Dating isn’t easy – everyone knows that. And, in a lot of ways, dating is becoming increasingly harder. Sure, you can meet more people nowadays thanks to a rise in online dating technology. But, that’s not always a good thing! Want proof? Just take a look at these new millennial dating terms and you’ll see what I mean.

Millennial Dating Terms

It seems like with every passing day, more and more dating terms are being invented. New trends in the realm of romance emerge, so we need new words to describe the douchery we’re experiencing. Thus, this is by no means a comprehensive list of dating slang.

And with that, here are the most relevant dating terms you need to know going into 2022:

New Millennial Dating Terms - Ghosting, Zombieing, Haunting, and more

Most Common Dating Terms

This first set of relationship terminology consists of words that you might already know. Words that have been around for the last 5-10 years or so.


In sports, Benching refers to a player sitting on the sidelines. They’re good enough to be part of the sports team, but they’re not necessarily the first choice to actually play. Instead, they’re just “on the bench” waiting.

Benching in dating is the same concept. You like someone, but you’re not quite ready to commit. But, you also don’t want to completely remove them from the roster. Instead, you want to keep them as an option.


With Breadcrumbing, someone continuously sends out flirtatious texts but never actually follows through. It’s similar to benching in that the person wants to keep you around. But, with breadcrumbing, they’re not really interested in a potential relationship. They just want you to think they are.

Another difference is that breadcrumbing is often used by exes after a breakup.


Moving on to a much more positive word, Breezing is all about being carefree and authentic. It refers to taking an easy, breezy approach to dating. But, it’s also about being direct and honest.

Rather than playing games, you’re able to acknowledge your feelings and what you want upfront. It might sound like the opposite of appearing easy-going, but in reality, it means that you’re confident enough to be yourself.


I’m fairly certain everyone is aware of what Catfishing is. As far as dating terms go, it’s probably one of the more commonly used ones. Basically, catfishing is where someone creates a false identity to lure in prospective romantic partners.

If you’ve ever shown up to a date only to find that the person looks NOTHING like their profile, it’s a sure sign you’ve been catfished.

But, Catfishing is just the tip of the iceberg! There are plenty of other ways people misrepresent themselves online.


Just like kittens are smaller versions of cats, Kittenfishing is a smaller, less harmful version of Catfishing. Basically, it’s when someone isn’t outright lying on their dating profile, but they’re definitely bending the truth. For example, using old or highly edited photos to look more attractive.


Then you’ve got Wokefishing. This is when the person isn’t lying about their appearance, but rather their beliefs. Taken from the term “woke,” wokefishing describes someone who deliberately tries to appear more progressive and socially aware than they really are.


I admit, I laughed when I first heard of this one. Cockfishing is, as you can probably guess, the act of sending fake – or highly photoshopped – dick pics.


I’ve talked about Cuffing before, the dating trend that sees singletons seeking winter companionship. With cuffing, people who would typically prefer to be single decide to jump into a relationship during the cooler months to avoid spending the holidays alone.

Related Read: Cuffing in the time of Covid


But, Cuffing isn’t the only seasonal dating trend. There’s also what’s known as Freckling. It’s the same concept, only instead of snuggling up for the winter, it describes looking for summer romance.


Another one of the most common dating terms around is Ghosting. This is an incredibly cruel act where someone you’re dating abruptly ends all communication. There’s no warning, no explanation, and no common decency. Simply put, ghosting is one of the main reasons why dating sucks.


Caspering is like a friendly version of ghosting. Instead of completely disappearing, the person will slowly start to fade out of your life. They’ll respond to texts in a less timely – and more vague – manner. They might say they’re interested in going out again, but never follow through. In reality, it’s just another word for leading someone on.


If Caspering is a gentler version of ghosting, Cloaking is like ghosting to the max. Not only does the person ghost you without any explanation, they also go the extra mile by blocking you on all social media platforms and/or dating apps.

The “cloaker” will completely vanish, just as one would if wearing a Harry Potter invisibility cloak.


If someone ghosts you, but then continues to watch your Instagram or Snapchat stories, they’re Haunting you. This could also refer to someone simply following you on social media platforms in order to continue lurking in the background of your life.


Orbiting is pretty similar to haunting – in fact, some people use the terms interchangeably. But, typically, Orbiting refers to any ex who continues to watch your social media stories or like your posts. Basically, it’s the same thing as haunting but with someone who didn’t ghost you first.

Related Read: Why Orbiting your Ex is a Terrible, Terrible Idea


Pocketing (also called Stashing) refers to when the person you’re dating actively keeps you hidden. This could look like not introducing you to family and friends, not bringing you to social gatherings, or leaving you (and your relationship) off social media.


