New Dating Slangs To Remember

A friend re-entered the dating pool a few years back. The last she dated was her husband, whom she met at university. Since then, everything has changed. So thus, she needed to learn about the new dating scene. A few from her circle suggested a few app names and requested she creates an online profile. It would be a real “quickie,” her friends had told her. A quickie in current lingo means a short and concise act of lovemaking. A quick one. Sounds exciting and exhilarating, having sex in a few minutes wherever you are.

So back to the topic. Now, she had to “swipe” left or right. Well, it depended on what she wanted to do with the profile or potential match in front of her. A super exciting adventure where all she had to do was set a location preference, and pictures of dates would appear. And thus, she began dating. 

Dating for the current generation could be anything from a quickie, an ONS (One night stand), or an open relationship to it’s complicated. Of course, you can customize your profile bio depending on what you want.

For millennials, dating meant meeting potential dates in pubs, bars, plays, cinemas, cafes, or restaurants. Some metros and a few small cities back then had started speed dating events (present in a different form today) where you encountered people face-to-face and spent a fixed period (10-15 minutes) at each table in cafes and yet find your love or romantic interest. 

Online dating was in its early phases. Yahoo and MSN chatrooms were dating hubs where potential partners exchanged A/S/Ls. For the unversed, A/S/L is age, sex, and location. Orkut was blooming, and social media had just been born. Creating attractive profiles with eye-catching bios was the norm. When Facebook made its entry, it took over the dating scene. It was one of the biggest social media platforms then. Potential dates would check photographs and videos (no reels then) of people and approach them. Slowly audio and video calling features were added, making the dating universe much smaller. People sitting on different continents or countries across the globe could match potential partners in seconds. And now, there are millions of apps around the world.

Just like the definitions of romance and love have undergone profound changes, the vocabulary has changed significantly since we crossed from the Gen Ys and Gen Zs to the present Generation Alpha. The medium of romance is no longer only phone calls and text messages via SMS, Whatsapp, or Messenger. In addition, one has multi-dating options thanks to dating apps and many others. 

The vocabulary and terminology have profoundly changed from the Lost Gen, Greatest Gen, Silent Gen, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z, to Gen Alpha. Suppose you belonged to the 80s/90s or Gen X/MTV generation. In that case, these are the terms you may be familiar with (there may be more, too, depending on all the countries and continents across the globe), thanks to the million sitcoms we watched back then. On the other hand, Gen Alpha (born 2010 till now) is an app-based, quickie generation – whether it is health, lifestyle, travel, or even dating – life is at the fingertips of gadgets.

You can create an attractive profile on any dating app and swipe left/right for potential dates. All you need is a photo or a video for verification from the dating app, and you are all set to meet your date. Mention your city, sexual/gender preference, and why you want to date; you will be matched better with dates accordingly. Like-minded profiles will pop up for you to check. Unlike the good old days when you exchanged phone numbers, now you can preserve your anonymity and chat till you are prepared to meet your date. Until then, you can use the chat interface of the apps.  

Top 10 New Generation Dating slangs

1. Ghosting

When someone suddenly stops communicating with their romantic interest without any explanation or warning.

2. Benching

When someone keeps a potential romantic partner “on the bench” or in reserve without fully committing to them, while continuing to explore other options.

3. DTR – Define The Relationship

This is when two people talk about what their relationship means and what they expect from each other.

4. Cushioning

When someone keeps multiple romantic options as a safety net in case their relationship doesn’t work out.

5. Catfishing

When someone pretends to be someone else online to deceive someone into a romantic relationship.

6. Slow-fading

When someone gradually decreases communication and fades out of a romantic relationship without officially ending it.

7. Cuffing season

The time of year, typically in the fall and winter, when people seek a committed relationship for the colder months.

8. Bread-crumbing

When someone gives just enough attention and affection to keep someone interested but doesn’t fully commit to a relationship.

9. Love-bombing 

When someone overwhelms their romantic interest with excessive attention, affection, and gifts, usually in the early stages of a relationship.

10. Stealthing 

The act of removing a condom during sex without the other person’s knowledge or consent. This is a form of sexual assault.

Knowing the language of dating allows you to communicate effectively with potential partners. It helps you understand what someone means when they use a particular term and will enable you to express yourself clearly and accurately. Different dating terms and phrases can have different meanings for different people. Understanding these terms can help you know what your partner is looking for in a relationship and their expectations. Dating terminology can be confusing, and it’s easy to misinterpret what someone means. By being aware of the language of dating, you can avoid misunderstandings and ensure you are on the same page with your partner. In the modern dating world, there are many new and different ways to meet people, some of which can be risky. Knowing the language of dating can help you navigate online dating apps and websites and be aware of potential red flags or signs of danger.

Here are a few more SLANGS to know

  1. Orbiting
    When someone continues to engage with their former romantic interest on social media without communicating directly.
  2. Haunting
    Similar to orbiting, haunting is when someone lurks on their former romantic interest’s social media, even after the relationship has ended.
  3. Zombieing
    When someone who ghosted their romantic interest suddenly reappears, often months or years later, as if nothing happened.
  4. Submarining
    When someone who ghosted their romantic interest suddenly reappears, but with an explanation or apology for their previous disappearance.
  5. Thirst-trap
    When someone posts a photo on social media to receive attention and validation from others, often sexually or suggestively.
  6. Gaslighting
    When someone manipulates their romantic interest into doubting their perceptions, memories, or sanity.
  7. Monkeying 
    The practice of quickly moving on from one romantic interest to another without taking time to process or heal from the previous relationship.
  8. Paperclipping
    When someone who ghosted their romantic interest suddenly reappears without any explanation or apology for their previous disappearance.
  9. Stashing
    When someone keeps their romantic interest a secret from their family and friends, often indicating that they’re not serious about the relationship.
  10. Kittenfishing
    When someone presents themselves online in a slightly more positive or exaggerated light than their true self, without necessarily pretending to be someone else.

In recap, knowing dating terminology can help you communicate effectively, understand your partner’s expectations, avoid confusion and misunderstandings, and more importantly stay safe while dating.


She is a quirky writer/photographer/closet poet and singer who has traversed a non-conventional path. As a former entertainment journalist who has worked in print and online media for a decade, Priya loves talking to people and writing their unspoken stories. She is a single parent of a 7-year-old son settled in Tamil Nadu and a Content Consultant/ Communications-PR Manager. She is also an informal mentor to parents in her local parenting network. She dreams of being an author of a book and maybe the scriptwriter of a film someday!

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