In dating, communication is key. But it’s hard to land that first date without knowing the language of love … or the language of lust. People talk about dating, mating and relating, all while never using those terms. Here’s lingo to decode today’s dating practices.
First it was “baby.” Then it was “boo.” Now it’s “bae.” It stands for “before anyone else” and is the new overly used and annoyingly affectionate word for your significant other — or what you call a friend as a joke.
The inebriated state in which a person who is drinking mistakenly believes his or her bar crush is more good-looking than reality. See DFMO, below.
catch and release
No, it’s not just a fishing phrase. This is a common tactic from a dater who is all about the chase. When someone takes the bait and is reeled in, the commitment-phobe gets bored, issues a sudden “See ya later!” and throws the unsuspecting love object back into the wild. Warning: This maneuver is sometimes hard to see because said man or woman is so persistent at the beginning.
Everyone knows that winter can be the loneliest time of the year. Cuffing season is the period between October and February when the temperature drops and the desire to be paired up, or “cuffed,” goes up. The pseudo-relationship ends either before Valentine’s Day or when it’s warm enough to leave your house without a jacket.
Think category, but based on looks. This is a system that allows someone to judge his or her crush and give that person a number rating. The digit is then used to decide if that person is out of your league or if you’re dating too far down the cute-a-gory scale. For example, if you consider yourself an 8, you’re probably not going to date a 5. People tend to date only one above or one below their cute-a-gory numbers.
Dance floor make-out. This kind of kissing, well, let’s just say it’s not what you’ll see in a rom-com. It’s a bit sloppy, usually spurred on by liquid courage, and sometimes it comes out of nowhere. Make-out mavens who engage in the DFMO use circumstances to their advantage: the low lights, the booming bass and, most important, the beer goggles*. The perpetrator can be someone who’s been dancing and flirting with the same person all night or a stranger who just goes for it.
In today’s dating world, a couple’s relationship status can be murky. When it’s time to figure out what’s going on, you sit down with that special someone and DTR: define the relationship.
A.k.a. LTR (label the relationship).
feminist boyfriend : A feminist boyfriend isn’t constrained by gender roles. He’s attracted to, rather than turned off by, strong, assertive women. He takes no part in judging, abusing or supporting laws regulating female bodies. He doesn’t assume he’ll earn more than his partner or that his career will trumps hers. See: George Clooney, who was a feminist boyfriend before he became a feminist husband.
That guy or woman who has all the right stuff but lives in the wrong place. And that place probably involves going over a bridge (shudder), paying a toll (seriously, where are we?!?) or worse: strip malls and big-box stores. If your Zip code is home to chain restaurants, requires a car ride or Metro odyssey and has no restaurants open past 10 p.m., that’s G-U, and no, we don’t mean Georgetown University.
Ghosted or Swayzed
Dating apps, text-message flirts and social-media stalking may help get things going, but guess what, breaking up is still hard to do. Some avoid it by pulling a disappearing act. Ghosting or Swayzeing is derived from the classic 1990 movie “Ghost,” starring Patrick Swayze. It refers to those guys or women who go incommunicado after a few dates or after sleeping with someone.
A.k.a. the fadeaway, the fade-out.
First described by Tom Puzak on the site Gear Junkie, lumbersexuals are men who are “more concerned with existing in the outdoors, or the pseudo-outdoors, than meticulous grooming habits.” This generation’s answer to metrosexuals, lumbersexuals have rugged beards, love nature (or at least looking at it on Instagram) and are often wearing flannels and dad jeans. And all of the hipsters are into them.
In Washington, the capital of alcohol-induced networking, it can be hard to determine whether something is actually a date. A non-date date includes alcohol, eye contact, at least a subtly flirty vibe — and lots of confusion about what it all means. Is he or she being friendly? Cordial? Flirtatious? Guess you need to go to another happy hour together to find out!
on a thing
Saying you’re “seeing someone” is so 2014. Now you can say you’re just “on a thing.” You’re dating someone exclusively and you’re committed to each other, but nobody else knows it. It’s sort of that weird in-between phase before you have that ever-important “are we official?” chat.
A.k.a. in a thing.
Daters who are after this aren’t chatting you up for the conversation. They aren’t in it to fall in love. They don’t even really even want to fall in lust. They have one end goal, and that’s scoring, in the biblical sense. They consider themselves sexual hunters and the people they flirt with their prey. Oh, and they want that roll in the hay with no strings attached.
Did you know two people can have an entire relationship without ever meeting? Yeah, it’s all about texts and sexts, but it never makes it to the date phase. Instead you’ll have long conversations, flirt sessions and maybe even texts that’ll steam up the screen.
When someone is too eager for someone’s attention, almost to the point of desperation.
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