‘Ghosting’, ‘orbiting’, ‘rizz’: A guide to modern dating terms

‘Ghosting’, ‘orbiting’, ‘rizz’ A guide to modern dating terms
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Picture this: You are currently single and “cobwebbing” in the aftermath of your previous failed relationship. The attractive person you thought had “rizz” is starting to exhibit “beige flags”, so you turn to your ongoing “situationship” for attention, but deep down you hope to meet someone worth “soft-launching” on Instagram. Can you relate?اضافة اعلان

To describe yourself as single and in search of a relationship is almost too simple of a label in 2023. The way we seek romantic connections, especially with the influence of social media and dating apps, has naturally altered our behaviors and language around dating.

The fact that more people are meeting online creates an “abundance of options,” said Natalie Jones, a California-based psychotherapist who specializes in relationships and narcissism. This can make it difficult to develop a genuine connection, or can lead to toxic dating habits.

“I think that’s where these terms are coming from because now people have an abundance of people to choose from, and so different sorts of behaviors are being highlighted,” Jones said. “When you have so many people to choose from, you can ghost, you cannot call, you can hide who you truly are through online dating.”

Although there are dozens of new dating terms being used today, we spoke to Jones and Shan Boodram, an intimacy and relationship expert with the dating app Bumble, to help us narrow down the top dating terms that you will need to know.

BreadcrumbingWhen someone consistently checks in with a romantic prospect, dangles the possibility of a date and keeps them interested, but never follows through with what they really want: a relationship.

CobwebbingThis act of self-love refers to purging any mementos from previous relationships (old sweaters, text threads or photos) in an effort to move on. Holding on to old phone numbers and pictures, Boodram said, “keeps someone from being fully present and invested in their dating journey”.

CuffingDerived from the word “handcuffed,” it’s the act of getting tied down to one partner, usually during the colder months of the year (also known as cuffing season). To be cuffed can also refer to someone in a serious relationship outside of cuffing season.

Cookie-jarringWhen a person seeks a relationship with someone else as a backup plan. In the same way that people might reach for a cookie when they want an instant treat, someone who is cookie-jarring pursues their backup person when the one they actually want is not available or has rejected them.

The three flags (green, red, beige)Green flags are positive, compatible traits that a person possesses. Red flags are negative, potentially harmful traits. A person displaying beige flags is not necessarily good or bad. They are just dull, boring and lack effort in dating. “What we perceive as flags can vary from person to person,” Boodram said, “and though there are flags in real life, they can also be displayed via dating apps, too.”

GaslightingTo manipulate someone into making them doubt their powers of reasoning, perceptions, memories or understanding of an event that happened. Common methods include blatant lying, denial, and trivializing their feelings, which can result in an unhealthy power dynamic shift in a relationship.

GhostingThe act of disappearing without warning or cutting off all contact with someone you are dating, someone you are in a relationship with, or even someone you have simply matched with online. “Ghosting is very dehumanizing and a lot of people don’t understand that,” said Jones, who added that it can lead people to question their self-worth and value as a human being. “A lot of times it kicks up abandonment triggers.”

Love bombing Lavishing a new romantic partner with grand gestures and constant contact, while also keeping them isolated from friends and family in order to gain control in the relationship. Not all grand gestures of affection are red flags, which can make love bombing hard to spot.

RizzThis newer concept is short for “charisma” and is commonly used among members of Gen Z. It is popular on TikTok, Boodram said, and refers to someone’s ability to flirt with and attract a potential love interest. This can be having an engaging personality or having an unspoken allure that others cannot resist. Kai Cenat, a Twitch streamer and influencer, who coined the term, clarified that rizz originally referred to the ability to attract someone who was not initially into you.

Soft-launchingPosting a discreet photo or video of your new partner on Instagram or other social media to announce your relationship while still hiding their identity. The idea is that you do not want to post about them on your account too soon in case it does not work out. “You’re slowly trying to introduce the idea that you all can be a thing,” Jones said. “Social media is involved in everything,” she said. “It’s like the third wheel of the relationship now.”