You did it! Joined an online dating service! You’re confident a great guy or gal will love your profile and want to connect with you in real life (IRL). In the meantime, knowing a bit of online dating lingo may help you avoid or at least recognize and deal with unpleasant experiences.
What is Ghosting?
Plenty of Fish, dating site, conducted a survey of single Millennials on their website. They found that 78 percent of people ages 18-33 had been ghosted at least one time.
So, chances are, it’s not “if” but “when” it will happen to you. Ghosting occurs when a person you’ve been ‘dating’ online suddenly vanishes. The term ‘ghosting’ was developed for online dating, but the act itself has been around since practically forever.
The here-today-gone-tomorrow culture of online dating makes it easy for a person to halt all communications, without reason. Typically, ghosters are too cowardly to explain they ‘just aren’t that into you.’
Warning Signs – If there are long intervals between his/her responses to your messages. If (s)he cancels plans or just don’t show up for a date IRL.
Another shabby practice has gone on for ages, but the internet dating community gave it a name. Love Bombing involves overwhelming a person with affection, gifts, mind-blowing sex and/or declarations of love in the beginning stages of a relationship. The Bomber’s intention is to control and manipulate you. Beware if (s)he suggests living together after a handful of dates.
Love Bombers are potentially dangerous. They may be sociopaths or narcissists.
Warning Signs – If (s)he calls too frequently and/or sends excessive text messages, typically demanding to know your whereabouts. If (s)he showers you with lavish gifts. If (s)he guilts you into isolating from family and friends.
Benching is when your person of interest titillates, teases, and promises to meet IRL. Then goes into radio silence mode and quits contacting you, only to reappear months later. Benchers typically have commitment-phobia.
Benching is the new ‘leading you on’ by keeping you ‘on the bench’. The person likes you, just not enough. Yet wants to keep you hanging around to boost his/her ego. Refuse to be second choice. As soon as you realize what’s happening, bench him/her permanently.
Warning Signs – If light, fun and flirtatious conversations change to elevator talk (weather, etc.). When you ask the person to meet IRL, (s)he mumbles a lame excuse and disappears again.
Breadcrumbing is a tacky dating tactic where a person of interest dribbles out just enough flirty messages (breadcrumbs) to sustain your interest, without intentions of dating IRL. New name for an old method of stringing someone along. Breadcrumbers are believers in “Plan B.” They are aware that anyone who is happy with occasional crumbs will be available instant-coffee-quick.
This type person is a time waster. (S)he keeps feeding you fragments of hope that a real relationship is forthcoming, but never offers the whole cookie.
Warning Signs – If the person is an expert on “someday” – someday we’ll go somewhere, let’s have dinner at that new French restaurant someday – he’s force-feeding you crumbs. If (s)he refuses to talk about his/her feelings, (s)he likely doesn’t have any for you.
Cushioners are people who are involved in a relationship but are scoping out options in case it ends. In essence, they are cushioning themselves to soften the fall, if their relationship falls apart.
Cushioning at its nitty-gritty is cheating. Even without sexual involvement. Cushioners are likely in dysfunctional relationships, which are destined to end.
Warning Signs – If you don’t hear from the person for a few days because (s)he’s ‘really busy.’ If (s)he’s reticent about what (s)he’s doing and where (s)he’s going.
These terms will enhance your understanding of online dating lingo. Like in real life dating, you’ll meet ugly frogs and beautiful people. Defer to your common sense and don’t permit anyone to treat you with disrespect.
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