There’s no denying that technology has revolutionized the art of dating. Unfortunately, it has also brought with it a whole new set of ways that we can be hurt and deceived. I hope you’ve taken your antidepressants today because you’re about to get hit with a whole lot of bleak terminology re: forms online dating debauchery.
Ghosting refers to ending a relationship by disappearing, or ignoring a person’s request to communicate. Coming to the realization that you’ve been ghosted is a long and winding process.
At first you think, maybe they’re busy and don’t have time to respond. A few days later you start to wonder if maybe you said or did something to offend them. Eventually, you come to the conclusion that they’re either ghosting you, or that they’ve died.
Zombieing is the act of messaging an ex who you once ghosted. You know you’ve been zombied if your heart races and you feel a mix of excitement, anger and nausea when you check your phone and realize who texted you.
Your zombie might issue an apology, but more often than not, you’ll receive nothing more than a casual text with absolutely no acknowledgment of wrongdoing. It’s as if they have no recollection of the way they ended things, and if they’re self-centered enough, they probably don’t.
Benching involves paying just enough attention to someone to keep their interest, while you go off and explore other options. Not to be confused with casual dating, benching occurs over a longer period of time and is characterized by a greater sense of ambiguity.
Are they into me or not? Sometimes they’re super attentive, sometimes I wonder if I’ve been ghosted. You know you’re on the bench if your date is unreachable most of the time and only makes plans with you at the last minute.
Chances are you’ve heard of this before; the movie Catfish coined the term eight years ago. Catfishing refers to the practice of creating an fake online dating persona, then luring unsuspecting hopefuls into your crazy web of deceit.
It can be hard to tell if you’re being catfished, at least initially. The only way to really find out is to meet, so if you’re requests to get together go repeatedly denied, you might be getting catfished.
As the name implies, kittenfishing is the slightly less insidious cousin to catfishing. It involves posting misleading information on your dating profile, like a picture from ten years ago, or falsified achievements and interests. Once you meet face to face and get the chance to talk, you’ll know instantly if you’ve been kittenfished.
There are varying degrees—I mean who doesn’t want to present their most favorable image to the world. It’s up to you to decide if the discrepancies are just too great.