72 Modern Dating Terms You Need To Know In 2024!

If you find yourself in the realm of modern dating, we want you to be armed with all of the knowledge and situations that may arise. Try not to take anything too personal here. A lot of the terms are inspired by social discussions and represent some of the dynamics men and women face in real-world-dating.

As they say, knowledge is power! And what better power is there than knowing where you stand with somebody in love and relationships. This is an extensive list but we may have missed some.

If so, feel free to reach out and let us know! Likewise, if you think we have a meaning twisted, feel free to correct us; we’re only human, we make mistakes!

Modern Dating Terms Glossary


When someone you’re dating suddenly cuts off all communication without any explanation. It’s like they’ve vanished into thin air, leaving you wondering what happened.


Leading someone on with sporadic messages without the intention of getting serious. It’s the digital equivalent of Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs but less charming and more frustrating.


Benching is akin to having a reserve player in sports. You’re part of the squad, but not the starting line-up; you’re kept around as an option should circumstances call for your participation. It’s a dynamic where commitment isn’t the priority; instead, it’s about having someone available as a fallback while other possibilities are pursued.


Zombieing refers to the phenomenon of someone who previously ghosted you, meaning they stopped all communication without explanation, unexpectedly re-entering your life. This resurgence often takes place through a nonchalant message, attempting to pick up where things left off as if no time has passed or no ghosting ever occurred.


Catfishing is the act of adopting a false persona on the internet, often with fabricated stories and photos, to deceive others into an emotional or romantic relationship. It’s comparable to using an alluring yet deceptive bait to reel in a catch; the true identity behind the profile is not as it appears.

DTR (Define The Relationship)

A conversation where you clarify the status of your relationship. It’s the “what are we?” talk.


Flirting with others while you’re in a relationship, just in case it doesn’t work out. Think of it as having cushions to fall back on.

Love Bombing

love bombing

Love bombing is a tactic where one person showers their partner with excessive affection and attention right at the beginning of the relationship. Although it might seem like genuine adoration, it can actually be a manipulative behavior aimed at quickly winning over the partner’s trust and affection for ulterior motives.

Slow Fade

Gradually reducing contact and response times before disappearing completely. It’s like ghosting, but in slow motion.


When an ex keeps interacting with your social media posts but doesn’t communicate directly. They’re in your orbit, close enough to see what’s up but far enough to avoid actual contact.


Similar to orbiting, but it involves an ex watching you on social media without any direct communication. It’s like they’re a ghost lurking in the shadows of your online world.


A summer fling. Just like freckles, it appears during the sunny days and fades away as the season changes.

Cuffing Season

cuffing season

Cuffing season refers to the time during autumn and winter when individuals who would normally prefer being single or casually dating tend to seek serious relationships in order to have a partner with whom they can spend the colder months.

The concept plays on the idea of being “cuffed” or tied down by a relationship, as people often desire warmth and companionship during this time, which has been likened to animals hibernating but with an emphasis on enjoying cuddles and affection.


A lighter version of catfishing where someone portrays themselves in an unrealistically positive light. It’s like using a really good filter for your life.


When someone you were seeing disappears for a period of time, then suddenly resurfaces without explanation. It’s like a submarine; they go deep underwater and then pop back up.


A relationship that’s not quite defined. More than friends with benefits, but less than an official couple.


Reading your message but not replying. You see the ‘Read’ receipt, but there’s radio silence on the other end.

Thirst Trap

A sexy photo posted on social media to attract attention. It’s like setting a trap with a really attractive bait.

FBO (Facebook Official)

Making a relationship public on Facebook. It’s the digital equivalent of shouting from the rooftops that you’re together.


A relationship that exists only through texts or DMs. You’re chatting up a storm, but never actually meet in person.


Small, seemingly insignificant actions that suggest interest in someone outside your relationship. It’s not full-blown cheating but can feel like betrayal.

Red Pill

A belief system centered around the idea that men are oppressed by societal norms and feminism. Originating from “The Matrix,” where taking the red pill means awakening to harsh realities, it’s often used in dating contexts to suggest that men need to be aware of and resist societal changes in gender dynamics.

Blue Pill

The opposite of the red pill, it represents conventional thinking and acceptance of societal norms regarding gender and relationships. In “The Matrix,” the blue pill signifies staying in blissful ignorance. In dating, it implies adherence to traditional beliefs about relationships and gender roles.


Showing excessive sympathy or attention towards someone, usually in a romantic or sexual context, often without reciprocation. It’s often used derogatorily to describe a person who is perceived as being overly subservient or attentive to someone they’re attracted to, usually in hopes of winning their affection.

For the Streets

A phrase used to describe someone who is perceived as not suitable for a serious relationship, often due to their lifestyle or behavior. It’s a way of saying that a person is more suited to casual encounters than committed relationships.

