Guide to online dating behaviours

Not sure if your romantic crush is ‘ghosting’ you or if you’re just being ‘haunted’? This handy guide might help …

It’s a truism of modern dating that no one knows what they are doing anymore. As technology has exploded our capacity to find potential mates and take them to tapas bars with outsized wine glasses, we’ve all had to relearn our sexual “moves” from first principles, like stone age hunter-gatherers suddenly asked to perform credit default swaps.

Yet what’s becoming apparent is that we all don’t know what we’re doing in remarkably consistent ways. These quirks – and the rules formulated by a panoply of breathless dating gurus who promise to help you navigate them – have required a new language. Earlier this year, “ghosting” entered the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and newer terms like “cushioning” won’t be far behind. For the avoidance of both confusion and online dating gurus, here’s a roundup of this freshly born lingo.

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Alex Vidal