Online Dating Slang, Lingo, Jargon, Phrases and Terms: Stashing, Ghosting, Hatfishing & 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 innature. I provide these not that you use them but rather so that you can identify those that do more easily. 


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. 


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


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. 


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


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


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 significantly old 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). 


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


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


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


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. 


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. 


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


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. 


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

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.

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