Beginner’s Guide to Online Dating Acronyms

If you’re new to online dating, you might wonder if you’ve stumbled into a parallel dimension, consisting primarily of bathroom selfies and a severe aversion to drama. You might also have questions about some of the terminology you see bandied about.

Chances are you already know what FWB and NSA mean—“friends with benefits” and “no strings attached” for those who don’t—but what about some of the less culturally mainstream acronyms? Here’s a brief guide to get you started.


Down to fuck: If she’s included this in her profile, you can be sure she’s horny. Whether or not she’ll actually sleep with you remains to be seen. It depends on multiple factors, some having to do with you and your approach, others having absolutely nothing at all to do with you.

Don’t mistake DTF for a sure bet because there are no guarantees when it comes to sex. Think of it more as a declaration of need.


Big, beautiful woman: an alternate way of saying “curvy” or “on the heavy side.” It’s an expression of empowerment and an indicator of the user’s positive self-image. She’s saying, “Yes I’m big, but I embrace it and I expect that you will too.” ‘

BBW is intended to attract people who prefer those with a higher body mass index. I hate the term Chubby Chaser, but that’s essentially who this acronym is aimed at.


In real life: If she wants to meet IRL, it means she wants to go out on an actual date, rather than continue on with what has probably become a novel’s-length text exchange. It can also be used in reference to details pertaining to “real life” versus the online presence you’ve both created in the service of getting laid.

She might ask, “Who are you IRL?” Which basically means, “Tell me more about yourself. I want to make sure you’re not a serial killer.”


Define the relationship: For some of you, these 3 letters might be all it takes to send you running for the hills. It’s essentially the modern-day equivalent of “Where do you see this relationship going?” Or, “What are you looking for?”

It can also be used in kinky circles to ascertain each other’s roles in a sexual relationship. DTR: “What do you want? Someone to wear the horse costume, or someone to shovel the shit?”


Facebook official: Once you have successfully defined the relationship, you might decide that it’s time to share it with the world. Making it “Facebook official” is just another way of doing that. It’s like saying, “I’m into this enough that I no longer feel the need to hide it. Let’s let my Grandma and all her friends coo over the fact that I’m no longer single.”

It’s also a way of staking territory, “That’s right friends, we are a couple, bound by the sacred ties of Mark Zuckerberg and company.”

Share some online dating acronyms you have used in the comments!

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