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15 weird dating terms: the slang you need to know if you’re single in 2017

by AW Editorial

2017 is hard enough without also dealing with the brave new world that is modern dating slang. Seemingly every month, a new dating term starts trending. Usually, these terms describe some behaviour that you knew existed, but that you never knew there was a word for (see: ghosting, benching, and tuning).

With so many new dating terms cropping up, it can be hard to keep them straight, so Attractive World is here to help. We’ve made a glossary of some of 2017’s most popular dating slang. If you want to know your cuffing from your cushioning, start right here:

1. What is ghosting?

A dating slang term that’s gone legit (it’s even in the dictionary!), ghosting hardly needs a definition. But, in case you’re lucky enough to have never been ghosted, here’s the lowdown: ghosting is when someone you’re dating cuts off all contact with no explanation. Nada. Note, ghosting is when this cut-off happened super abruptly – if they instead withdrew piece by piece you experienced the slow-fade. Either way, rude.

dating terms - ghosting

Source: Lifetime/unREAL via tenor.com

2. What is haunting?

They ghosted you three months ago. Then, late one night, you see they’ve watched your Snapchat story. A few days later they’re following you on Instagram. Sounds like a classic case of haunting. Haunting is when a ‘ghost’ from your dating past floats around your online life without ever crossing over into actual contact. It’s confusing as hell, so you’re being haunted, who you gonna call? Yep, the block button.

3. What is zombieing?

The close cousin to haunting, zombieing also involves the return of a relationship you thought was dead. However, where haunting means your ex will skulk in the dark corners of your social media, zombieing means they’ll reach out, hoping to bring something long-buried back to life. Proceed with caution: zombieing has a nasty tendency to turn right back into ghosting as soon as you’re back in regular contact.

4. What is tuning?

Tuning is a delicate balance. It’s the act of buttering someone up online while still retaining deniability. You want them to be open to future flirting (or more), but you don’t want to be too vulnerable. So you fave three of their tweets in row, you send them cute dog vids, you leave a heart-eyes emoji on their latest Instagram selfie. Are you merely a supportive friend or are you about to make a move? Well, that depends on their reaction!

[GIF] dating terms - tuning

Source: Senhora do Destino /UKMIx forum via tenor.com

5. What is sliding into your DMs?

No time for subtle tuning? The bold might try sliding right into someone’s DMs. This is truly the direct approach: on Twitter and Instagram, DM stands for direct message and sliding into someone’s DMs means you can flirt privately, away from the public audience that can see an @ message. Be wary though – doing this smoothly is a fine art and it’s all too easy to come off more like a creeper than like Casanova.

6. What is breadcrumbing?

Like tuning, breadcrumbing involves sending occasional smilies and likes. However, the end game of breadcrumbing isn’t a relationship. Instead, the guilty party drops these flirty crumbs as a way of keeping someone interested without the trouble of actually dating them. For many breadcrumbers, it’s all about ego stroking: the more people picking up their trail, the better they feel. How crummy.

7. What is benching?

If someone’s benching you, it means that they don’t want a committed relationship with you – at least not right now. But they still haven’t cut you from the roster! Instead, they’ve stuck you on the bench, throwing you breadcrumbs to keep you interested. That way, you’ll be nice and warmed up if they do need to call you into play. Be warned though, chances are, you’re not alone on the bench.

[GIF] dating terms - Benching

Source: Act III Communications /The Princess Bride via giphy.com

8. What is cushioning?

One of the biggest dating terms for 2017, cushioning takes benching and somehow makes it worse. That’s because cushioning (or ‘layby’) is benching done by those in serious relationships. They can’t bear the thought of being single so they employ a bench of ‘safety cushions’ – aka people they’re breadcrumbing. That way, they'll have a back up if things go south with their main squeeze.

9. What is a f*ckboy?

Originally, f*ckboy was a way of calling someone weak or dumb. Today, though, it’s more of a dating term, indicating those kind of guys. You know the ones. The guys who start WhatsApp conversations with a ‘you up? ;)’. The dudes who’ll never say that you’re dating – instead you’re ‘hanging out’. The bros who love shirtless selfies almost as much as they love dick pics and smirking emojis. What can we say, f*ckboys suck. Don’t date one: wise up and chuck the schmuck!

10. What is catch and release?

It’s a favourite f*ckboy pastime, but catch and release is by no means just done by men. And no, it’s nothing to do with US immigration policy. Instead it’s the signature move of people who like the chase but not the commitment. As soon as they win you over or ‘catch’ you, they let you go – you’re ‘released’ as soon as you catch feelings. Yes, it’s about as fun as that sounds!

[GIF] dating terms - Catch & Release

Source: Paramount Pictures/Mean Girls via wifflegif.com

11. What is a thot?

Thot stands for ‘that hoe over there’ and, unless you happen to be standing in a garden shed, it’s probably being used as an offensive way to describe a woman. It can be said playfully (in music or between very good friends), but more often you’ll find it used to insult someone who has been deemed slutty, a gold-digger, low-class or, most likely, all three. As dating terms go, this is a very loaded piece of slang – so probs one best avoided.

12. What is a thirst trap?

When a girl posts a selfie captioned ‘love my new necklace!’ (and it’s really a cleavage shot), that’s a thirst trap. When a guy posts a photo of himself at the gym, and captions it ‘gym life #workhardplayhard’ (and he’s working out shirtless, for some reason), that’s a thirst trap. Essentially it’s when you know you look good – and you don’t mind all of Instagram knowing it too.

13. What is cuffing season?

The depths of the Kiwi winter are often the the time of year when you’d rather snuggle up than hit the town (especially with this year's storms!). That’s cuffing season! Running from autumn to winter, cuffing season is the time of year when avowed singles suddenly find themselves longing to be (figuratively!) handcuffed to a partner; someone who will keep them warm in the cold.

[GIF] dating terms - cuffing season

Source: Tumblr via rebloggy.com

14. What is Netflix and Chill?

Oh, come on. You know this one! If you’re invited over for Netflix and chill you both pretend you’re heading round to ‘watch Netflix’ – but you can safely assume that there won’t be a lot of actual movie watching going on, if you know what we mean. Insert wink face emoji here.

15. What do DTF, DTR, and FBO stand for?

Three of the most common dating acronyms, DTF, DTR, and FBO can help chart the stages of a romance. When you’re casually hooking up, it might be because you’ve agreed you’re DTF (down to f*ck). Eventually, there may come a time when you ask ‘are we dating?’ and then you’ll need to DTR (define the relationship). If that goes well, you can follow up by making it FBO (Facebook official).

[GIF] dating terms - we're dating

Source: NBC/Parks and Recreation via giphy.com

Now you’re caught up on your dating terms, are you ready to find someone who wants to DTR and make it FBO? Then join Attractive World today. Find out more here!

AW Editorial

About the author: AW Editorial

Bringing you the very latest dating trends, relationship advice and news from Inside Attractive World, the AW Editorial Team are on hand to guide you through the online dating game...

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