Hit the Wall

hit the wall

Hit the wall is a derogatory term implying that a woman has reached an age beyond which she is considered no longer attractive or desirable in the dating scene. This concept is steeped in controversy due to its inherently ageist and sexist nature, as it unfairly discriminates against women based on their age, perpetuating harmful stereotypes and societal pressures.


A slang term that, when viewed upside down, resembles the word ‘hoe.’ It’s used to derogatorily describe someone who is perceived as promiscuous or sexually loose.

MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way)

A movement of men choosing to stay away from relationships and marriage, often due to beliefs about legal and social systems being biased against men. It’s a stance some men take in response to what they perceive as challenges in modern gender dynamics.


The act or practice of seeking a partner of higher socioeconomic status or caste than oneself. Often discussed in forums concerning dating strategies and social dynamics.

Monkey Branching

Monkey branching refers to the behavior where an individual is involved in a romantic relationship but at the same time is looking for another potential partner or engaging in flirtatious behavior with others.

The term draws a parallel to how a monkey swings from one tree branch to another, holding onto one branch before grabbing the next, ensuring they are not left hanging. In relational terms, this means a person may avoid being single by securing a new relationship before exiting their current one.

Plate Spinning

Dating multiple people at the same time to keep options open. It’s like the circus act of spinning several plates on sticks, with each plate representing a different romantic interest.


A manipulative strategy of giving a backhanded compliment or a slight insult to undermine someone’s confidence and increase their need for the manipulator’s approval. Often discussed in the context of pickup artistry.


Psychologically manipulating someone to question their own sanity or perception of reality. While not exclusive to dating, it’s often discussed in the context of toxic relationships.

AWALT (All Women Are Like That)

A belief in some male-centric online forums that all women behave in certain negative ways. It’s a generalization used to justify certain attitudes or behaviors towards women.

AMALT (All Men Are Like That)

The counterpart to AWALT, suggesting that all men behave in certain stereotypical ways. Like AWALT, it’s a generalization used in discussions about dating and relationships.

Cold Approach

Approaching a stranger in a public place to initiate a romantic or sexual encounter. Often discussed in forums that focus on pickup techniques.

DHV (Demonstration of Higher Value)

An action or behavior intended to impress or attract a romantic or sexual partner, by showcasing one’s supposed higher social value. Commonly mentioned in discussions about pickup strategies.


An unhealthy fixation on a specific person, accompanied by an unwillingness to pursue others. It’s like having tunnel vision for one person, often discussed in the context of unrequited love or unsuccessful pursuit.


A situation where one person wants to be romantically involved with a friend who only sees them platonically. It’s a common term in discussions about unrequited affection.

Incels (Involuntary Celibates)

Individuals who desire a romantic or sexual relationship but find themselves unable to establish one, often leading to a sense of resentment or entitlement. The term is frequently used in certain online communities to describe a shared experience of isolation and rejection.

Chad / Stacy

Stereotypes used in certain forums to describe the idealized man (Chad) or woman (Stacy) who are perceived as successful in the sexual market due to their attractiveness and social skills. These terms are often used in discussions about sexual dynamics and attractiveness.

SMV (Sexual Market Value)

A term used to describe a person’s value in the dating scene, based on attributes like looks, social status, wealth, etc. It’s a controversial concept, often discussed in forums that analyze dating from a market perspective.


Short for ‘female involuntary celibates,’ referring to women, who feel unable to engage in romantic or sexual relationships. This term is prevalent in certain online forums.

PUA (Pick-Up Artist)

Someone who practices strategies to attract and seduce sexual partners. Often associated with specific techniques and approaches discussed in various forums and books.


Posting something on social media with the hope of getting one specific person’s attention. Just like Gatsby throwing extravagant parties hoping Daisy would show up.


Silencing notifications from a specific person. It’s not blocking, just a break from their constant pings.

High Value Man

A high-value man is often seen as someone who possesses significant social status, financial stability, and admirable personal qualities. He is typically celebrated for his achievements, self-assurance, and capability to support and nurture. Within dating and relationships, he is viewed as the epitome of what is attractive and sought-after due to these attributes.

Leveling Up

The process of improving oneself to be more attractive or successful in the dating market. This can include working on physical appearance, career success, social skills, or other personal attributes.

High Value Woman

A high value woman is perceived as highly desirable for her femininity, looks, personality, success, or various other attributes. She garners attention in conversations regarding the traits that make her appealing to men who are considered successful and of high status.

Soft Nexting

Temporarily distancing oneself from a partner or romantic interest, usually in response to undesirable behavior, with the intention of resuming the relationship later. It’s less severe than a hard breakup and leaves room for reconnection.

Hard Nexting

Permanently ending a relationship or cutting off contact with a romantic interest, with no intention of reconnecting. It’s a definitive break, often used when the relationship is deemed beyond repair.


