Update your dating vocabulary with these new terms

Forget ghosting and breadcrumbing, these are the new dating lingos to know in 2024.

18 June, 2024
Update your dating vocabulary with these new terms

The time has come for you to wipe your tears from that three-month situationship and talking stage...Gen Z has now made additions to the dating dictionary. So take notes...and maybe, grab a tissue because things are about to get too relatable (cries in a corner).

Textationships (Did you eat? No, I went on a hunger strike)

Say hi to textationship—the dating equivalent of edging...think about all the excitement and anticipation, with a big nothing at the end. Imagine being in a 24/7 text marathon...but with someone who gives you the side-eye reserved for last season’s Prada when you bump into them in person. 

Let me break it down for you, soon enough one of you gets attached waiting for text notifications, only to be met with a brick wall of the “I was busy” excuse, while the other one just needs an AI-generated support system. Like every Gen Z casual dating tale, when the attached one gains self-respect, they ask “What are we?”, which generates a lame excuse for an answer followed by soft ghosting. 

Shaina, a college student, says when she was about to have the DTR talk with her probable SO, his casual response was: “I’m not ready to get into a relationship. Let’s be friends and see where it goes”.

Sweethearts, if you miss playing Episode (yes, that storytelling app), just install it...that is less embarrassing!

Pink flag (Icks & changes)

The honeymoon phase, all sunshine and rainbows? Well, eventually, your eyes can finally open up to see your partner in their full, unfiltered glory. That is when you see the waving pink flag—those little yucks that might have made you raise an eyebrow (or wrinkle up your nose). Unlike red flags, pink flags are not deal breakers. However, the compatibility of your relationship depends on how you deal with these pink flags. These are personalised to you, your “ick” might be someone else’s “meh”, and if your partner adjusts, that is a green flag right there. 

Aadya opened up about the story of her first date with a guy she met on Hinge—he did not respect her boundaries about physical touch as he tried to cuddle and kiss her. PS: You have to spot your own pink flags!

Paper clipping (Clippy is back)

Remember Clippy, the annoying Microsoft Office assistant that would constantly ask questions? Well, Clippy is back in your life (at least occasionally). Simply put, Clippy is your ex-date or ex-situations checking in on you after radio silence. You may not even get a response to your own response anytime soon because all they want is to keep you as an option or an occasional ego boost. I live by Maddy’s (in Euphoria) words “out of sight, out of mind”, and you should too. You deserve better! 

Ananya shares, “My toxic ex-boyfriend kept calling me the morning after he brutally broke up with me, and still tries to maintain contact.” 

What’s it going to be—out of sight? Out of mind? Revenge girl era? Or are we gearing up to play victim?

Caspering (The slow demise)

Remember ghosting, when your partner would disappear from the face of the earth? Ghosting—for better or for worse—is now done and dusted. Enter, caspering. The idea is to be slow with your ghosting process—start with late replies and move on to dry texts while you wait for your partner to catch the hint. It might give your partner time to adjust, but it also drags out anxiety for a long time. The bottom line, choose your weapons according to the depth of your relationship. 

Naira, a college student, shared how she was caspered out of a friendship as her friend circle expanded. “Those who are meant to stay, will stay,” she says. 

If they’re worth it, tell them why, and if not, casper away respectfully!

Affordating (Cheap thrills?)

To all the broke college students and hustlers with bad credit scores, here’s a gift for you all...*drum roll*: affordating. That’s right—you can go on dates, chill out, get to know the other person, and split the bill without your wallet tightening up in your pants. You might not want to go all in for a casual date that, you know, may not lead to anything. However, rule #1: It is important that both parties are on the same page so that one of them isn’t holding high expectations. The princess-treatment trend is anti-affordating...but, go for what works for you.

Sehaj says affordating shows “your partner is not there for any materialistic expectations but for your company, which keeps the bond stronger”. 

While it feels like a lot might be changing in the dating space, at the very core we’re all just figuring it out in life and hoping to find someone we can laugh with along the way. Despite the changes, we know that the feeling of having butterflies in your stomach when seeing your crush, the nervousness of being on a first date, smiling at texts, and finding ways to casually-walk-past them (we’re all guilty) will remain the same.

This article originally appeared in Cosmopolitan India Magazine's May-June 2024 print issue.

Image credit: Getty Images 

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