Common Dating Terms and What They Mean

  • Dating

Dating in the modern world is complicated. Modern dating is headed towards a digital first approach. In fact, it is predicted that over 50% of all romantic relationship will be formed online by 2031.

But not only is the environment in which we meet people changing, the way we speak about dating is changing too. There are an array of cryptic dating terms to describe everything from flirting to ending a relationship. Here are some common dating terms and what they mean in the modern world of finding a lover.

modern dating


Just like in sport, if you’ve been romantically benched you’re effectively a dating substitute for if the first choice doesn’t work out.


This is when two people are clearly dating but one of them doesn’t want to commit or ‘put a label on anything’.


Leaving ‘breadcrumbs’ of interest. E.g. sending random noncommittal messages that don’t actually result in a date or relationship.


A catfish is someone who uses a fake identity online to lure innocent daters into talking to them/sending pictures/meeting up. The MTV show “Catfish” made the term ‘catfish’ popular; the show publicly investigates and exposes catfish.


This one is self explanatory. In the dating world, fishing is when someone sends out multiple messages to a several people. They then see who’s interested in hooking up, then take their pick of who they want to get with.


Defined as repeatedly dating people who are bad for you. 63% of woman admit to fleabagging. The term fleabagging comes from the TV show, Fleabag, where the main character constantly dates men that aren’t that great.


This is when you’ve been taking to someone online for a while and they just disappear and cut off all communication out of the blue.


A dating sin. R-bombing is when you read your messages but don’t respond for a while. The “R” comes from the visible ‘read’ signs on various dating/messaging apps.


Simply put, this is when you dump someone right before Christmas so you don’t have to buy them a present.

Yellow Carding

When you call someone out for poor dating etiquette this is referred to as yellow carding.

Need More Dating Advice?

These dating terms can only help you a little when it comes to dating in the online world. Follow the helpful guides below to up your dating game further,

Online Dating: A Guide to Staying Safe

22 Date Ideas That Don’t Involve Alcohol 

Budget Valentines Day Gift Guide

UK Bloggers Share Their Top Dating Tips

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