A derogatory term used by some in incel communities to describe a woman they believe has had too many sexual partners. It reflects negative attitudes and misogyny prevalent in some online forums.

Alpha / Beta

‘Alpha’ refers to men who are considered to be at the top of the social status hierarchy. They are typically characterized by traits such as confidence, assertiveness, and the ability to lead others.

Alpha males are often seen as attractive by women due to their perceived strength and ability to provide security. On the other hand, ‘Beta’ describes men who are regarded as lower on the social ladder when it comes to dominance and confidence.

Beta males might be more reserved or passive, often avoiding confrontation and ceding leadership to others. This term can sometimes carry a negative connotation in contexts where assertiveness and traditional masculine traits are highly valued.

These categorizations have been widely discussed in relation to dating dynamics and interpersonal relationships among men.

Sigma Male

A man who doesn’t conform to traditional societal hierarchies but still possesses qualities of an alpha male. He’s often portrayed as a lone wolf who is successful and attractive to women, but on his own terms.


Improving one’s physical appearance through exercise, grooming, fashion, or even surgery, to increase attractiveness. It’s a common term in forums discussing self-improvement for better success in dating.


Improving one’s social status through career advancement, developing social skills, or increasing wealth, to become more attractive in the dating market. It’s seen as a way to enhance one’s overall desirability.


An exaggerated version of a Chad, often used humorously or ironically to describe an extremely attractive and physically perfect man. It’s a term used in online discussions to represent the pinnacle of male attractiveness.


A derogatory term for a woman who is perceived as trying too hard to get the attention and approval of men, often at the expense of her own dignity or feminist principles. It’s used in discussions about women’s behavior in dating.

Female Dating Strategy (FDS)

A subreddit and online movement focused on women’s perspectives and strategies in dating, with an emphasis on self-respect, high standards, and avoiding exploitation. It’s a space for women to share advice and experiences related to dating.


A term used to describe a man who is not particularly attractive or dominant (‘Beta’) but is pursued for his financial resources (‘Bux’). It’s often used in discussions about male-female dynamics and perceived motivations in relationships.

Alpha Widow

A woman who has experienced a relationship with an ‘Alpha’ male and finds it difficult to settle for a ‘lesser’ partner afterwards. This term is often used in discussions about women’s past relationships and their impact on their current dating life.

Slide into DMs

Sending a direct message to someone on social media with romantic or flirtatious intent. It’s a modern way of initiating contact, often with someone you don’t know in real life.

Talking Stage

The period in a budding relationship where two people are consistently communicating, often through texting or social media, but haven’t yet defined their relationship as official. It’s a phase of getting to know each other and assessing compatibility before committing to a formal relationship.


A derogatory term used to describe a man who is perceived as lazy, unambitious, and often financially unstable. It’s often used in online forums and discussions as a way to describe a man who doesn’t bring much value to a relationship, particularly in terms of stability and effort.

Soft Life

A lifestyle choice focused on embracing ease and luxury, avoiding stress and hardship. For women, this often pertains to pursuing a life that prioritizes personal happiness, financial independence, and emotional well-being, sometimes involving relationships with partners who are supportive and contribute positively to this lifestyle.

Queen Energy

Exuding confidence, self-respect, and empowerment. It’s about women owning their worth and not settling for less in their personal and professional lives.

Glow Up

A physical, mental, and emotional transformation for the better. Often used to describe significant positive changes in one’s appearance, but it also encompasses improvements in confidence, lifestyle, and overall well-being.


Being content with being single, focusing on personal growth and self-fulfillment rather than actively seeking a romantic partner. Popularized by Emma Watson, it’s about redefining happiness outside of traditional relationship statuses.

Boss Babe

A woman who is ambitious, driven, and successful in her entrepreneurial or career endeavors. It’s about celebrating women who are breaking barriers and making strides in business and leadership roles.


Engaging in a relationship that is typically transactional, where a younger person (often referred to as a sugar baby) provides companionship to an older, wealthier person (known as a sugar daddy or sugar mommy) in exchange for material benefits or financial support. This term is often associated with arrangements where the dynamics are upfront and clear about the expectations and benefits for both parties.

Princess Treatment

Expecting or receiving special treatment and excessive pampering in a relationship, often implying that the person wants to be treated with the utmost care and indulgence, much like a princess. This can include expecting lavish gifts, constant attention, and overall treatment that elevates the individual above normal relationship dynamics.


The act of dating or being in a relationship with someone who is perceived to be significantly more attractive or otherwise ‘out of one’s league.’ It’s based on the idea that in the relationship, one partner is ‘punching above their weight,’ so to speak. This term is often used in a lighthearted way to acknowledge a perceived disparity in attractiveness or social status between partners in a couple.

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