we’re so miserable thanks to Christmas being over, the cold weather, and general seasonal dreariness, that we will hook up with anyone just so we don’t feel completely unattractive. You might bang an ex, or give that creepy guy who you don’t really fancy a chance, or put up with truly awful sex just so you can feel human touch. It’s a tough time. Stay strong.

Cloutlighting: Cloutlighting is the combo of gaslighting and chasing social media clout. Someone will bait the person they’re dating on camera with the intention of getting them upset or angry, or making them look stupid, then share the video for everyone to laugh at.

Cockfishing: Also known as catcocking. When someone sending dick pics uses photo editing software or other methods to change the look of their penis, usually making it look bigger than it really is.

Cuffing season: The chilly autumn and winter months when you are struck by a desire to be coupled up, or cuffed.

Dial Toning: Different to ghosting, this is when someone gives you their number to text them but when you do, you never hear back. Ghosting requires there to have been some sort of textual contact previously, whereas this can be the result of an IRL chance meeting. You might have thought you’d be home and dry because they gave you their number, but alas they’ve woken up in the morning and decided they fancied you more under the sodium light of the street outside the chicken shop.

Eclipsing: We’ve all seen it; when our friend gets a new partner and suddenly takes up a new-found interest in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or watching Rick and Morty. ‘You’ve never been into that before,’ you say, and they shrug and look at their new beau’s Pickle Rick t-shirt with a fondness that makes you uncomfortable. Eclipsing is when someone starts adopting the same interests and hobbies as the person they are dating. Hopefully it’s something more wholesome, like baking or donating money to their long-suffering pals.

Exoskeleton-ing: When the ex of your current partner keeps reaching out to you, this is known as exoskeleton-ing. Over a fifth of singles (22%) have had their partner’s ex come to haunt them via social media or other means but only 6% of singles admit to having being this ex themselves. Who’s lying?

Firedooring: Being firedoored is when the access is entirely on one side, so you're always waiting for them to call or text and your efforts are shot down.

Fishing: When someone will send out messages to a bunch of people to see who’d be interested in hooking up, wait to see who responds, then take their pick of who they want to get with. It’s called fishing because the fisher loads up on bait, waits for one fish to bite, then ignores all the others.

Flashpanner: Someone who’s addicted to that warm, fuzzy, and exciting start bit of a relationship, but can’t handle the hard bits that might come after – such as having to make a firm commitment, or meeting their parents, or posting an Instagram photo with them captioned as ‘this one’.

Fleabagging: A la PWB, this trend relates to consistently dating people that are wrong for you. According to Plenty of Fish, it’s more common with women, with 63% admitting to Fleabagging compared to just 38% of men. Perhaps there is truth in the old adage that women love bad boys. Or at least just bad for them boys?

Freckling: Freckling is when someone pops into your dating life when the weather’s nice… and then vanishes once it’s a little chillier.

Gatsbying: To post a video, picture or selfie to public social media purely for a love interest to see it.

Ghosting: Cutting off all communication without explanation.

Glamboozled: Getting fully done up for a date, only to have your plans fall through at the last minute is the worst. You’ve just been glamboozled. A troubling 54% of daters have experienced this. Just think of all the wasted foundation and eyeshadow. A sin. On the upside, you can always just call your mates and waste your makeup by sweating it off in the club instead.

Grande-ing: Being grateful, rather than resentful, for your exes, just like Ariana Grande.

Hatfishing: When someone who looks better when wearing a hat has pics on their dating profile that exclusively show them wearing hats.

Kittenfishing: Using images that are of you, but are flattering to a point that it might be deceptive. So using really old or heavily edited photos, for example. Kittenfishes can also wildly exaggerate their height, age, interests, or accomplishments.

Lovebombing: Showering someone with attention, gifts, gestures of affection, and promises for your future relationship, only to distract them from your not-so-great bits. In extreme cases this can form the basis for an abusive relationship.

Microcheating: Cheating without physically crossing the line. So stuff like emotional cheating, sexting, confiding in someone other than your partner, that sort of thing.

Mountaineering: Reaching for people who might be out of your league, or reaching for the absolute top of the mountain.

Obligaswiping: The act of endlessly swiping on dating apps and flirt-chatting away with no legitimate intention of meeting up, so you can tell yourself you're doing *something* to put yourself out there.

Orbiting: The act of watching someone's Instagram stories or liking their tweets or generally staying in their 'orbit' after a breakup.

Paperclipping: When someone sporadically pops up to remind you of their existence, to prevent you from ever fully moving on.

Preating: Pre-cheating - laying the groundwork and putting out feelers for cheating, by sending flirty messages or getting closer to a work crush.

Prowling: Going hot and cold when it comes to expressing romantic interest.

R-bombing: Not responding to your messages but reading them all, so you see the 'delivered' and 'read' signs and feel like throwing your phone across the room.

Scroogeing: Dumping someone right before Christmas so you don't have to buy them a present.

Shadowing: Posing with a hot friend in all your dating app photos, knowing people will assume you're the attractive one and will be too polite to ask.

Shaveducking: Feeling deeply confused over whether you're really attracted to a person or if they just have great facial hair.

Sneating:When you go on dates just for a free meal.

Stashing: The act of hiding someone you're dating from your friends, family, and social media.

Submarineing: When someone ghosts, then suddenly returns and acts like nothing happened.

Typecasting: Exclusively dating people based on Myers-Briggs Type or ‘Love Language’ compatibility is typecasting.

V-lationshipping:When someone you used to date reappears just around Valentine's Day, usually out of loneliness and desperation.

Yellow Carding: This one is actually a good thing. It’s when you call someone out for their poor dating etiquette (potentially doing anything else on this list). Red carding would mean you dump them altogether, which is potentially a better option, but we’ll stay out of it.

You-turning: Falling head over heels for someone, only to suddenly change your mind and dip.

Zombieing: Ghosting then returning from the dead. Different from submarineing because at least a zombie will acknowledge their distance.

No doubt that by the end of 2020, there will be plenty of additions......

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