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Love and Relationships

LTR, Unicorn, Stashing and 88 Other Dating and Relationship Terms You May Never Have Heard Before!

With all the new slang and terms used to describe anything and everything relationships, don't be the only one scratching your head when your friend says she's cushioning the new guy at work!


Dympll Staff Writer


Feb 25, 2023

91 Relationship Terms and Their Meanings to Keep You in the Know!

In this day and age of online dating, flexible relationships, and ease of communication (or avoidance) we've gotten creative by coming up with names for everything dating and relationship related.

We did the work for you so that the next time someone mentions Slow Fade or Uncuffing Season, you know exactly what they're talking about.

Let's check out these phrases, words, and acronyms commonly used to describe concepts and preferences in this modern world of love.

1. Ghosting: Ending a relationship by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

2. Breadcrumbing: Sending sporadic but non-committal messages to keep a potential partner interested without investing much effort.

3. Catfishing: Creating a fake identity on a social networking site to deceive others.

4. DTR (Define The Relationship): A conversation where two people discuss where their relationship is heading.

5. FWB (Friends With Benefits): A relationship where two people engage in sexual activities but are not committed to each other romantically.

6. Benching: Keeping someone on hold or as a backup while exploring other dating options.

7. LTR: "LTR" stands for "Long-Term Relationship." used in dating contexts, including online dating profiles and personal advertisements, to indicate a desire or openness to a relationship that is not casual or short-term in nature.

8. Zombie-ing: When someone who previously ghosted reappears and acts as if nothing happened.

9. Slow Fade: Gradually reducing contact and communication with someone you're dating, eventually leading to ghosting.

10. Cuffing Season: The period during colder months where people are more inclined to start a relationship.

11. Unicorn: The "unicorn" is typically a bisexual woman, though not exclusively, who is open to having romantic or sexual relations with both members of an already established couple.

12. Situationship: A relationship that's more than a friendship but less than a committed relationship.

13. Polyamory: Engaging in multiple romantic relationships with the consent of all parties involved.

14. Swiping: Referring to the act of using dating apps where you swipe right or left to show interest or disinterest.

15. Open Dating: A form of dating where individuals are open to having more than one romantic or sexual relationship at a time, with the consent and knowledge of all parties involved.

16. Netflix and Chill: Initially a casual invitation to watch Netflix together, it has become a euphemism for hooking up.

17. Gaslighting: Manipulative behavior used to make someone question their reality or sanity.

18. Love Bombing: Overwhelming someone with loving words, actions, and behavior as a manipulation technique.

19. Wanderlove: Experiencing romantic feelings or relationships while on the move. This could involve meeting new people and forming romantic connections during travels, or it could describe a romance that is particularly marked by travel and adventure.

20. SA (Sugar Daddy/Sugar Mommy): An older, wealthier person who provides financial benefits to a younger partner in exchange for companionship or sexual relations.

21. R-bombing: Reading a message and not responding to it.

22. Submarining: When someone you're dating disappears without a trace, then reappears without explanation, like a submarine.

23. Kittenfishing: Presenting oneself in an unrealistically positive way on a dating app, like using heavily edited photos or exaggerating one’s achievements.

24. Stashing: When someone you're dating avoids introducing you to their friends and family and keeps the relationship hidden.

25. Micro-Cheating: Small actions that could be interpreted as infidelity or indicate an interest in someone else, like flirty messages or secret contacts.

26. Mooning: Silencing notifications from a specific person, especially in a dating context.

27. Haunting: When a past date or ex-partner continues to interact with you on social media without direct communication.

28. Orbiting: Similar to haunting, it involves someone keeping in your social media orbit - they watch your Instagram stories or like your posts but don't have direct contact.

29. Bread-crumbing: Similar to breadcrumbing, it involves sending sporadic, non-committal messages.

30. Freckling: A summer fling; a relationship that starts during the summer and ends as the cooler months start.

31. Throning: Dating someone just to benefit from their status or popularity.

32. Roaching: The act of secretly dating multiple people without their knowledge, under the pretense of being exclusive.

33. Seeing Someone: Used to describe the early stage of a relationship where two people are getting to know each other.

34. Dating: Suggest a more serious intent and involvement than just "seeing someone." When people say they are dating, it often implies that they have moved beyond the initial exploratory phase to a more committed relationship.

35. Sneating: Going on dates with someone for the purpose of eating free food.

36. Catch and Release: Enjoying the thrill of the chase but losing interest once you've 'caught' the person.

37. Marleying: When an ex contacts you during Christmas holidays.

38. Gatsbying: Posting something on social media with the hope of getting one specific person’s attention.

39. Paperclipping: When someone pops back into your life for no other reason than to remind you of their existence, like the Microsoft Office paperclip.

