List of Online Dating Slang, Lingo, Jargon, Phrases, Terms And Their Meanings: Stashing, Ghosting, Hatfishing, Catfishing, Sexting, Breadcrumbing, Thirsty & More

When it comes to online dating, you will notice a certain set of terms people use to describe others and situations. Most of these terms are used by immature folks, are cringeworthy in nature. I provide these not that you use them but rather so that you can identify those that do more easily.

These are terms largely created by news outlets and pop culture sites aimed at millennials and used commonly by the folks on Reddit and other anonymous platforms.

What Is Ghosting?

The act of suddenly disappearing without a trace after several dates. One of the most ambiguous terms on this list with respect to timing. Note ghosting cannot happen after one date or if you have never gone on a date.

Stashing Definition

The act where a person keeps you away from others in his/her life (friends, family, colleagues, social media etc.) when dating.

Sexting

Sexting is defined as the sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images, videos, memes, jokes, emojis primarily between people.

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What is Hatfishing? 

The act where a guy wears a hat in all his dating photos and even his early dates with the intention of hiding his hair loss.

What Does Dogfishing Mean?

The act where an insecure guy uses a dog (not his own) in dating photos in order to lure women.

Breadcrumbing

Act of sending limited, sporadic messages to keep people in mind but resulting in the relationship being stuck in neutral.

What is Catfishing?

The act whereby a user creates a fake profiles to stalk or target a victim for abuse, deception or fraud. Can also refer to actual dating profiles whereby users deliberately use photos that are old and outdated i.e. 5 years or more or don’t reflect how the user looks like today (usually men who lost hair or gained weight or women how have gained weight or used photos to make them look younger).

Submarining Definition

Like ghosting but the person reappears randomly into your life without explanation.

What does Thirsty mean?

Act of being too eager like a wanderer thirsting for water in the dessert

Momfishing

The act whereby a guy sets up a dating profile pretending to be his mom and contacts women on behalf of her son (himself).

What does Right Swipe mean?

Mean yes, I like this person. Similarly, I approve.

Left-Swipe definition?

No, I do not approve of this person, idea or suggestion.

Benching

Act of stringing someone along slowly without formally ending the relationship.

Cuffing Season

End of fall through winter season where single people are more likely to join dating apps and date each other to keep company during the cold months.

DTR Conversation

Define the relationship. Acronym when one person has a conversation to define the dating situation usually to confirm whether it is casual or a committed relationship.

Incel

Involuntary celibates are a part of an online subculture who define themselves as unable to find a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one.

Slow Fade

Attempt to distance oneself in a relationship by reducing contact, taking longer to respond in hopes that the other person will break things off.

Roaching

When a person you are seeing is hiding the fact they are seeing others. When confronted they scamper off without explanation like a cockroach.

Pie Hunting

The act of deliberately seeking out single people with a disastrous dating or relationship history with the idea these folks are vulnerable and thus easier and lower-maintenance to approach.

Orbiting

Like ghosting but you continue to stalk the person online usually on Instagram.

Cushioning

Process of keeping in tough and in good terms with a few people in case your other pursuits do not work out.

Friends With Benefits

Term used for those seeking to maintain a platonic relationship with the benefits of hooking up but without the work or effort of relationships i.e. valentine’s dates, gifts for birthdays, holding hands etc.

Love Bombing

Outwardly aggressive flirtation, compliments usually online. Usually performed by folks who are super lonely or trying to build control over someone to take advantage of them.

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About Eddie Hernandez 

Eddie Hernandez is a professional photographer specializing in natural, candid online dating photos. Featured in the SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle. In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice and date ideas. https://eddie-hernandez.com/contact/

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For those of you who are remote or virtual dating help and are looking for an online dating profile critique you can read more about my services here.

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Online Dating Frequently Asked Questions (Photos, App Choice, Wardrobe, Messaging, Bios and More): https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-frequently-asked-questions/