In an increasingly digitalized world, where social networks and dating apps have redefined the landscape of romance and flirting, maintaining a spontaneous and sustained conversation has become an endangered art.
Terms like ghosting, bread-crumbing, love-bombing, etc., have invaded our vocabulary, describing situations that many experience in the realm of love and relationships, especially after the 2020 pandemic. But the list goes on…
That’s why, in this article, we aim to explore these terms and understand more deeply how these trends affect our relationships and how we can face them.
What is ghosting? The number 1 of romantic horror
This term describes the action of a person cutting off all contact and communication with another suddenly and without any explanation. In the maze of modern relationships, ghosting has become an unwanted but frequent guest. Imagine you are on a date, sharing laughs and confidences, and then, poof!, as if by magic, that person disappears without a trace. The solution? If you feel that something is not right, express it. There is nothing more liberating than sincerity in a world full of digital profiles.
If you think you are a victim of ghosting, observe the situation from the outside and learn to read the signs: Does he or she respond to your messages with enthusiasm, or does it take days to answer with a simple “ok”? Remember, in the era of instant communication, indifference is also a form of communication. If you notice disinterest, perhaps it is better to take the initiative and ask directly. This way, you will be one step ahead in this game of modern dating.
Bread-crumbing or how to leave you wanting more
Bread-crumbing is the act of giving hope with small doses of attention, keeping someone interested without the intention of something serious. Combating it is quite a challenge. First, identify the pattern: if you only receive sporadic attention and there are never concrete plans, you are likely facing a bread-crumber.
The key to facing this situation is to set boundaries. Be clear about what you are looking for and what you are willing to accept. If you are looking for a serious relationship and you find someone who only offers crumbs, maybe it’s time to look for someone more committed. Value your time and affection.
Love-bombing: from everything to nothing
Love-bombing is a rather dangerous tactic. It consists of an overload of affection, gifts, and early promises in the relationship, which can be overwhelming and, generally, insincere. To combat it, it is essential to take things slowly. If you feel that everything is moving too fast, do not hesitate to hit the brakes.
For this, the main key is to stay anchored in reality. Talk to friends or family about what is happening to you. Often, an external perspective can help you see things more clearly. It is better to build a relationship little by little, based on trust and mutual knowledge, not on a whirlwind of disproportionate emotions.
Curving: dodging commitment
Curving is the art of rejecting someone indirectly. Instead of saying “I am not interested,” the person usually employs excuses or responds vaguely. In this case, the word we have to engrave in fire is ‘self-esteem’. Do not settle for less than you deserve.
When you feel that you are constantly being strung along, confront the situation with empathy. Ask directly if there is interest or not. If you confront directly, you may feel uncomfortable at first, but it will save you time and energy. Sometimes, a clear “no” is more valuable than a thousand evasive responses.
Orbiting: that person who never goes away
Orbiting occurs when someone no longer communicates directly with you but continues “orbiting” around your life, usually through social networks: watching your stories on Instagram or your updates on other networks. To combat orbiting, do not hesitate to block or limit their access to your online life.
An effective strategy is to focus on your own emotional well-being. Invest time in activities and people who positively contribute to you. If it helps as a mantra: the presence of someone (virtual) should not have a negative impact on your real life. Keep your digital boundaries as firm as the real ones.
Benching: becoming the second choice
Benching is like having someone on hold, keeping them as a secondary option while looking for other relationships. This tactic is very selfish and frustrating. To combat benching, it is essential to keep your principles and values in mind. If you feel that you are being relegated to the background, cut off the relationship or communicate it. Express your expectations and needs in the relationship.
If the other person cannot offer you what you are looking for, perhaps it is time to reconsider whether it is worth investing your time in that relationship. Keep in mind that you deserve a relationship in which you are a priority, not an option.
Gaslighting: “Am I going crazy?”
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation where one person makes another doubt their reality, memory, or perceptions. It not only hurts but often shows a lot of insecurity. Combating gaslighting involves trusting your judgment and perceptions. If you feel that something is not right, you are probably correct.
As with other terms, the key here is to seek external support. Talking with friends, family, or a professional can help you validate your experiences and feelings. The next step is to establish clear boundaries with the person who is performing the gaslighting. And in the most severe cases, it may be necessary to distance yourself from the relationship to preserve your mental and emotional well-being.
The world of modern dating sometimes seems like a minefield, full of new terms and trends that reflect the challenges of finding love in the digital age. However, understanding these terms not only offers us a relaxed view of dating but also provides us with tools to face these challenges with greater awareness and skill.
At the end of the day, remember that behind every screen and every text message, there are real people with feelings, expectations, and hopes. The key to connecting with someone (virtually and physically) is based on respect and empathetic communication. In a constantly changing world, these values are more essential than ever.
Author: Andrés Suro (Sexual Coach at MYHIXEL)
Psychologist specialized in the social area and expert in sexology applied to education.
PS: Remember you can book a private consultation with me at MYHIXEL CLINIC. Book your appointment here.