How Gen Zs Date

By Layana Regunath

Even though Valentine’s day is over, we are still not out of our hangover. Roses and balloons are still hung on the streets, and couples are gaga over them. But the fun fact is that we need help understanding the new vocabulary of couples these days. Their thoughts about love and sex are unique, and some are completely out of our reach. So now it’s time to get into their shoes and update ourselves. Here are some new Gen popular dating terms you must be familiar with to walk hand-in-hand with them.

In those days, love meant falling for someone, drenching in the rain together, watching the sunset and living happily ever after. But did that happen to anyone of you in real life? No, right? Sadly, the reality is much different from these fictional stories. It was not the case then, and it is not the case now. But one thing you can’t deny is that today’s dating methods differ significantly from the older ones. Today’s generation seems to be more confused than their ancestors in dating; at least, that is what their dating terms tell us. Love was already very complicated, but new-gen terms like breadcrumbed, ghosted, etc., make it even more confusing. Now you will need a dictionary to understand the new-gen dating terms because they are as disconnected as they can be. Still, trying to understand? Let me explain.


In the series, Sex and the City, Mr Big never gets hitched to Carrie and often states that he is against marriage. But, eventually, he gets married to someone else. So what happened to Carrie in this scene, according to the latest dating terms, is benching. It occurs when someone pretends to like you, flirts with you, continues giving you hope, and keeps you on standby just in case the other relationship doesn’t work out. In other words, you are their plan B, and it will happen if their other relationship fails. 


Breadcrumbing is when a person gives enough attention to their partner in love, making the other person want more. The breadcrumber will blow your feet off, even though they are not serious about the relationship. They keep on showering you with their love and affection, but the moment you decide to take it further, they develop cold feet and back off from the relationship, leaving you shattered and bewildered.


The modern toxic dating trend is referred to as cookie-jarring, which means you are their cookie in the jar, which they can take out and eat whenever they like. They are not at all serious about the relationship and have no plans of settling down. Most of the time, they may see other people and keep you on standby for fun.


You must have seen the memes circling on the internet, especially during winter needing someone to cuddle with. Well, you can define cuffing as its modern version. It means that you are looking for partners you want to settle down with only during the colder months and are not much interested in them, i.e. they will be your partner only for a few months, and after that, both can part ways. 


Can you imagine you being in a relationship where one takes it seriously, and the other is looking for options? That is called cushioning in modern times. Cushioning doesn’t always refer to physical cheating; emotional cheating also has equal importance in cushioning. But we cannot define cushioning entirely as a wrong procedure. For example, if you are in the initial stages of your relationship and one person is looking for options, it is a sign that it will not work out, and you should move out of it. But if you are cushioning after being in a committed relationship for a long, then that is considered cheating.


In the movie The Runaway Bride, we see Maggie carpenter, played by Julia Roberts, pretending to like her boyfriend’s food and trying to adapt to his likes and dislikes. We all have done that, and we have tried to appreciate the likes of our partners. This phenomenon is called eclipsing in the modern world. It’s pretty natural to build a rapport with your partner, but we must also agree that we can’t pretend forever, and our real faces will be revealed someday or the other. 


We all have particular fantasies when coming to our partners. We all look for our dream boy or girl and experience something magical every time we date. In 2023, this pattern is called groundhogging. It was kickstarted by the dating app Inner Circle, which conducted a survey and found that three out of four people prefer to date their type of people but have failed in establishing a long love life with them. Groundhogging is a method of hurting yourself. But you don’t have to lower your expectations for fear of love failure. On the other hand, you can expand your search for broader horizons and keep your heart open. 


When actress Priyanka Chopra was asked about keeping her relationship private in the famous show Koffee with Karan, she replied by saying she did that in order to protect her relationship from evil eyes. We also agree with her. But the modern dating trend pocketing is entirely different from what she has said. It is keeping your relationship a secret, even from your friends, family and colleagues. It is just like putting you in their pocket and keeping you out of everyone’s sight. In this toxic relationship, your partner won’t post your images on their social media pages. 


Some couples hide from each other about them sleeping with other people. This step is known as roaching in modern times. It is actually ok to take things casually, mainly if you are in the initial phase of your relationship. But hiding it from your partner is definitely not a cool thing. 


On Instagram, we often see the status of the people stating them in situationship. Simply put, it’s the state in which you are not precisely in a committed relationship and is something more than friendship.

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