What’s that saying? If you see a cockroach, there are several more you can’t see? That’s the basic principle behind this next dating term.

Roaching is when the person you’re dating is secretly dating (or sleeping with) multiple other partners.


Just like roaching, Vulturing uses the imagery of an unappealing animal to depict an even less appealing dating trend.

Vulturing happens when someone can sense that a relationship is failing, thus they start circling their prey. Basically, the person knows the couple might break up soon, so they’re waiting around to swoop in and date (or sleep with) one partner. It implies that they’re taking advantage of someone in a vulnerable position.


A zombie is, essentially, someone who comes back from the dead. In dating, it’s no different. Zombieing refers to an ex who comes back into your life, most often after ghosting you.


Another form of Zombieing is Submarining. The difference is that with zombieing, the person typically tries to offer up a lame excuse about why they disappeared on you. With Submarining, they simply reappear and pretend as if nothing happened.


And, then there’s Marleying. This is yet another version of Zombieing, but the ex in question returns around the holiday season.

New Dating Slang

While some of those terms might be new to you, this next set most likely will be. These are the most recent slang words to come out of the last year or two. Plus, the upcoming trends singles can expect to see in 2022, complete with fun new names to go with them!


Taken from the words ‘Bae’ and ‘vacation,’ Baecationing consists of going on vacation with your significant other. However, the term implies going on vacation with someone you’ve either just met or only recently started dating.


This one is almost certainly born out of the recent pandemic, and in particular, the rise of anti-vaxxers. But, it could also refer to flat-earthers or climate change deniers. Darwining just means refusing to date someone who doesn’t believe in science.


The basic idea behind Exploridating is to broaden your horizons. Basically, it means being open to dating people outside of your typical “type.”


Taken from the popular Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit, Gambiting refers to taking a strategic and calculated approach to dating.


This is another one of the rare positive dating terms I’ve seen. In fact, it’s probably my favorite one on this list. Essentially, Hardballing is when you tell someone your expectations upfront, before you even go out with them. It’s a way of clearly expressing what you’re looking for along with your wants and needs in a relationship.


With hardballing, you’re ensuring that you’re pursuing relationships that are right for you. Fast-Forwarding is a similar concept. It entails looking towards the future and deciding how a potential partner might fit with what you want.


And last, but certainly not least, we have what’s known as White-Clawing. I think back in the day we just called this one ‘shallow,’ but white-clawing is dating someone because you find them extremely attractive, even if they’re also boring and/or basic.


I’m sure that 2022 will see some new slang to describe courtship. But, for now, those are my top dating words to be familiar with.

How many of these dating terms have you heard of? Are there any others I may have missed? Make sure to let me know in the comments below!

As always, thank you for reading. And to those of you who are dating in 2022, God speed.


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  1. avatar

    This is so cool ! I learning a lot from this article, can’t wait to use these use my friend

  2. avatar

    Totally feel really old, because all I knew was catfishing! Very interesting post and good to know what to look out for x

    1. avatar

      Lol, don’t feel old! I didn’t know half of them until I started researching for this post

  3. avatar

    Wow okay, these are completely new terms to me, I feel really old haha! But I’m not dating, so I guess I have an excuse x

    1. avatar

      Ha! I actually didn’t know a lot of them either until recently.

  4. avatar

    So many words!! I can’t keep up… >_<

    1. avatar

      LOL, I know! It’s so crazy to me

  5. avatar

    I didn’t know there were so many dating terms! I feel so out of the loop hahaha!! I knew ghosting and orbiting, but benching and versions of cat-fishing I did not know about. Thank you for putting together this list. If I forget what a term means, I can refer back to your post 😂

    1. avatar

      I didn’t know how many there were, either! It was a fun post to put together – and it’s crazy how many new forms of “fishing” keep popping up

  6. avatar

    I love this post! I only knew a few of these ones haha, but this was a funny and enlightening post!

    1. avatar

      It really shows a lot about dating culture, doesn’t it?

  7. avatar

    Thank you for providing this mini dictionary of current dating terms! It’s been a long time since I’ve dated but i hear these terms in movies or on TV or in books and now I have a resource!

    1. avatar

      LOL – so glad to be of service!

  8. avatar
    According to Chren says:

    We’re millennials and only knew a few of these. Thanks for sharing!

    1. avatar

      I’m exactly the same way! I had to look some up because I’d never heard of them before – but it’s always fascinating to me

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30ish Lifestyle blogger, relationship "expert," and modern-day agony aunt.
Sometimes humorous, always honest.