Have You Heard of These New Dating Terms?

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If you find yourself happily married, consider yourself fortunate. Dating these days can be brutal. Just consider these new dating terms!

When it comes to the single life, the 21st century delivered strange new customs. I suspect our parents and grandparents would never have stood for some of them. With the customs come new dating terms being added to the dictionary — or at least the vernacular.

A recent USA Today article broke down several of these new dating terms. I decided to spotlight just three. But I think they give anyone who’s married a good sense of what they should be happy to miss. Unfortunately, they probably remind those of us who aren’t why we might not have found our better half just yet.

But just in time for Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d offer a glimpse.

How many of these have you heard of?


I figure most people have heard of this one before. It doesn’t involve death, though some of us who find ourselves a ghost victim might briefly hope the ghoster might meet such a fate.

Ghosting involves just disappearing off the face of the earth. Well, not really. But for all intents and purposes, when one person ghosts another, the ghoster just stops all contact. He or she doesn’t respond to instant messages or phone calls. All of the ways the ghostee could previously reach the now “departed” don’t work.

One who ghosts another simply drops all effort at communicating.

Sometimes ghosting happens after a date or after a physical liason. But sometimes people get ghosted before an actual in-person meeting takes place. A friend of mine had a coffee date with a guy who suggested the time and place. My friend showed up, but there was no sign of him. He stopped responding on the dating app where they met. All at once, the ghoster just cut all contact with no explanation, no apology, no nothing.


I never heard of this one before, though looking back, I might admit falling for this practice before. Imagine taking a piece of bread and breaking into little pieces. Then feeding those little pieces, one by one, to someone who’s clearly hungry.

You could just hand them the full slice of bread. But for whatever reason, you decide to let the bread trickle onto their plate.

In the dating world, breadcrumbing means giving people just enough attention — maybe a flirty text or a card or an occasional gift — just to string them along. The breadcrumber usually doesn’t actually commit to anything. They just feed the little crumbs to maintain interest.

In other words, they string someone along with the potential of something serious without ever getting serious.


I never heard of this one before, either. Paperclipping sounds a bit like breadcrumbing to me. The difference is that in breadcrumbing, someone’s stringing someone along and may never meet.

Paperclipping, on the other hand, requires a break-up, which means something must already have happened. It’s when an ex reaches out periodically. Mostly, they’re just keeping a tiny little bit of engagement going. That way, as USA Today put it, they’re keeping that ex on a back burner.

Why? Presumably so they have a booty call available if they find themselves in need.

Charming, right?

I hope you don’t fall victim to ghosting, breadcrumbing or paperclipping. Those folks are definitely out there. If you encounter one, don’t get angry: Be glad that you realized what they’re up to.

You definitely deserve better!

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.

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