When it comes to dating, every generation has had its own set of customs and endured its own unique rites of passage. But it wasn’t until the 21st Century that technology really began to impact courtship. It is the Millennials, or Generation Y, who have entered into young adulthood with smartphones and the Internet, and that’s changing how people interact forever.
The result is a series of bizarre dating practices. While many of these trends are not exactly “top” material in terms of behavior to be proud of, they’re worth taking a closer look at.
Genus I: Not All That Into You
1. Ghosting is when two people have been seeing one another, but one of them suddenly seems to drop off the face of the earth, cutting off all communication.
2. When you’re being ghosted, you may experience R-Bombing, meaning that you know someone has read the message you sent, but aren’t responding.
3. In other ghosting cases, the other party might be Mooning you. Named after the moon icon on iPhones, you’re essentially being blocked by someone who will not accept calls or messages from you.
4. A Slow Fade, on the other hand, is when communication from one party gradually decreases in frequency until there’s no more contact at all. In theory, it’s Ghosting’s way of letting someone down more gently.
5. Benching or is when someone you’ve been hanging out with withdraws, but without a complete cease in communication. They’ll start texting you less frequently and respond more slowly, but they’ll continue to make contact often enough to string you along — just in case. You’ve been placed on the bench, part of a stable for them to pick from later, and their intentions never seem clear.
6. Think of Submarining as the child of Ghosting and Benching. This is when someone who has Ghosted you suddenly resurfaces in your life without any sort of explanation for their absence. Ta-da!
7. Haunting is when you’ve been Ghosted, but then that person starts, for instance, liking your social media posts from afar, rather than engaging you directly.
8. Another variation on Submarining, Zombie-ing is when someone who’s Ghosted you suddenly reappears, but with some sort of explanation for, or at least acknowledgment of their disappearance.
Genus II: Kinda Interested
9. Millennials also seem prone to falling into a Situationships. This is when you’ve been seeing someone, but you’re not officially in a relationship or are unsure what your status is. It’s not so much complicated as it just isn’t talked about, often leaving one party confused about the other’s long-term intentions.
10. So, when your friends ask what’s up with you guys, you can only say he or she is your Umfriend because you don’t know what to call it.
11. When the subject of, “What are we?” comes up, a Slow Fade can often result if the other party isn’t wanting a commitment. A person like this may just prefer to Breeze with someone, without attaching a particular label. This usually indicates they simply want things to stay the way they are, without the pressures accompanying boyfriends and girlfriends.
12. Stashing, or Jekyll-and-Hydeing, is when you’ve been seeing someone, but you don’t let them into your inner social and familial circles, specifically because you have no intention of the relationship going anywhere.
13. The Quick Jump, however, is when you rush into a relationship right off the bat, before you’ve really gotten to know the other person through any sort of courtship period. In this love-at-first-sight scenario, you might like the same bands, make each other laugh, and seem perfect for one another.
14. This can go hand-in-hand with Love-Bombing, when one person goes completely overboard with displays of affection, desiring complete reciprocation as a security blanket. Inevitably, a relationship like this will likely crash and burn.
15. When relationships do develop for millennials, they tend to be seasonal in many cases. Typically, Drafting Season occurs when summer has waned, and you’re basically just looking for someone to enjoy indoor activities with for the winter. During this time, you gauge the pros and cons of each person in your potential dating pool. Which one irritates you the least?
16. Once you’ve made up your mind, it’s Cuffing Season, and you choose your wintertime mate. Naturally, by the time spring comes, you want to be single and free, so it’s Uncuffing Season, and you let them go.
17. This is not to be confused with Catch and Release, though. That’s when somebody just loves the chase and gets bored once they’ve landed a catch, certain there’s someone better just around the corner.
Genus III: All Hope Is Not Lost
18. My favorite millennial dating trend? It’s called Throwback Dating. This is the trend which could rescue millennials from its cold and gutless dating culture.
Throwback Dating occurs when you put the Tinder away for a hot second and try meeting people the old-fashioned way. You know, by like actually talking to them in real life. Scary, right?
If things go well, you call the person instead of texting, you actually knock on their door when you arrive at their place, and then you go on your date with your phone on airplane mode. I used to date like this in the 90’s. Those were the days, I tell ya.
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