Love bombing to Breadcrumbing: Decoding GenZs’ language of love

Feb 9, 2023

By: Srishti Magan

The love language of Gen Zs

Millennials grew up thinking dating was all about ‘pehla nasha’. For GenZs, dating involves recognizing pink flags, falling into situationships, and escaping cuffing season unscathed. This ain’t Greek or Latin, but the GenZ dating lingo. Here’s what some popular dating terms actually mean:

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Much like the bread crumbs that litter our plates after eating toast, breadcrumbing refers to the crumbs of affection or attention that litter hearts, and mobile phones. In other words, it’s when an individual gives just enough attention to keep you interested but doesn’t invest fully in a relationship.

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When two people enter into an undefined romantic relationship, it’s called a situationship. Situationships are ideally considered less formal than relationships. It’s different from a friends-with-benefits relationship, which only includes casual sexual relationships between friends.

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Cuffing Season

Not just hot chocolates, with the onset of winter GenZs also look for the warmth of partners to pass the dreary winters. That’s how the term cuffing season was born — it’s when single people look for short-term partnerships to pass the colder months of the year.

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Easily the most popular GenZ dating term, ghosting is when a prospective match suddenly stops responding without giving a reason. In other words, they become a ‘ghost’.

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Dry Dating

Dry dating refers to the practice of going on sober dates with no alcohol. Dating platform Tinder also shared in its Year in Swipe Report 2022 that 72 percent of its members stated they don’t drink or only drink occasionally, on their dating profiles.

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If you thought of sports when reading this, you’re not far off from what the term actually means. Benching is when a person is not your first, or at times, even second choice of a partner but you still ‘string them along’ as a backup option – just like in sports.

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Pink Flag

We’ve all heard about the green and red flags to look out for in a prospective partner. But now, the pink flag has entered the chat. Pink flags indicate behaviour that’s perhaps troublesome, but not so extreme or problematic that they’ll make you give up on a relationship altogether.

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Love bombing

One of the most toxic behaviours on the list, love bombing is the act of displaying excessive attention, admiration, and affection for the purpose of making the recipient feel dependent and obligated. It’s a manipulative tactic where a ‘love bomber’ gains your trust, only to later abuse or belittle you, say experts.

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