The other day a friend of mine was ghosted by one woman and breadcrumbed by another. He knew another girl from Tinder only swiped right to scrapbook him, so he refused her request to add her on Instagram. He was getting lonely so he thought about zombieing an ex, but I convinced him otherwise.
If you’re confused, welcome to the modern world of dating terms. Some of these describe behaviors that have been around awhile, but have finally been given names. Others are newer phenomena due to changes in the dating game from online dating and other factors.
This article will walk you through some of the newest dating terms and trends so that when you encounter them in real life, you’ll have an idea of what’s happening. Perhaps you’ve been a victim of some of these behaviors or do them yourself.
A friend of mine met a girl on Tinder and they hit it off pretty well. They texted for a few days and he invited her out on a date. He thought it went well and messaged her how much he enjoyed the date. Nothing. He reached out again a few hours later. Nothing. He tried one more time with the same result.
He never heard from her again and still doesn’t know why. This type of behavior is called “ghosting” and it’s become very common with online dating. While abruptly cutting contact with another person isn’t a new thing, it’s much easier today.
In the past, dating was often done among a local community. So, if you met someone, you likely at least had friends who knew that person. He might ignore you, but he couldn’t completely cut himself off from you. And, if he did, you could at least ask a friend what happened.
But, with the modern, impersonal world of online dating, it’s possible to meet someone you don’t even know, develop a connection with that person, then never hear from him or her again. And, since you aren’t in the same friends circle, you might never know why you were cut off.
Ghosting, unless done to cut off someone who is physically threatening you or stalking you, is bad behavior and can be very hurtful, especially if you built up a connection with the other person. If you don’t think a relationship will work out, at least try to give the other person some closure.
In 4th grade I asked a girl to be my girlfriend. She said “no,” and I had a suspicion that she liked my friend Bernie instead. I ended up being right. However, about a week later, she started hanging around me again. I asked her out in a 4th grade way, and she said “yes.” It turns out, Bernie liked another girl and blew off the one I liked. That’s when she decided that she wanted to go out with me.
I was a victim of “benching”: when someone you like makes you their second place. It’s a sports term where you’re “on the bench” while someone else plays. If that person isn’t good enough or messes up, the player on the bench gets to play.
The same is true of dating. Most people have their “type” or those they really like. But, rather than be alone, they will sometimes settle. So, if they don’t get their first choice, they’re going to go back to someone they like, but maybe just not as much.
Benching is a reality of dating and I can’t blame people for doing it. After all, most people will try to get their first choice in just about anything, but sometimes accept second or third if they have to. If you’ve been benched, you’ll have to decide if you can accept waiting around for the possibility of being someone’s second place.
I have a client who would only get a text from a friend every few days. She’d talk to several guys she met on Tinder, but sometimes they wouldn’t be available for dates. When they were busy, she’d text him. He’d eagerly go out with her, then get upset when he’d not hear from her for days.
He was a victim of what’s called breadcrumbing. This is when the person you’re talking to doesn’t want to commit to you, but still wants to keep you around. Someone else is getting their main attention, but you are getting their leftovers, their crumbs.
Texting and instant messaging have made breadcrumbing very common. The person in question might not prefer you, but she might like to keep you around just in case her first choice doesn’t give her what she wants. Or, he might keep you around because he likes your attention when he’s lonely. Or, maybe he or she just likes to “date around” and prefers texting multiple people, but gives some more attention than others.
Whatever the reason, the problem with breadcrumbing is that the person doesn’t truly value you. You’re getting minimal attention to keep you around. If you feel the same way, then it’s fine. But, if you want more, a breadcrumber will just disappoint you.
I remember when I was in high school and was dating a girl I liked. We hit it off, but suddenly she got cold and stopped talking to me. However, about 6 weeks later, after I’d moved on, she came back and wanted to hang out again. She had decided that dating around wasn’t all that exciting.
I’m in my mid-30s, so this story proves that some of these “new” trends aren’t so new after all. However, zombieing is a very real dating phenomenon. Zombieing is when an ex from your past comes back into your life with little or no warning.
Zombieing happens for a variety of reasons. Usually, your ex has had some type of a change in his or her life. Maybe she got dumped by her boyfriend and realized she missed you. Maybe your ex tried the single life and he hated it.
Whether you should accept a zombie relationship is up to you. If you still have feelings for an ex, then you might want to consider it. Still, look into the reasons why your ex is getting back into your world. If it’s for selfish reasons, you should pass.
If you’ve ever gotten on Tinder or any other dating apps, you’ve seen people who share their Snapchat, Instagram and other social media. While many just want you to know more about them, others pursue dating solely for the purpose of collecting likes, hearts, followers, and admirers.
My brother and business partner David coined a term for this: scrapbooking. It’s a trend where people pursue dating not to get into a relationship, but ultimately for the good feelings that come from the attention related to dating. So, they rack up admirers and dating experiences like other people do ribbons, accomplishments, and awards that they put in a scrapbook.
The problem with scrapbookers in dating is that the people they meet don’t want to be another Instagram follower, Tinder match, belt-notch, or a photo op for Snapchat. They want real relationships, not to be another memory and dopamine hit for an attention seeker.
When dealing with a scrapbooker, the best thing to do is not give them the attention they want. If you’re only being used for attention, then the best way to fight it is to withdraw that attention. For example, don’t be the 99th guy liking a photo and commenting “you’re beautiful.” Instead, look for someone who sees you as a true partner.
In conclusion, being aware of these dating trends will help you be aware of them and deal with them. Knowledge is power and at least now you can be aware of what others are doing to you.
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