Things are pretty weird in 2018 and one thing that’s really caught a lot of us off-guard (other than the whole rise in populism thing) is how much dating has changed. With the rise of dating apps like Tinder and Bumble and the ease with which you can stalk someone on social media, it seems like all the rules have changed. Have you been left behind by the high-tech (and impersonal) dating world?
Not only is there the awkwardness of “is this a date?” and “what does he mean by ‘chill’?” and “does she understand that was meant to be sarcastic?” that comes with online dating, there are a bunch of totally new things that you might not even know about. And it seems it all stems from the impersonal nature of the online world. Greeeat.
Do you know what these new dating phenomenon are?
You might be familiar with Ghosting since it’s been around pretty much since the advent of online dating. Psychology Today defines ghosting as having someone you believe cares about you disappear from contact without giving any explanation. That can be as simple as someone you’ve been talking to online for a while suddenly not responding ever again or as significant as a person you’ve actually gone on dates with suddenly cutting off all contact. It seems like something small and simple, but recent studies have found that it actually takes a psychological toll on the ghostee. Indifference hurts and that’s exactly what you’re communicating when you ghost someone.
Similar to ghosting but, if possible, even more frustrating is the concept of orbiting. Orbiting is when you’ve been effectively ghosted but the person still engages with you on social media. So Brian won’t return your texts or answer a Facebook message, but he still watches your Snapchat stories and follows you on Instagram. Talk about sending mixed messages. Thanks, 2018.
Cushioning is another trend that’s always been around but is on the rise and just recently got a name. This term describes when you’re in a relationship but keep around several “cushions” – people you text, flirt with or even go out with – that would “cushion” the blow if the relationship were to suddenly end. Cushioning is particularly easy with dating apps where you can be in a relationship with a person but also constantly checking what else is out there. Is that cheating? It’s a grey area, but something we should definitely talk about (and something you should discuss with your partner).
So things are getting a whole lot more complicated. Why can’t we all just treat each other like human beings and tell each other the truth?