Your un(official) dating dictionary

Our relationship vocab lesson is officially in session—here’s the new glossary of love lingo you need to get your rizz on.

20 January, 2024
Your un(official) dating dictionary

Dating in today's day and age can be a challenging adventure on its own. Add to it the complex dating terms like "ghosting" and "situationship" and you have a much more complicated game. But fret not, our expert-backed dating dictionary is here to simplify the scene and guide you through the nuances of modern romance.

Open Casting

Good news, singles! Gen-Z is rewriting relationship trends with ‘open casting’—it’s the opposite of typecasting—where a true connection goes beyond physical appearances. Fitting into the socially accepted beauty trends is no longer the norm. This generation is open to dating beyond their usual “type”. Irrespective of whether a potential partner has a similar personality, look, education or economic status, the current dating pool is willing to cast a wider net when it comes to prospective romantic partners. Simply put, everyone is getting a little less picky.

Expert Advice:

“In the dating realm, ‘open casting’ translates to finding the best possible fit for oneself that goes beyond what your ‘type’ might be. You need to broaden your horizon and not necessarily go by the boxes you want to be ticked by a person before you consider them to be a potential mate.”

Soft Launch

Time to change your relationship status from ‘single’ to ‘committed’ with your new beau tagged for the world to see? If you’re not totally ready to shout out about your new romance from the rooftops, posting a low-key photo preview of a talking stage to ‘soft-launch’ your special someone on social media might just be the hint everyone needs. Here are a few ideas: a photo of perhaps their head resting on your shoulder or something as effortless as their hand holding yours.

Expert Advice:

“A ‘soft launch’ is a teaser of sorts that you might be taken or in a relationship. This can look like dropping hints here and there, posting a group picture with your special person marked on it or just addressing the person by a term of endearment. Usually, the reason behind this is because you are not yet sure of the person or don’t want to share too much.”


Here’s a relationship trend that offers the worst of both worlds. Meet ghosting’s toxic new sibling— ghostlighting. If the person you have been seeing unexpectedly cuts off all communication with you or avoids meeting you, it is only natural that you might want to ask them why. But if instead of giving a reason they blatantly blame you for the distance, making it seem like their actions are ‘your’ fault, then there are high chances that you are being ‘ghostlighted’. If someone who has ghosted you tries to re-enter your life, think twice before you let them in—especially if they come with a side of manipulation and criticism.

Expert Advice:

“Ghosting is when you disappear on a person while you are in regular contact with them. Gaslighting comes in the realm of emotional abuse...this is where you are made to question your reality. Unfortunately, the combination can be deadly. In the likeliness of this happening to you, trust your own instincts, leave it be, and move on because you don’t want to be in a relationship with a person who lacks the integrity to be honest with you.”

Beige Flag

Listen up world, beige is the new red when it comes to dating Gen-Zs. Is your significant other breathing a bit too loudly? Uses too many emojis while texting? Makes sounds while eating? Mispronounces words? Perhaps, these little quirks are doing your relationship more harm than good. Let me elucidate: this is about odd traits of the other person in the relationship that doesn’t really bother you, but you do find it annoying. In other words, you’re dealing with a classic ‘beige flag’.

Expert Advice:

“‘Beige flag’ is simply an interesting or eccentric behaviour portrayed by your partner in anything that he/she might say or do. It is meant in a very benign way and by no means is it a warning sign of sorts, in fact, it can have a humourous slant to it as well. For example, how they chop vegetables and the kind of music they listen to at weird hours of the day etc., all of it just shows how unique they really might be.” 

Inputs by relationship expert Dr. Maitri Chand 

Also Read: 5 dating trends you should steer clear of in 2024

Also Read: What's the difference between exclusive dating and a monogamous relationship?