You know what’s scary and nerve-wracking? Going on a first date with someone, especially if you barely know them. What’s even scarier are the new millennial terms that describe dating red flags. “Ghosting” and “stealthing” sound like video game jargon. They’re not, to my apparent disappointment, and I wish they were after reading what they meant.
Bad dates can happen to anyone, especially in this age of online dating. (That’s why there are apps and tricks to save you from them.) However, you may not realize that we’re already falling victim to these trends. Or worse, you’re already doing it to another person.
Allow us to define these dating terms and why they are problematic. We even throw in tips on how to avoid them in the future.
If you’ve been online dating long enough, you probably heard of this term at least once. In case you haven’t, it’s basically the “act of ceasing all communication with the person you’re dating.” This is done with hopes that the other person would go away, and it’s justifiable if you’re really not into that guy you met at the bar. But it’s sh*tty when you do it to someone you’re in a relationship with.
How to deal with it: The rational thing to do is to talk to the other person instead of abruptly disappearing. Although, there are certain instances wherein “ghosting” is okay. Just don’t do it to intentionally hurt you’re significant other.
This is far from what Hansel and Gretel did in the fairy tale. This happens when the person you met online keeps making plans with you via text and social media. The twist is that they never push through because they bail out at the last minute. Then the cycle repeats until you get tired of them.
How to deal with it: Uproxx notes that people who do it think this is “a fun way to flirt and gives them an ego boost.” Others say that they’re just scared that they won’t be as chatty in person. The easy solution here is to just cut them off because if they really wanted to meet you, they won’t lead you on.
Similar to “ghosting,” it’s cutting off all communication but still lurking on the other person’s social media. (AKA, what you usually do when you can’t get over an ex.) To make it more annoying, the “haunter” would even like your Facebook posts or double tap your Instagram photo.
How to deal with it: “Haunting” is a subtle way of manipulating one’s feelings by sending mixed signals. Relationship coach Chris Armstrong tells Bustle that haunters are either infatuated, controlling, or just want to annoy you. Our advice? Just unfriend or block them. Simple as that.
This is mostly done by guys and women should be cautious of it. “Stealthing” is defined as the “nonconsensual condom removal before or during sex.” Alexandra Brodsky wrote in a study that it’s a form of sexual assault which can lead to physical and emotional harm.
How to deal with it: For those who often engage in one night stands, be wary of what your partner is going to do. If you don’t trust that he won’t do anything shady, then don’t go home with him.
Who would’ve thought that Donald Trump would inspire a bad dating trend? According to xoJane, it’s when a person “ashes out at you with vicious personal attacks and insults” once you’ve disappointed them. The worse part is when they start spreading fabricated stories about you.
How to deal with it: Feel free to send a gif of Beyoncé’s “Boy, bye!” before blocking them from your life.
Art by Yayie Motos