Anyone that has been navigating the world of online dating since the pandemic will have come across dating terms like ’cushioning’, ’slow dating’ or ’orbiting’.

Lockdown changed the dating scene for singles around the world and has led to many of these terms emerging.

And even though the world is still not out of the pandemic, many people are now fully vaccinated and are ready to start dating. But before jumping in, here are some dating trends and terms you need to be aware of.


Fleabagging is a term inspired by Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s TV series, Fleabag.

It essentially refers to dating the same person over and over again even though they aren’t right for you.

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In some cases it can refer to going back to a terrible ex but can also refer to dating someone who, while technically being a different human, has all the toxicity and shortcomings of everyone you have dated before.


In dating, cushioning is when someone starts entertaining other potential romantic “options” while they’re waiting for their committed relationship to come to an end.

It is softening the blow of an eventual breakup by decreasing communication and visitation slowly while waiting for the recipient of this treatment to get fed up and break things off.

Slow dating

Thanks to the pandemic people have become a little more cautious with who they spend their time with. This has led to the Slow dating trend which is when people take their time to get to know their potential partner before meeting up in person.

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A lot of people thought the world was ending in 2020 and that lit a fire for some to seek genuine connections.

Hardballing refers to people that are not messing around when it comes to dating. They are looking for a serious relationship and want to make sure that their potential partners tick all their boxes and are on the same page.


This one gives off some catfish vibes because it refers to a person following you, liking your posts, maybe even engaging in a little cyber flirt, but never actually taking their suggestive behaviour out of the realm of social media. The term was coined by the New York Times and is definitely in line with 2021 where some people are in full-blown relationships with influencers in their heads.


If there is that one person who texts you once every couple of months just to ’check up on you’ or tell you that they were thinking about you, then chances are you are being breadcrumbed.

People do this to make sure that you don’t forget about them, and it will tend to happen right when you’re about to start moving on.

An easy way to avoid falling into this one is by blocking them.


Apocalysing was coined by the dating site Plenty of Fish and refers to people that treat every relationship they get into like it’s their last.

It is no secret that because of the pandemic we all started acting a little crazy especially since we were stuck in our homes.

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This led to people making connections online and for some, infatuation quickly turned super serious, with many planning out the rest of their lives with people they had just met.

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