Complicated Language of Online Dating

We have often repeated that communication builds relationships. But what happens when the language of online dating gets too complicated? The Independent comes to the rescue with explanations of 13 popular dating terms.

When it comes to courting, communication is key. But thanks to the new online dating landscape, the language of love has gotten a whole lot more complicated.

Just as you figured out what ‘sexting’ was, in came a whole host of new-fangled relationship jargon.

Here are new online dating terms each with an explanation. We hope that this helps with the complicated language of online dating.


This is when the person whom you have been seeing pulls a disappearing act. They apparently don’t want to see you anymore but are afraid to say so to your face.

Slow Fade

This is the slow and painful version of breaking things off, again without the person ever just saying that they want to move on.

Thirst Trap

This is a trick in which someone mislabels a social media photo. The photo title may be something like “do you like my new car” but the photo is a naked person.

Cuffing Season

There are folks who like being just good friends or are serial daters who like sex on the first date. Then winter comes and they long for companionship on a cold night. The switch from perpetually single to looking for a committed relationship happens in the winter cuffing season.


This means “define the relationship” and is the talk that you insist on when you want the relationship to proceed and it for whatever reason it is going nowhere.


If you played sports and were taken out of the game to sit on the sidelines you were benched. In dating this when your new friend no longer wants to meet in person but continues to contact you by social media. It is also known as bread-crumbing. If this is happening to you, look for someone else because your new friend is trying out someone else and keeping you in reserve just in case.


This is the sequel to ghosting in which the “missing person” want to chat or follow you on social media but not actually get together.


Think of tuning an old radio to get the right channel. Some folks find it difficult to express their feelings and you may think that you have been benched. Rather the person is painfully shy and uncertain how to proclaim their affection for you.

Catch and Release

We have written about serial daters. One of the variations on this routine is the person who loves the conquest but not building a relationship. In fact they may panic at the mention of the “R” word or especially the “M” word. When you find out what this person is all about it is time to move on.


In the world of online dating many relationships start out by texting and chatting on the phone. So when your girlfriend says she is talking to this new guy she is really in the first stages of dating.

The Lemming

Think of the little animals that run in mass off a cliff and disappear forever. This is the lemming in a relationship that runs away as soon as one of his or her old friends becomes available again.


This one is confusing because it means to support or approve of a relationship rather than sending it off somewhere but that is complicated language of online dating.


If your relationship is posted on Facebook it is Facebook Official and therefore solid.

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