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New phone, hu dis?

As if dating IRL was not challenging enough, we are now living in the times of a new relationship syntax. Some dating experiences can leave you baffled – not sure whether you’d want to have dealt with a good old break-up, or be ghosted – without even an explanation or closure.

Anyhoo, wondering what today’s dating glossary really means? We have the pleasure of bringing you up to speed. [Oh, and you may want to sign up for Sirf Coffee after reading this]

Benching
You’re not really into them. You’re not sure if you want to date them exclusively. But you’ve got your eyes on them as a back-up, because one in the bush is worth two in the hand. You string them along enough, just until you’ve found someone else. Being made to feel like Plan C isn’t the most respectful way to be in a relationship. So if you’re going to play by the rules of the dating game, at least play fair and square.

Breadcrumbing
Remember the bedtime story of Hansel and Gretel leaving behind a trail of crumbs? Picture that in a relationship, where you’re late night sexting, and even double tapping their feed – but you don’t really have the courage to pull the plug on this. In order to avoid any form of confrontation, the breadcrumber throws compliments and lures the breadcrumbee to believe that there’s more to this than harmless flirting. In simpler words, false hope.

Catfishing
Last weekend, I caught up with my girl gang for drinks, and one of them brought up her tryst with a fake profile. She’d been speaking to this guy for a couple of weeks before they decided to meet in person. And guess what – he turned out to be nothing like he sounded. Forget his poor diction, but he didn’t even remotely resemble his display picture. Imagine chatting with someone who could be pretending to be someone else. I think we’ve just scripted the opening scene of Gone Girl 2.

Curve
Ever had your messages “seen” but not responded to? Well hello, you’ve been curved! Think of it as a rejection, but a subtler one – but is it better than an outright no? A sort of redirection that implies someone’s disinterest in you but not with the heavy handed whiff of a bold smack on the ego. Take it in your stride, or not. They’re not interested, either way.

Haunting / Orbiting
You’ve said your goodbyes, ended your relationship (almost amicably) and have decided to walk your own path. And then, there they are, your ex lurking on your social media. A harmless ‘like’ of your tweets, a repost of a Facebook memory that you’re tagged in, and viewing your Instagram stories. Sorry, but these aren’t signs from the Universe to get back with them; these are mostly deliberate attempts to remind you that they exist – and it’s pretty annoying.

Love Bombing
A series of romantic, happy dates, and endless nights of video calling are often the precursor to a full-blown, committed relationship. But picture this – no sooner have you gone from dating to committed, does your partner retract. They lose interest, almost on cue, and withdraw all the affection and attention that was being showered on you earlier. Love-bombers are often described as toxic and manipulative. Sheesh, we honestly hope you never have to encounter one.

Situationship
A little more than a friendship, but not a full-blown relationship – something that you can mould and adapt depending on your situation. Sounds convenient? Well, to the non-committal, it’s a big resounding yes! Think of it as a friends-with-benefits kind of scenario, sans the “friendship” angle. We’d say you’re better off without the baggage of dealing with ‘where is this relationship going?’. Eventually.

Slow Fade
“Here’s the trailer of this amazeballs David Fincher film I was talking about,” you text.
“Thanks.” he replies. After 48 hours.
A recurring phenomenon in the world of online dating, a slow fade is a dating move where you gradually cut down on your contact and response time with the other person. A smoother version of breadcrumbing, you’re not just dropping subtle hints of disinterest, but are probably even slowly moving into your next fling or love interest. It’s the one disappearing act that isn’t restricted to magicians.

Stashing
I always thought there was something rather off about my best friend’s first serious relationship. While he was always a part of her close friends’ birthdays and family dinners, she’d never met anyone he was close to. A closeted relationship. A dating trend often found with the commitment averse, stashing is a way for them to shy away from accepting / declaring to the world that they are in a real, committed relationship.

Submarining
My friend’s ex kept dropping her a WhatsApp text every now and then. Well, there’s nothing wrong with that, except, he was ‘happily married’ to someone else. You know how a submarine disappears underwater, but bobs its head back up every once in a while? Think of that resurfacing ex as just that – they’ll ghost you, haunt you, stash you and then a few months later, conveniently slide into your DMs with a “Hey There!”

So we made it easier for you. Here’s a PETA-tested, scientifically proven, methodically researched, free version 20-character response for you to use.

“New phone, hu dis?”


Words by Noopur Pal

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