by: Annie French

Dating is hard enough these days. Here are some terms to help you navigate through the frustration, or at least keep you entertained.


Similar to athletes who get benched, benching refers to someone keeping a potential dating interest on hold in case others don’t work out. If you’re being benched, the person who is doing the benching may contact you just often enough to keep you interested, but he/she will only invest time in the relationship or show up when they don’t have other dating plans or possibilities. Can I get a red flag?!


Going through the holidays alone can be tricky, and cuffing is another way of saying people are committing to a relationship. Cuffing season starts in November and lasts through Valentine’s Day.

These three signs can help tell whether a person is cuffing, or is actually ready for a serious relationship. The first sign is the time of year they contact you. The second is that they only want to spend time with you indoors. Finally, they may outright tell you that they only want something short-term. However, just because a couple happens to meet during cuffing season, doesn’t mean it won’t last. Just watch for the signs if you want to avoid it.


Ashley swiped right on a cutie, and suddenly she matched! She’s talked about her upcoming weekend plans and agreed to meet up for a date with Jason. Ashley thinks things are going great at dinner, at the end of the date they even snuggled in for a hug and made plans to see one another again soon.

Full of hope, she texts him the next and tells him how much fun she had.

Queue the crickets…

She waited another few days and tried again. Nothing. Was he in a car wreck? Did she chew with her mouth open? Did she talk too much?

Whatever the reason, Ashley was met with the painful sting of being ghosted.

How long before you’re considered officially ghosted? The general consensus seems to be about three days and there’s nothing fun about it.


And oh, oh, those summer nights! (In case you aren’t familiar with that song from the musical Grease, look it up.)  Freckling in dating is just like how real freckles on your face come and go with the summer months. Josh may think he’s found the love of his life when Connie goes kayaking with him in June. Many pool and beach dates happen, and freckles and sunburns are on full display until September when Connie slowly disappears with the sunset. But just like freckles on your face from a long sunny day, they usually come back around next summer. Be prepared with strong sunscreen if you don’t want to see them again.


Picture Hansel and Gretel’s trail of breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbing, (a.k.a. leading someone on) typically happens via text and social media. They engage in occasional flirty messages without the intention of actually pursuing a relationship. If anything, they might just be in it for the ego boost. Note: breadcrumbing can happen with exes, too. They might pop up just when you’re starting to move on.


Groundhogging is the cycle of matching and dating the same types of people over and over and constantly feeling disappointed. It refers to the idea that people are repetitively going for the same type of person and expecting different results. Instead of breaking the cycle, when they turn back to dating apps, they end up swiping on someone similar and the awful groundhog cycle resumes. It’s ruthless; just ask Bill Murray from Groundhog Day!


Men’s Health refers to orbiting as “the new ghosting.” For instance, Ben breaks up with Lisa and stops talking to her in real life but continues following and interacting with Lisa’s social media posts. In other words, he’s orbiting his former dating partner just like a planet orbits another celestial body. Sure, it’s normal to stay social media friends sometimes, but Ben recently dumped Lisa and is still reacting to her Instagram stories like nothing even happened. Houston, we have a problem!


What is Orbiting in Dating


10 New Dating Slang Words

What is Cuffing Season?

Freckling a Partner