9 terms that define modern dating Eugenio Marongiu / Shutterstock Dating these days comes with its own unique terminology. Ghosting, breadcrumbing, and gaslighting are all relationship phenomena people could run into when trying to find their next partner. Here are 9 terms, from a relationship expert, that define modern dating so you can recognize them when they happen.
When it comes to dating , it seems as though new terminology is constantly being introduced. For instance, talk of ghosts used to be limited to Halloween or reality shows, and now " ghosting " is popular year-round - at least when it comes to dating. To help clarify "ghosting" and other modern dating terms , Business Insider reached out to Antonia Hall , a psychologist, relationship expert, and author. From an etiquette standpoint, Hall filled us in on what's OK and what's not in terms of new dating trends. 1. Ghosting
Ghosting is exactly what it sounds like — someone disappears and doesn’t bother to tell the person they’ve been dating. However, are there ever legitimate reasons to ghost?
“If you’re just too scared to be honest with the person, it is a very emotionally immature and selfish tactic,” Hall told Business Insider. She also said
there are times when ghosting is necessary in order to take care of yourself. “If you’re dating someone who won’t take no for an answer, is emotionally abusive, or makes you feel unsafe, then cutting off all contact can be the best thing to do.” 2. Zombie-ing
Basically, after being ghosted, the ghost may return one day, as a zombie. The best part? They’ll act like nothing’s happened.
“The intention behind someone’s return is the important key to whether or not zombie-ing is OK,” Hall said. “Sometimes, people change and want another chance to make things right, but that should be made clear in their opening recommunication with you.”
No one likes to be led on, but that’s
what “breadcrumbing” is all about — somebody continues to give you hope, dropping crumbs of romantic interest here and there through charming messages or cute emojis. But, is some hope better than no hope? In essence, no.
“When dating, it’s important to be honest about your intentions and to communicate them with potential partners,” Hall said. “Don’t play games with another human being — if you’re legitimately overly busy or unready to date, be honest with the person so you’re both on the same page.”
If something seems off about your partner’s behavior, listen to your instincts and
figure out if they’re gaslighting you — it’s a form of emotional abuse. For instance, they may constantly need to be right and/or tell you that you’re too sensitive. As a result, you may feel crazy, and the cycle continues.
Gaslighting is very emotionally manipulative, incredibly harmful, and never OK to do to anyone, ever,” Hall said. 6. Catch and release
6. Catch and release
Catch and release” is more than just a method of fishing and a movie starring Jennifer Garner. In modern dating, “catch and release” is what you may assume it to be — “catching” someone, then letting them go for another fish in the sea, so to speak. It’s all about the chase.
“This is very immature and emotionally shallow behavior that treats the other person like a game,” Hall said. “‘Catch and release’ is disrespectful and never a good dating technique.”
If you’ve ever seen a
male peacock try to get a female’s attention, you’ll notice how they show off by displaying their beautiful feathers. Dating-wise, the same thing happens when somebody tries to get a love interest’s attention — they do it by putting on a show of their most attractive qualities.
People may peacock by showing off their wealth, musical skills, expertise in the kitchen, or level of fitness to prospective partners.
“Peacocking is intrinsic to human nature,” Hall said. “This hardwired technique to garner interest from a perspective partner is usually innocuous, though approaching others honestly is always best.”
In mosting, someone
comes on very strong with compliments — convincingly strong — and then ghosts.
“Mosting is a new term for an old manipulative dating tactic,” Hall said. “The moster builds a fake sense of intimacy and connection through flattery and phrases such as ‘I’ve been waiting for you my whole life’ and ‘You must be my soul mate’ — with the least amount of personal emotional involvement necessary.”
If you are hiding things from your significant other — like the fact that you and your ex message each other a lot — you may be
micro-cheating on them.
While you are not having a blown-out affair, your small, secretive actions may actually be
micro-cheating, according to dating expert Melanie Schilling.
“It’s important to be honest about what you’re getting from the ‘
micro-cheating’ exchanges and why,” Hall said. “The need to continually seek attention from outside of your relationship is not healthy and can be hurtful to your partner, as well as take a toll on the relationship.”