Dating after divorce or breakup from a long-term relationship is never easy. For those coming out of 15 or 20 year relationships, the dating landscape is not only unrecognizable, but extremely overwhelming. Changes in how we meet potential partners, how we treat and speak to them, and describe our who and why, is ever changing. Whether you’re re-entering the dating scene or a seasoned dater, we’ve compiled a list of terms you should know to better navigate dating in 2023.
Consider this your dating bible and refer to it the next time you come across a profile that reads:
About me: I am actually 55, UENM (unethically non-monogamous), looking for discrete fun. Attractive, healthy-ish, HWP (height weight proportionate), extremely open-minded, DDF (drug & disease free), and totally normal. Care for an exploratory drink? Pictures happily provided upon request, say hi!
Disclaimer: Most of these terms are not only rude, but downright mean. Use this guide to help you better classify potentials matching your criteria, versus those not worth your time. Check out our most resent post, Best Advice for Finding Love this Summer, where we share tips on how best to navigate dating in 2023.
Bad Pancake: Used to describe the first person you date after a breakup, the bad pancake is someone you don’t see a future with whom you use to test the waters of dating again.
Benching: Benching is when you’re not into someone enough to commit to officially dating them, but you don’t want them to move on and find someone else either, so you string them along just enough to keep them waiting on the sidelines for you.
Negging: Semi-insulting potential lovers or giving them backhanded compliments to bring them down a notch so they’ll feel insecure and more open to advances.
DTR: Define the Relationship. This is when you and the person you’re in a “it’s complicated” relationship with have a heart-to-heart, or “The Talk” to determine where the relationship is going.
Breadcrumbing: When you send flirty but non-committal messages to a person when you’re not really interested in dating them, but don’t want to break things off with them completely. The breadcrumber doesn’t like confrontation, so the breadcrumbee is strung along for the sake of sparing the breadcrumber a confrontation.
Comet Partner: Think relationships that are casual, and/or long-distance relationship and non-monogamy. Comet partner, is a polyamory term for a person who swings by here and there for dates or hookups but doesn’t require much time or space in your life.
Cushioning: When you have one main squeeze or regular, but you’re not sure about the relationship so you have several “cushions,” side-pieces, or other romantic prospects in case it doesn’t work out.
ENM (Ethicallly Non-monogamous): Believe it or not, this is quite popular in the online space. It refers to any relationship dynamic in which partners consent to pursue sexual and romantic connections with multiple people.
Pie Hunting: As the name suggests, pie hunting is a dating phenomenon where a person (the “hunter”) deliberately dates “pies”, or heartbroken, vulnerable people with messy dating histories, who are perceived to be easier and lower-maintenance.
Monkeying: Similar to the way monkeys swing from branch to branch without touching the ground, monkeying is someone who goes from relationship to relationship with no downtime in between breakups.
Slow Fade: A way to passive-aggressively break up with someone by gradually removing yourself from their life in subtle stages.
Rizz: This is a relatively new term, commonly heard in dialogue between Gen Z. It is short for “charisma” and refers to someone’s ability to flirt with and attract a potential love interest. Such a person may have an engaging personality or have an unspoken allure that is undeniably irresistible.
Several night-stand: Several-night stand is what one-night stand used to be, but done multiple times. It’s perfect for those encounters where you may care about the person enough to sleep with them several times, but not enough to make them your main squeeze.
Soft Launch: When you soft launch a relationship, you are dropping hints online as to who a partner is with only enough details to discern that you are dating someone.
Stealthing: Refers to the guy removing a condom during sex, to finish without any protection, and without the other persons consent.