Anyone who is actively seeking romance these days is almost certainly familiar with the rigamarole of online — and offline, TBH — dating that is par for the course for any single person in possession of a smartphone today.
In theory, two people swipe on one another, they chat, they date, and they either like each other or they don’t, and get on with their own sweet lives. Sigh. If only it were that simple.
Well, spoiler: It can be and should be.
But every so often a pesky “dating trend” rears its ugly head, making us all wonder if we’ve fallen victim and become a sad statistic, or sending us straight back to combing that last WhatApp for signs that “Music Boy” from Friday really IS interested in us. Ahead, check out the four biggest dating trends you definitely should watch out for — and learn how to smash ‘em once and for all.
We’ve all heard of this one, but that doesn’t make it any less horrible when it happens to us. Someone who we’ve come to really like and trust, and might even have had wonderful times with, suddenly disappears.
We can literally go through all the stages of grief in one evening: denial (they’re just busy), anger (where the F are they?!), bargaining (trying to get them to text/contact), depression (I miss them, this hurts far more than it should) and acceptance. In the hope of getting you to the last stage asap, let me assure you that anyone who ghosts you isn’t worth your time.
If they aren’t good enough to step up and treat you with respect now, they’re probably not going to be any better in an actual relationship. Don’t waste your tears, gorgeous. The right person won’t ghost you — ever.
Benching AKA Breadcrumbing
Another way of someone not being straight with you, ‘benching’ is about a potential or past date keeping in contact with you, and messaging back just as you’ve started to move on, probably with a big list of — often quite plausible — excuses as to why they’ve not been in touch.
Unless they’re absolutely 100% genuine (in which case, they get one second chance), the best thing is ignore. If they didn’t have time for you before, don’t dignify their behavior with your time now.
A lovely, comfy term for truly spiteful behavior, ‘cushioning’ is making sure you have ‘someone else’ to turn to, should your main squeeze turn sour. Yep, it’s basically a fancy word for emotional cheating. A cushioner may have someone else ‘in the wings’, whom they are stringing along, just in case their main relationship goes down the drain, and they need another shoulder to cry on.
Because it’s more emotional than physical, cushioning can be difficult to spot, but if you notice your partner is refusing to go all in, and has a suspicious amount of time for someone else as well as you, then be ready to pull the rug out from underneath them. They’ll need more than a damn cushion to break that fall.
The Slow Fade
More confusing than benching or ghosting, the slow-fader has even lower levels of commitment, as they can’t even commit to ghosting you properly. What gives?! Basically, slow fades happen when a good-but-early relationship shows signs of getting serious.
The person you started to actually believe could be the one showing up in your future plans suddenly becomes flaky AF, and you just don’t know what’s changed. Underneath all the craziness is the truth: they still like you, but not enough to commit long-term. Sigh.
This can feel like a sick joke, but once you realize you’re being slow-faded, the best thing is to make a quick break for someone who won’t flake at the first sign of real life. Painful, yes, but in the long-term, it will hurt much, much less. Slow fade? Hold out for someone who sees you in nothing but bright light.
Hannah is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click HERE.