Dating translated… it’s a tough world out there.
On Tuesday night, Jenny went on her first date with Brian. After three days of solid post-date banter and a link to the Friday night market, Brian simply disappeared. No texts, not even a tag in an Instagram meme, nothing.
Tara and Daniel, on the other hand, have been messaging on and off for a week and a half, since they first swiped right on Tinder. Flirty messages are exchanged and they arrange to meet up on Saturday night. However, come Friday 4:37pm, Daniel cancels. His dog has diarrhea and he needs to look after him. Tara is disappointed, but understanding. Come Saturday night, Daniel’s Instagram has betrays him. He’s not with Spike the Scottish Terrier, but is at a wine tasting with a mystery female.
Lastly, after discovering a mutual interest in 90s sitcom revivals and pickling, Mike and Rachel agree to become What’s App official. It’s then their relationship swiftly changes. She messages him with cafe suggestions for their upcoming coffee date and while she can tell Mike has ‘read’ the messages, it takes him days to respond with mild enthusiasm. Eventually he stops replying all together.
Dating translated… it’s a tough world out there.
When it comes to modern day dating, open communication has taken a turn for the worse.
Messaged are mixed, emojis misleading and just when you think ‘there’s some chemistry there,’ your match simply disappears.
I say this because, I’ve been there, you’ve been there… we’ve all been there.
Just take a look at the slew of new millennial dating trends. From ghosting to benching, curving and zombie-ing, these angst-inducing practices point to the fact that millennials would rather disappear into cyberspace than have a difficult conversation and it’s turning us into terrible people.
Not convinced? Here’s a quick, and depressing, glossary of millennial romance as we know it:
You’ve got a few prospective candidates lined up but you know deep down you don’t really fancy any of them. Still it’s nice to have options just in case [insert name here] falls through and you need a Friday night backup plan.
Breadcrumbing is when someone leaves a trail of flirty texts or messages (or emojis #2019) without the intention to commit. They may be sporadic or more frequent, but it never eventuates to an actual date.
Think of it as internet-speak for stringing someone along.
Infinitely worse than ghosting. Curving is when someone says or messages just enough to keep the possibility of ‘the thing’ alive with no intention of following through.
Think of it as a very drawn out rejection process. Maybe they’re indecisive and are keeping their options open, or maybe they’re trying to play it nice, but alas the practice is endlessly cruel. Surely euthanizing all chances of romantic hope would be kinder, and less of a time suck?
Red flag responses which indicate you’re dealing with a curver:
- “Sorry I ghosted again 🙂 Just got too caught up 🙁 How are you going?
- “I am so sorry for the random delay, just got so swamped. What are you doing, other than being cute and all?”
- Any sub-par, two-sentence or less response that occurs 1.5 days after the previous text. Millennials are never without their phone, we must be honest with ourselves and admit that any excuse otherwise is a lie.
The original millennial dating trend that continues to haunt app users to this day. Ghosting is when the person disappears. Annoying during the pre-date stage, heartbreaking from then on after.
Simply, you’re getting nothing but ‘read receipts’. They’re seeing your messages, but taking an inconceivably long time to reply.
The truth hurts, take a hint.
Zombie-ing takes place after someone has ghosted and then randomly pops up again on your app /phone/What’s App inbox or Instagram DMs. It doesn’t matter whether your newly revived suitor is of the gross Walking Dead, f*ckboi variety or like Drew Barrymore’s seemingly innocent Sheila from the Santa Clarita Diet, the elephant in the room has been exposed and things will never be the same again.
Now, wasn’t that exhausting?
The fact is, the majority of us single folk have probably been both victim to and inflictor of these cruel trends.
The intention may not always be bad. Sometimes we ghost to avoid an awkward conversation, or perhaps we ‘curve’ to avoid hurting the other person’s feelings. Similarly, lengthy periods of ‘read receipt purgatory’ speak to the fact that it takes time to craft a proper message, but perhaps we also need to be more upfront – and honest – with our emotions and feelings
Chemistry and that all elusive ‘spark’ is a fickle affair, and it’s not a crime to not be attracted to somebody. However, it’s definitely not nice to purposely mislead someone and waste their time, all because you wanted to save face, or were hungry for a virtual ego kick.
While technology isn’t blameless in this – it’s much easier to stop responding to a text than it is to avoid someone IRL – it doesn’t take long to craft a polite text that says something along the lines, ‘Loved meeting you, but I’m not really feeling it. All the best’.
At the end of the day, rejection will always feel sh*t, but definite answers makes it easier for both parties to move on.
If you liked this story, read more like it on mamamia.com.au:
An online dating assistant took one look at my Bumble profile and had some… feedback
“Last night I told my friends what I do instead of ghosting. They looked at me in horror.”
‘I was ghosted by a man I believed was ‘The One’ and I’m still haunted by it.’