I don’t think people that aren’t single understand how difficult it really is to date these days. The era of Gen Y’s (Millennials) and Gen Z’s is fucked. The dating world is run by apps and websites. No one generically meets anymore. You know, in real life…..out in the wild. Not only are we chained to our phones/computers in order to meet a potential partner, but we also have to deal with a slew of new norms when it comes to dating. We have to deal with ghosting, cushioning, slow fades, benching, textationships, etc. All absolutely infuriating. For those of you who don’t know what any of those terms mean I’ll break it down for you.
- Ghosting: When someone that you’re into suddenly stops replying to you and basically just vanishes off the face of the earth. Ghosting is one of the most frustrating dating hiccups of all. You go on a few dates with someone, you both seem to be into each other and then all of the sudden they’re gone without a word. You’re left to wonder what went wrong. Was it something you said? Was it something you did? Was it even you at all? The only thing you get to take away from the experience is knowing that you’ll never know what happened. Piece of advice to everyone: DON’T BE A PUSSY. If you’re not into someone then tell them. Don’t just leave them hanging. You can even do it through a text, hiding behind your phone. People would rather know, even if it’s not ideal news, than be left in the dark trying to figure out why it fell apart.
- Cushioning: This is when someone that is in a relationship can feel that it’s inevitably going to end, so they line up the rebounds to “cushion” the breakup. You’re basically someone to soften the blow of a relationship that will soon come to an end. The cushion-er lets you think that they’re interested in you, not mentioning they are in a dead end relationship. The cushion-ee hangs on with hope not realizing that as soon as the cushion-er gets over their breakup you’ll be thrown to the side. Also, you’re not the only cushion in the picture. There can be two, three, four, etc. However many the cushion-er needs to keep their mind preoccupied for as long as needed.
- Slow Fade: A slow fade is when one or both of you just slowly fade out of the picture. This is probably the best case scenario for when you’re seeing someone, other than a straight up message saying they aren’t into it anymore. Slow fading is pretty self-explanatory. You start off strong, texting/talking often, going on dates, etc. and then slowly one or both of you becomes unavailable. Never able to hang out, takes a long time to respond to you, etc., then you get to the point where they just fade out of the picture. By that time you’ve accepted the fact that it’s not going anywhere, so it’s not too hard to let it go.
- Benching: I think everyone has been benched at some point in their dating lives. Benching is where someone places you, and more than likely a couple other guys/gals, on the bench while they continue to look for the BBD (bigger better deal). They chat with you and flirt just enough to keep you interested just in case they don’t find something better. You fill the void when they’re going through a lull. They never really have intentions to date you, they just want your attention. When they ask you to hang out, which isn’t often, you come running. More than likely the “hang outs” usually consist of just sex. You don’t go on actual dates. You can also refer to this as “fishing.” Baiting the line, catching the fish and then throwing it back into the water. When they feel you losing interest they’ll reel you back in. It won’t end until they find “the one,” assuming you believe in that, or you tell them to go fuck themselves, because you finally realized that you’re better than that.
- Textationship: This is where you hit it off with someone on a dating app and get to the point of exchanging phone numbers. You have awesome conversation in text, but just can’t seem to find time to meet up in person. I’ve had several of these “relationships.” Sometimes it gets to the point that I forget I’ve never actually met the person face-to-face. I’m not sure why we indulge in textationships? Maybe it’s because one or both of us never really had the intention of meeting up, but the texting fills the “lonely” void we all experience from time to time? You’ve discussed meeting up, but it just never happens.
Those are just a few of the terms used in the dating world right now. Someone could find enough of these terms to write a book on this shit. Honestly dating is basically a full-time job. When you’re in it to find a potential partner it can suck the life out of you. If you’re on the apps/websites to just find someone to have fun with, nothing serious, then you are having the time of your life right now. I’m not going to lie, I’m guilty of all of the above (except cushioning). I’m not proud of it and now that I know how hurtful it can be I try very hard to not be that asshole. I’m also guilty of going on a date with someone, not being into them as a person, but knowing that I want just one thing from them. A little sexy time with zero contact afterwards is what we need sometimes. Both of you get what you want out of the deal with zero obligations. Guys, you should also know that just because we had sex doesn’t mean you have to be a weirdo about it. If we both think each other are cool, but for some reason it doesn’t work out that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends. Don’t assume that every chick is going to get attached. You shouldn’t flatter yourself if there’s no need to.
I don’t see the way we “date” each other changing any time soon. You have to go through way more assholes to find the good one than you used to. With so many forms of social media, dating apps, websites, etc. it makes it even harder for anyone to be monogamous. For those of us who do want a monogamous relationship we’re kind of shit out of luck. You’re beat down to the point that you just don’t care anymore. You’d rather be alone than put up with the games. Either we start to accept the idea of a forever single life or we settle on someone and never allow ourselves the happiness we all deserve. I’m constantly told, “You’ll find someone,” or “It’ll happen when you least expect it,” or “There’s someone for everyone.” I’m not sure I believe that…..I’m becoming one of those people that is getting used to the idea that another long-term relationship, marriage and maybe kids might not be in the cards for me. I may have already experienced the one love that I’ll ever have. At least I was able to experience that. The relationship might not have been ideal, but we loved each other. Some people never feel that love.
To all of my single friends, I understand. I know what you’re going through. I ask you to not settle, even if that means you might be single for quite a while. You’re better than that. I also ask you to not give up and lose hope. That’s something I’m working on myself. Don’t put pressure on it. If it’s supposed to happen it’ll happen. Approach dating as something that can potentially be fun. Someone once told me, “What do you have to lose, Linds? You go on a date, get a free dinner/drinks and potentially walk away with a new friend and/or boyfriend. Worst case is that it doesn’t work out. You never know until you try. You could be missing out on getting to know some awesome people all because you wouldn’t put yourself out there.” She has a point…..none of us will ever know until we wholly put ourselves out there and accept the fact that a majority of the guys/gals we meet won’t turn into something romantically long lasting. We will encounter a TON of dick bags, but we won’t be any worse off than we were going into the date. With that being said, I wish you all luck and happy hunting!