From IRL to DTR – 15 Dating Slang Terms You Need to Know

The internet is a funny beast – every day there’s a hashtag trend. When it comes to dating there seems to be a never-ending supply of new terms to describe someone’s behaviour or situation. So if you can’t tell your IRL’s from your DTR’s – fear not. We’ve compiled 15 online dating terms you may need to help you navigate dating life in cyberspace.

Benching

Remember back in school when you were last to be picked at rounders? This is similar – only you won’t know if someone is benching you. Benching is when you keep contacting a match just enough to keep them engaged whilst having other options open at the same time.

Breadcrumbing

Much like the little mouse that’s led along a breadcrumb trail – if you are receiving messages from someone but it never seems to go anywhere, it’s likely the other person is breadcrumbing you.

Catfishing

Catfishing happens when someone pretends to be someone looking for love but is in actual fact a scammer trying to get you to send them money. They will befriend you, promise you the world and once you trust them, they will ask for funds usually to escape some hardship or for an emergency playing on your empathy.

Catch & Release

Originating from the angling and fishing world, catch and release in dating terms basically means a one-night stand that you have no intentions of following up on.

Cuffing Season

‘Cuffing Season’ describes a metaphorical handcuffing to someone for the more depressing winter months just so you don’t have to be alone during that time.

DTR

Are we a couple or is it just casual? DTR stands for ‘Defining the Relationship’ and marks the time for both parties (willingly or not) to define the relationship status and get clarity on where you are heading.

Fielding Season

‘Fielding Season’ happens before cuffing season when it’s time to evaluate your cuffing contenders for the dark winter months ahead.

Ghosting

Pretty much anyone who has ever been dating has experienced this phenomenon. You are seeing this person; everything seems to be going well, when all of a sudden, they go ‘poof’ and vanish. Usually without any explanation, often leaving a ghosted person reeling since they’ve not been given any closure.

Haunting

Like ghosting, being haunted (otherwise referred to as orbiting or zombie-ing) means your ghost of a date suddenly materialises back into your life – usually by haunting your social posts, letting you know they are still there, still watching. Time to call the Ghostbusters!

Incel

An incel (involuntarily celibate) is someone who would like to have sex but for some reason isn’t getting any. Unlike a volcel, meaning voluntarily celibate being someone who chooses to abstain from having sex.

IRL

IRL meaning ‘In real life’ refers to the act of meeting your date in person.

Kittenfishing

Kittenfishing or ‘Catfishing – The Trial Version’ refers to a form of deception without criminal intent. A person who is kittenfishing uses white lies to portray an improved but inaccurate version of themselves in an effort to be more appealing to potential matches. Examples include using photoshopped profile images or fibbing about the things they enjoy doing, their job etc.

Love Bombing

If you have ever met up with someone for the first time and then received tons of messages proclaiming their affection or love for you, you’ve been love bombed. This tactic is used as a means to an end (sex, money etc) and once the individual got what they wanted, tend to move on from you quite quickly. Sometimes those types of individuals can turn unpleasant or abusive if rejected.

Roaching

Formerly known as a ‘player’, a roach is a person who is dating several people at once without being upfront about it. When confronted they often claim they never agreed to or didn’t realise you were being exclusive.

Submarining

Remember haunting? This is similar but more manipulative. It refers to someone who ghosted you only 3 months ago and is now back in your life pretending like it never happened. Do yourself a favour and let that sub run aground.

Now that you are an expert at dating lingo go forth and find love. Preferably over on Plentymorefish.com of course. 😉

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