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Dating Trends

Dating trends of a new generation: A ready Gen Z reckoner

Do you know what breadcrumbing is? These are terms you should know and watch out for when dating and swiping on those apps

Aatreyee Mohanta | Published 17.11.22, 07:32 PM
Before you jump into the dating maze, know these terms

Before you jump into the dating maze, know these terms

All graphics by Aatreyee Mohanta

Did you recently get back into the dating game, or have you been dating for a while and seem to find yourself lost? We believe in no person being left behind because dating in 2022 is no joke! It is the stuff of champions, if you ask us. To break it down further, imagine dating in 2022 as a complicated video game with challenges at every level and surprises around the corner with rewards (sometimes). All you have to do is be patient and keep playing, or swiping in this context! We’re here to be the voice in your head (in a good way) so you can manoeuvre your way through the obstacle course that dating is, starting with familiarising you with the words, traits and signals you should know about. You might have faced these in your attempt to date this year, but never knew about it. So here are words of advice, many, #relatable quirks, jokes and more.

Red flag

How can we talk about dating in 2022 and not talk about red flags? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about this one. It could be a habit, a personality trait, or some pet peeve. If one was playing Pictionary and someone drew a red flag, it would signify danger — well, that’s the best definition of this term. It indicates that someone has a quality that would later translate into them being a problematic partner. It is also one of those things that you will identify in the quintessential ****boy. So here’s what to watch out for to avoid the here-to-waste-your-time date — jealousy, messages only late in the night, controlling and possessive behaviour, lies.


Soft launch

Soft launching is one of the reasons why the Gen Z and millennials are both winning and losing at dating! It is a great way to fulfil one’s need to post about their beau on their social media minus the commitment and ritualistic cleansing of one’s feed (in case that romance doesn’t work out, oops). How to do the classic soft launch? Put a story on your social media with an image of a table full of food or two cold bottles of beer — everyone knows you’re out with someone, but you don’t tag them or put their face on your story. Your story might sneakily feature their side face or arm, so your friends and followers know something’s cooking but you leave them guessing! How much fun is that?


If you’re wondering what this phenomenon is, it’s probably the situation you’re currently in. You speak to them all the time, hang out with them more often than you do with others, share all your traumas, and tell them how your day went but here’s the catch — you’re not in a committed relationship with them. They’re still seeing other people and want you to do the same. You’ve caught a classic case of the situationship! If you want our advice, run as fast as you can, and don’t look back. If they haven’t committed to you after months of this, it’s unlikely they’re going to in the future either.

Love bombing

Matched with a cutie on a dating app? Oh, F-U-N! Are they saying all the right things and making you feel like the centre of their whole world within days of talking? Maybe not as much fun as it seems. This is exactly what love bombing is. It’s an unhealthy practice of essentially ‘bombing someone with love’ and before you know it they’ve said I love you before you even got a chance to take a breath. This is a red flag (see above) that usually translates to emotional manipulation more often than not, so if you feel claustrophobic in a situation like this, best to take a step back.


If you think this is something out of Hansel and Gretel, you’re not very far off. The meaning of this term, if broken down to the simplest terms, is actually using a trail of proverbial breadcrumbs to keep someone engaged and on their tail. Emotionally speaking, it is a situation where one gives you just enough attention to keep you hooked on to them without ever following up. A text message, a reaction to your story or even a plan to go on a date — but then you never hear back. If you’re someone who is experiencing this, say #ThankYouNext and move on!


This one gets into serious red flag territory and a form of emotional abuse so read carefully. If your partner is dismissing all your feelings and trying to convince you that you are overreacting when you’re expressing yourself and trying to discuss things, they might be probably gaslighting you When a person convinces the other that they are in the wrong and use irrational explanations to shed off any blame. Not only does this make it easier for them to manipulate someone but also reduce the self-worth and self-esteem of the person on the receiving end of the behaviour making them very dependent and unable to let go. If you’re reading this and feel like you’ve experienced this or are going through something similar, reach out to friends and family for help. You’re not alone and you will emerge from this stronger, you’ve got it! *insert bicep emoji*


With the weather getting colder, everyone seems to be cuffing, but what is it exactly? While it sounds like something NSFW and kinky, it’s actually sort of adorable and hilarious. It just means pairing up and getting into relationships during the colder months of the year (some call it acquiring a cuddle partner) even though one is not completely interested in commitment. Just be careful and know where your emotional boundaries are. (All the single people out there, do you know what this feels like? No? Us neither, pass the bottle!)


This is another term, which is seemingly much simpler to understand than people think. The concept is similar to what it means in sports. It means to have someone on the sidelines or ‘benched’ as an option because you’re not ready to commit or just don’t feel so strongly for them. If you’re benching someone, it might be understandable where you’re coming from, because everyone loves a little bit of attention, but on a serious note — STOP. And if you’re getting benched, time to get off the bench and start swiping on the dating apps again!


This is the unholy (because ghosting, geddit?) dating phenomenon that everyone is guilty of. It refers to stopping any and all communication with someone without any warning whatsoever. It could be because you lost interest or because you feel someone is getting clingy, or many other reasons, but a serial ghoster doesn’t really need one — red flag! While it can be difficult to find closure in situations like this, such is dating in 2022, pfft!


To all the hopeless romantics out there who crib about having bad luck when it comes to dating and love, this one’s for you! This is a phenomenon where one keeps dating the same kind of person over and over and over again expecting different results. Riddle us this — if you add lime to milk, it will curdle every time, right? So then how do you expect to keep dating the same toxic emotionally unavailable bad boy and not get your feelings crushed every time? We would love for you to say this mantra so you can manifest it before you begin your day — “I am not a rehabilitation centre, therefore it is not my responsibility to fix, heal and repair every broken soul out there.” Do yourself a favour and spare yourself, and break your own pattern. Dating can be fulfilling, if you take your time and start a relationship with mutual respect.

Last updated on 10.08.23, 03:07 PM

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