The Code of Love: Explaining Dating Terminology

Dating terminology explained

If language is the root to unifying with another person, then the language of dating is, by necessity, a bit mental. If you’ve had a fair break away from singledom – maybe you’ve just come out of a relationship, or you’re trying this ‘online’ thing for the first time – then a jabber of jargon awaits you: words and phrases that reflect the difficulties, and manifold forms, of finding a relationship in this chaotic modern world of ours.

It’s enough to put anyone off their love pudding before they take a bite. To counter, we’ve put our detective hats on to break down some baffling acronyms, portmanteaus, and plain slang knocking around the digital dating hemisphere…

DTR = Define the relationship

You’ve heard of Facebook relationship updates, right? Announcing your matchmaking to close friends and family can put a lot of pressure on blossoming romance. As such, more and more couples are content to ‘date’ for several months, or even years, before they officially become an item. However that’s expressed will be down to you, but at some stage you’ll have to DTR, and initiate a serious talk.

Ghosting = Au revoir!

Unfortunately, some daters do like to string along daisy-chains of admirers, getting a buzz out of holding several, intimate conversations at once. They might even meet you for a drink and keenly pronounce their interest. You feel warm and happy and then the next moment… POOF, they’re gone in a cloud of unanswered text messages. This is ghosting: the practise of leaving a potential lover’s life, without so much as a goodbye.

Bae = Essential emotional property

Baby, boo-boo, bebz… the B word of the moment has gone through another permutation. Bae is an affection, endearment, and label of ownership. We all have one bae, like a soul or a special pair of undies, and like these items, it’s impossible to share yours with anyone else.

Lumbersexual = A man who can’t possibly exist

This is a term that we took time to unearth… Basically, a lumbersexual is the epitome of the rustic romantic: think big arms, a barrel chest swathed in chequered print, and a scraggly beard that looks noble under an acorn tree. So almost like a lumberjack-themed stripper-gram, except a lot more tasteful, offset as it is by the suspicion that men who dress like this probably have an admin job at the local pharmacy.

Catfish = Here be monsters

Spawned from a 2010 documentary and its subsequent TV series, catfish are a definite staple of internet fears. They’re the stories we tell ourselves can never happen to us – a long-distance relationship built on a gargantuan lie, for instance, or unnerving age gaps that are papered over with deceptive pictures and conversation tactics.

Anonymity is a powerful drug to the catfish clique; any dating sites that don’t rigorously monitor profiles, user behaviour and multiple accounts can’t be trusted to keep them from your door.

We don’t want dating to confuse you; the process of finding someone should be as a clear as an arrow slicing through the sky. So we hope you have a bit of a handle on these terms, and some of your doubts are allayed about getting back on the horse. Start looking for local singles today, and test out your newfound glossary to see how clued-up they are; just please don’t use DTR as your subject line!


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