40. Eclipsing: Adopting the interests and hobbies of the person one is dating.

41. Exoskeleton-ing: When an ex contacts your friends or family after you've broken up.

42. Caspering: A "friendlier" version of ghosting, where the person who's going to ghost tries to let you down easy before disappearing.

43. Draking: Being emotionally expressive about past relationships, often in a melancholic way, inspired by the rapper Drake.

44. Cushioning: Having a backup plan or keeping your options open by maintaining flirtatious relationships with other people while you're in a relationship.

45. Deep-Liking: Scrolling through someone's social media history and liking old pictures or posts.

46. Fishing: Sending out messages to a bunch of people on a dating app and then seeing who responds.

47. Flashpanner: Someone who enjoys the excitement of starting a relationship but doesn’t like the hard work of maintaining one.

48. Glamboozled: Getting fully dressed up for a date, only to have it canceled at the last minute.

49. Love Island-ing: Based on the TV show, it refers to putting all your eggs in one basket – focusing on one person at a time.

50. Mountaineering: Pursuing people who are perceived to be 'out of your league' or at a higher social status.

51. Obligaswiping: Continually swiping on dating apps out of a sense of obligation but with no real intention of meeting up.

52. Scrooging: Breaking up with someone right before the holidays to avoid buying them a gift.

53. Ship: Short for 'relationship', used as a verb to endorse or approve of two people being together.

54. Tindstagramming: Contacting someone through Instagram's direct messaging after seeing them on Tinder but not matching with them.

55. Uncuffing Season: The opposite of cuffing season, usually in the spring or summer, where people prefer to be single and casually date.

56. White Clawing: Staying with someone you find basic and boring, only because you find them attractive.

57. You-Turning: Falling head over heels for someone, but then suddenly changing your mind and pulling a 180.

58. Zumping: Getting dumped via a video conferencing app like Zoom.

59. Cookie Jarring: Keeping someone as a backup while you date other people, similar to keeping a cookie in the jar for later.

60. Dial-toning: Similar to ghosting, but happens before the relationship even starts. It's when you give someone your number, they reach out, and you never reply.

61. Elsa'd: Being 'frozen' out by someone you're dating – they stop responding to messages or calls.

62. Kanye'd: When your date spends the entire time talking about themselves.

63. Type-casting: Exclusively dating people based on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or other personality assessment results.

64. Houseplanting: Being in a relationship but not tending to it properly, leading it to 'wither' much like a neglected houseplant.

65. Jekylling: When someone seems nice when you first start talking but turns nasty when they’re rejected or don't get their way.

66. Quarantionship: A relationship that forms during the quarantine or lockdown period.

67. Rossing: Taking a break from your relationship and seeing other people, based on the famous 'we were on a break' line from the TV show "Friends".

68. Settling-In Syndrome: Staying in a relationship not because you’re happy but because you’ve gotten comfortable.

69. Vulturing: Circling someone who’s in a failing relationship, waiting for the chance to swoop in.

70. Wokefishing: Pretending to hold progressive political views to impress someone who actually does.

71. Yellow Carding: Calling someone out on their poor dating etiquette.

72. Zombie-ing 2.0: An advanced version of zombie-ing where someone gets back into your life and tries to act as if the past issues that caused the separation never happened.

73. Monkeying: Moving from one relationship to the next without a break in between, similar to how a monkey swings from branch to branch.

74. Serendipidating: Putting off a date in the hope something better comes along.

75. Tuning: Flirting with someone to gauge their interest but without serious intent.

76. Layby: Being in a relationship but keeping an eye out and laying the groundwork for a potential new partner.

77. Backburner Relationship: Keeping someone interested but in a secondary role, often while focusing on someone else.

78. Masturdating: Going out alone to a movie or a restaurant, like a date with yourself.

79. Textationship: A relationship based purely on text messages and online communication, without meeting in person.

80. Exing: Regularly talking about or comparing your current partner to an ex.

81. Bird Boxing: Being blind to the flaws of the person you're dating, inspired by the movie "Bird Box".

82. Hyping: Building someone up after a breakup so they feel confident to start dating again.

83. Phubbing: Snubbing your partner by constantly being on your phone.

84. Stashing 2.0: A more intense form of stashing, where you're kept completely separate from every aspect of your partner's life.

85. Sapiosexual: Being attracted to someone's intelligence above other traits.

86. Grande-ing: Celebrating your past relationships for what they've taught you, inspired by Ariana Grande’s song "Thank U, Next".

87. Kitten-zoning: When you're interested in someone primarily in a playful, non-serious way, similar to how one might interact with a kitten.

88. Walrus-ing: Feeling weighed down by the emotional baggage of your partner.

89. Fauxbae’ing: Pretending to be involved with someone when you're actually single, often done on social media.

90. Instagrandstanding: Tailoring your Instagram posts to attract a specific person's attention.

91. Hiberdating: Dating someone intensely during the winter and less during the summer.


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