Dating can be fun, but it can also be scary. Hence, the scariest dating trends to date exist.
Mainly online dating!
As a way to spread awareness and have a healthier love life, we have a list of the 10 scariest dating trends to watch out for! There are many more out there, but these ones stuck out the most to us. So stay aware and set your ground and boundaries straight beforehand.
1 Backburner Relationships
Have you ever listened to Backburner by Niki? It pretty much gave the painful gist of what it feels like to be in a relationship with one.
“Maybe I’m just not better than this, I haven’t tried, maybe life’s less romantic when I don’t wanna die. You’d think I’d be a fast learner, but guess I won’t ever mind crisping up on your backburner.”
Relationship and dating expert from Double Trust Jonathan Bennet informs that to be in a backburner relationship, you’re not a priority in the life of the person you’re seeing. You can be the second, third, fourth… You get the point.
For those who aren’t looking for serious relationships, they’d be okay with it. But if you’re on the contrary, it can be a bother. You’re willing to accept the bare minimum from this person, whether it be a once-in-a-while text or last-minute plans, in hopes they’ll choose you one day. Thus, you stick around in their backburner.
But reality check: they won’t ever choose you. They only go to you when it’s convenient and take charge of the whole relationship, doing things on their own terms as much as possible.
You know how in sports, there are some players benched when they aren’t chosen to play the round or the game at all? Well, that can apply to dating too.
Benching is when someone puts you aside on their bench as they continue to “play the game” aka dating around. And whatever kind of relationship you would want from them wouldn’t matter because regardless of their interest in you, they just aren’t ready to commit to any serious relationship yet.
Or probably never.
But it sucks if you are invested in them. Women’s Health states the reason behind such being “a surefire sign that they’re not into you enough (sorry) to be exclusive.” They may even reduce their interactions with you, near to going ghost like Danny Phantom.
Life is too short to be playing immature sports like this. So when you can sense that someone placed on their roster then continues exploring, it’s time to move on and get the relationship that’s actually aligned with your needs.
If you think ghosting is scary, cloaking is the scariest dating trend within its family tree. It starts when you’re prepped to finally meet the person you’ve been talking to for a while. Then when it’s game time, you’re get stood up. And on top of that, they block you on any social media app you’ve interacted with prior on. It’s like they showed and dipped, covering themselves in a huge cloak for you not to see. All without explanation!
It was first coined on Mashable by Rachel Thompson after a terrible online dating experience she had.
This dating trend is not as cozy as you may think. It’s on our list of scariest dating trends for a reason. Urban Dictionary defines Cushioning as a “dating technique” wherein someone explores other romantic “options” while also having an exclusive relationship. Those options are also called “cushions” as they are people who are in the roster of the taken person, chatting and flirting away. They’re present when things blow up within the main relationship.
Take it from us: this dating trend definitely counts as cheating.
This dating trend will surely be a waste of time if you’re near to experiencing it. Or maybe if you can walk out early on, go do it!
Life coach Ana Jovanovic defines Pocketing through NBC News as “a situation where a person you’re dating avoids or hesitates to introduce you to their friends, family or other people they know, in-person or on social media, even though you’ve been going out for a while.”
Basically, nobody has a clue that you and this person are together. And rather than shrugging that there’s a right time before meeting important people in their life, those who initiate pocketing intend to hide you away from everyone they’re close to. There are many reasons why they are pocketing you away, from fear of rejection to keeping with their personal facade.
As we said, a waste of your time so run away while you still can!
This dating trend is almost like catfishing’s younger, more chill sibling. But not entirely any better either. Glamour UK shares how kittenfishing is a lighter take on catfishing wherein you’d refine certain aspects to make yourself more appealing on dating apps. Although you don’t have an alternate identity, you set lies and deception about yourself.
Kittenfishing can vary from mild to extreme, from changing your height measurements, using outdated photos of yourself (no longer looking like them), lying about your age, heavily editing your photos, and even faking any job credentials and achievements.
Dating is meant to be an enjoyable and fun getaway from the stresses of life. Not an interview with someone you’re seeing in any location, asking you questions left and right. That way, they would see if you’re the perfect match for them. That’s what you call a Dateterview.
As defined by Essence, this dating trend is scary as the date would feel like a job interview, lacking the natural ease and comfort dates can bring. Plus, you wouldn’t know that it was one until your date tells you at the end of the night. A major bummer!
But this shouldn’t be the case at all when dating around. Let the conversation flow at its pace, and patiently see if you have chemistry. Dating shouldn’t feel like a job hunt that gets you nervous and antsy.
8 Not Putting A Label
What else do we need to explain here? Imagine being with someone romantically or sexually for a while, but there’s no proper label as things can still “fluctuate” or there’s thrill in being unconventional. Well, it’s a scary dating trend because it can eventually hurt one or both parties.
So if you’re with someone in an intimate way, label it! If dating, it can be either casual or exclusive. If sleeping around, then friends with benefits.
We also think that not putting a label can be scary because it can cause hurt and misunderstandings. Like imagine not caring about labels, yet you get angry towards your partner sleeping or kissing other people. Then the person you’re supposedly with said that they’re “exploring.” That means the two of you were never seeing each other eye to eye from the start, and there are no boundaries set as well.
You don’t want one of these scariest dating trends to infest your dating life.
Roaching refers to a dating term wherein someone is seeing and even sleeping around with multiple people while having a new, exclusive partner. CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking Susan Trombetti adds that even if the said partner is aware of another sexual partner, you could eventually realize that there are, in fact, more lovers than you would’ve thought.
The analogy with using cockroaches in this dating term is that once you start seeing one cockroach in your space, you know there’ll be more of them once the lights are on.
Ah, yes. Even in 2023, this dating trend is never not scary and very much alive (ironic). Boo!
Ghosting occurs when you’re getting to know someone and maybe went on a few dates with them. Then further into that stage, they suddenly stop talking to you and disappear. And no matter how else you contact them, there’s zero response. If it’s through a dating app, their account would be void, or the conversation is gone.
This occurrence sucks and can be an emotional pain when you’ve gained a strong connection with that person. Also, an a-hole move if you take it from us.
And that wraps up our listicle on the top 10 scariest dating trends! They are not ranked-based, as they’re all equally scary. From being cast aside on someone’s dating bench to going on daterviews without prior knowledge, online dating constantly produces new trends that can test our time and emotions.
But as long as we know what we want, know our worth, and set boundaries, we protect ourselves from falling into those traps. We all deserve a safe, happy dating life, not letting anyone take advantage of us!