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Modern Dating: Gen Z Lingo We’re Trying To Keep Up With

Modern Dating: Gen Z Lingo We’re Trying To Keep Up With



f you recently stepped into the dating pool, it could feel overwhelming. The wild world of Gen Z modern dating is certainly different from traditional methods. With each season come new dating trends, and keeping up with the latest Gen Z lingo can feel like navigating a never-ending maze. Don’t retire and call it a day, these things can be learned—like everything else.

It’s easy to get lost in this jungle of confusing terminology. In this guide, we’ll decode some popular Gen Z dating phrases to help you navigate the dating scenes smoothly. From “breadcrumbing” to “Love Bombing,” nothing can take you by surprise anymore. Whether you’re single, taken, or just curious, if keeping up with GenZ is on your itinerary, then venture into the uncharted GenZ dating lingo territory.

These GenZ modern dating phrases will keep you aware of the latest dating lingo…

#1. Orbiting

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Have you ever gone on a few dates with someone, but then they suddenly stop texting and don’t respond to your messages? However, you notice they still view all your Instagram stories and like your posts. That’s orbiting.

Orbiting refers to when someone continues to follow and engage with you on social media, even after they’ve ghosted you in real life. It’s like they’re orbiting around you, watching your every move, but never actually landing back in your life.

#2. Cobwebbing

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Cobwebbing is a term used to describe a relationship covered in cobwebs (that’s been neglected for a long time). It’s a less harsh version of ghosting. In this instance, someone slowly withdraws from a relationship over time, instead of suddenly disappearing as in the case of ghosting. If you’ve dated someone for a few months, but no longer communicate with them as often, it’s a cobwebbing relationship.

#3. Ghosting

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If they don’t reply to your calls and won’t respond to your chats, they’re probably ghosting you. Ghosting is the act of suddenly cutting off all communication with someone you’ve been dating, without any explanation or warning. It’s become such a common occurrence in GenZ modern dating that it’s now considered a normal (yet still rude) way of ending things.

#4. Sober dating

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Now, here’s a good one. Sober dating is a movement among Gen Z and younger generations to date without the influence of alcohol or drugs. It’s a way to connect deeper, without relying on substances to lower inhibitions or ease social anxiety. Sober dating can involve doing activities that don’t involve alcohol, like hiking or trying out a new workout class together.

#5. Textlationship

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As the name implies, a textlationship is a relationship mainly based on texting or messaging, rather than in-person interactions. It’s a common phenomenon among Gen Z, who are more likely to communicate digitally than face-to-face. Textlationships can be romantic or platonic, but lack of in-person contact can make it difficult to build a strong connection. Judging by this description and how my anxiety spikes anytime I see a call—I might be in a relationship with over half of my contacts.

#6. Rizz

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This GenZ modern dating terminology is derived from “charisma” and means skill in charming or seducing a potential romantic partner, especially through verbal communication. “Sorry, I can’t hang out tonight. I need to work on my rizz game. Gotta make sure my charisma is on point for cuffing season.”

#7. Breadcrumbing

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Ever had someone you met on a college campus or anywhere else send you messages on Facebook, but won’t make any effort to see you or take things to the next level? I have. That’s what breadcrumbing is. It is used to describe someone who sends flirtatious or ambiguous messages to keep someone interested, without any intention of committing to a relationship. It’s like leaving a trail of breadcrumbs to lead someone on, but never actually following through.

#8. Cuffing

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Cuffing is a term used to describe the act of settling down in a relationship for the colder months of the year, usually during fall or winter. It’s like putting on a cuff or shackle to keep someone close during the colder months. For example, if you start dating someone in the fall and then break things off in the spring, you might have been in a cuffing relationship.

#9. Soft launching

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To “soft-launch” a person means to discreetly post someone you are dating on social media. The post would make it impossible for others to identify the person you’re seeing. It’s a popular Gen Z modern dating norm on social media. Ever seen someone post her partner’s hands and withhold their identity? That’s soft launching.

#10. Ethical non-monogamy

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This term is synonymous with open relationships and swinging. It’s a way of rejecting the societal norm of monogamy, and instead, embracing the idea that love and connection can come in many forms and with more than one individual.

#11. Love bombing

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If you’ve ever been love bombed, then it’s a good thing. To love bomb means to shower a person with affection and attention in the early stages of a relationship. It figuratively means dropping a bomb of love on someone to make them feel smitten and swept off their feet.

#12. Groundhogging

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When a person tends to date the same sort of person over and over and keeps expecting different results, then we’ve found a groundhogger. I call it having a “doctor’s prescription.” This could turn out good or bad, depending on what traits they exhibit. This can also limit your chance of finding outside your requirements.

#13. Gaslighting

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We’ve all heard about this one. And trust me, it’s cruel. Gaslighting is when someone manipulates another person into questioning their sanity or perceptions of reality. It’s like turning down the gas on someone’s sense of self-worth and confidence.

#14. Love haze

Photo: Christina Morillo/Pexels

When your best friend is so head-over-heels for someone that she hardly knows that she‘s already willing to overlook their flaws or red flags, help her snap out of it. She might be in a love haze. This GenZ modern dating phrase describes the feeling of being infatuated or smitten with someone to the point where you’re not thinking clearly.

#15. Fleabagging

Photo: Diva Plavalaguna/Pexels

Fleabagging occurs when someone pursues relationships with people who are emotionally unavailable or incompatible and wrong for them. This is a self-sabotaging behavior that most of us have been guilty of, but the Gen Z modern dating scene calls it out as insanity—I agree.

Featured image: @enioluwaofficial/Instagram 

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