Dating Trends
Boom of online dating has brought about several trends among the millennial generation. Above is a representative image Young man and woman's of hands holding smart phones with hearts floating over. Getty Images

For millenials, apps have replaced family and friends through which to get introduced to a romantic partner. A swipe and a click, and you have yourself a date. No wonder online dating is in vogue, and the millenial generation or Gen Y has taken to it like ducks to water.

Such a dating scenario has also brought along with several concomitant trends that one can latch onto if such a hook-up doesn't work — some weird and some downright rude.

The possibility of failure, a phobia of commitment and serious relationships among others are said to be leading to partners opting for some of these measures to safeguard themselves from a failing relationship.

These actions, adopted by a substantial number of people, turn into trends and become widely prevalent in the world of dating.

Although the actions included under these trends have become commonplace, an entire dictionary has been invented to nomenclate and describe measures to deal with failing relationships.

While all trends are time-bound, lasting only for a period before fading away, some have managed to persist through the years. Some of the more popular trends include:

  1. Ghosting/Slow Fading: This phenomenon which has been around for some time now, involves your partner breaking all contact without any explanation at all. One party gradually removes him or herself from the other’s life — either through cancelled plans and decreased communication — until they reach a point when all communication ceases.The complete indifference by the other person in the relationship is a mode of exit-strategy that cemerged after commitment-free modes of communication, like texting and online platforms like Facebook and Instagram, according to a 2014 article by ELLE. The author of the piece, Nora Crotty, conducted a poll of 185 young people — 120 women and 65 men — on their dating (and breakup) habits. The results showed that 33 percent of the men had either ghosted or had been ghosted. Among women, the numbers for the same criteria was almost 26 percent.
  2. Breadcrumbing: The phenomenon is defined by Urban Dictionary as “the act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal text messages (ie "breadcrumbs") in order to lure a sexual partner without expending much effort.” This might include tagging you in a social media post just frequently enough so you don’t lose interest in them, and not to the extent that the relationship actually progresses.
  3. Mooning: In this trend one partner ignores the other’s texts without their knowledge, mostly because they do not want to deal with their latter’s issues or problems. Also considered a texting trend, it is usually done by muting the chat box, leading to the texts being delivered but never marked “read,” making the partner feel like they are unimportant or just a pest. Mooning is also said to be a way in which an emotionally destructive ex or former hookup is kept out of one’s life.
  4. Cuffing season: A derivative of “handcuffing,” one essentially chains themselves to their partner between the months of October and mid-November. Marina Khorosh, who blogs about dating trends, talked about cuffing in an article in Vogue. “I do admit that it’s a good temporary solution for those residing in northern climates, where the Polar Vortex cuts off social interactions for extended time periods,” she wrote. This arrangement would mostly last only for the duration of the two months.
  5. Zombie-ing/ Haunting: Months after a partner fades away, they begin liking the other’s social media posts or find ways in which they can rejoin their ex’s social circle. The possible reasons for them to be doing this would just be for sex, or a desire to re-kindle the relationship.
  6. Cushioning: A partner in a monogamous relationship continues flirting with other people — so they have a backup in case their primary relationship fails.
  7. Catfishing: A potential date creates fake profiles on social media sites to trick people into believing they are someone else.They give themselves false life stories and use photographs of unsuspecting people to these fraud identities. The term was first used in the 2010 documentary 'Catfish' starring Nev Schulman in which he discovers that the woman he fell in love with after meeting online is a middle-aged, married mom.

While this is only a concise list, new trends keep popping up, prompted by the desire to find dates in the online world through apps like Tinder and websites like, where much of the communication happens on electronic devices.

This makes it easier for the trends to flourish. However, they are also being termed as the reasons for relationships getting sabotaged, and multiple accounts on social media sites like Reddit have revealed how upsetting and heartbreaking it is if a certain trend is used against someone.

According to a 2015 survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 59 percent of Americans think online dating is a good way to meet people, compared to 44 percent who thought the same in 2005. With increase in online dating amongst Gen Y, it is no surprise that it will come with increasing risk of failure of relationships that began online.