Austin Woman teamed up with Bumble to create a handbook for dating in the digital age.

By Saba Ghaffari, Photo by Laura Dominguez

Now more than ever, women are swiping right to match up with potential suitors on dating apps such as Bumble. But the emergence of technology in dating has also brought a phenomenon of practices, such as ghosting and catfishing, which would make any woman weary. Because the dating landscape is continuously evolving, Austin Woman recently sat down with the folks at Bumble to compile an all-encompassing handbook for dating in the modern age.

Dating Glossary

(Bumble’s disclaimer: “We don’t encourage you to do most of these things. They’re mean! Don’t be with anyone who does these things to you either. We’re just trying to help you navigate the wild, wild world of dating.)

Bad pancake (n): Used to describe the first person you date after a breakup, the bad pancake is someone you don’t see a future with but use to test the waters of dating again.

Bench (n): Also known as putting someone on the back burner, the bench is where you put someone just in case you want to pick up and start dating him or her more seriously again. It’s the human equivalent of the maybe pile when you’re cleaning out your closet.

Blizzard buddy (n): Someone you develop a romantic relationship with specifically for the purpose of not having to ride out a big-weather event by yourself.

Breadcrumbing (v): The act of sending flirtatious, sporadic and noncommittal text messages to a romantic interest in order to keep the interest alive without expending any effort.

Catfishing (v): Presenting a false version of yourself online, either with fake or heavily doctored photos or false profile information, in order to lure someone into dating you. (Bumble has photo verification to prevent this.)

Cuffing season (n): Starting in the early fall, this is the time of year when singles want to partner up and settle down so they have someone to hang out with during the cold, mostly indoor months of winter.

Cushioning (v): When you have one main squeeze you’re dating but perhaps you’re not sure about the relationship so you maintain several cushions, or other romantic prospects, in case it doesn’t work out.

Deeplike (v): When you go way back in someone’s social-media history on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and “like” something from a long time ago in order to let that person know you’re thinking of him or her. This can alternatively happen when you mistakenly like something from 2012 on someone’s Instagram and immediately wish there were a back button for real life.

DTR (v): Meaning “define the relationship,” this occurs when you and the person you’re with have what was previously known as “the talk” about what you’re actually doing together.

Ghosting (v): When someone disappears out of a relationship without a word. He or she suddenly stops responding to texts and calls and you never hear from that person again.

Haunting (v): When someone who ghosted you in the past suddenly comes back into your life, usually with a random text or a “like” on Instagram.

Instaficial (n): When you post the first picture of yourself and your significant other on Instagram, letting the world know that you’re official.

Monkeying (v): In the same way monkeys swing from branch to branch without touching the ground, someone who goes from relationship to relationship with no downtime in between is said to be monkeying.

On a thing (n): When you’re in a romantic relationship that’s not quite official but not exactly casual, you might say you’re on a thing.

Pen pal (n): A person with whom you text or message frequently but hardly ever see in real life.

Situationship (n): Are you in a romantic “relationship” that doesn’t have a label and can’t quite be defined? That’s a situationship. See also: On a thing.

Slow fade (n): A passive-aggressive way to break up with someone by gradually removing yourself from their life in subtle stages.

Tuning (v): How you act during the flirtatious and not-quite-serious stage of getting to know someone before an official romantic relationship begins.


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