7 Dating Trends To Look Out For In 2020, Because Ghosting Is The Tip Of The Iceberg

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With phrases like ghosting, breadcrumbing, and bird boxing, you’d be excused for thinking that modern dating is a bit like talking a foreign language sometimes. If you’re out here, single, and ready to find the one (or the one right now) then you’ve got to get acquainted with the many possibilities of being led on, ignored, or avoided. And as a new year rolls in, so do new terms, so here’s six dating trends to look out for in 2020.

In the past few years, ghosting has become common vernacular. "Did he ghost me?" "I'm getting ghosted." It's a horrible feeling, but far from uncommon. And then there's bird boxing, which was born out of the massive success of the Sandra Bullock film released on Netflix in December 2018. It describes a situation in which someone is blind to how bad the person they’re dating is. In 2019, breadcrumbing, a fancy word for stringing someone along, reigned on high as the dating trend to avoid. Zombieing, or the return of someone who ghosted you, was also prevalent toward the end of last year.

While you may have just got your head around how to date in 2019, 2020 has hit and all these phrases are now totally old school. Here are six new dating trends to come to grips with in 2020. Brace yourselves.

1. Dial-Toning


While dial-toning harps back to a time gone by, it’s a very modern dating phenomenon. Never mind even getting to the point where someone can ghost you, dial-toning is when you give someone your number, they reach out, and you never reply. According to dating site Plenty of Fish, 60% of singles have experienced this. I can’t work out if it’s better or worse than being ghosted.

2. Yellow Carding

Yellow carding is just as its name suggests. If you call out a date for bad behaviour, a questionable view, or general rudeness, you’re yellow carding them. We stan.

3. Fleabagging

Since Fleabag was such a massive phenomenon it only seems right that we go into 2020 with Phoebe Waller-Bridge affecting our love lives in one way or another. Plenty of Fish describes fleabagging as consistently dating the wrong type of person for you. Fallen in love with an unavailable hot priest? You’re probably fleabagging yourself.

4. White Clawing


Have you ever dated someone who was painfully attractive but had little else to them? Their looks are there but the spark isn’t? If you're staying with them, you're white clawing them. Plenty of Fish found that 27% of people have stuck with people they have found basic or boring because they thought they were attractive.

5. Cause-Playing

Sometimes casual flings fizzle out. It’s all part of playing the dating game. However, have you ever had a former date message you months later asking you to like their Instagram page because they're trying to become a big-time influencer? If so, you’ve been cause-played. Cause-playing is finishing with someone only to have them contact you for a favour, and 61% of people that Plenty of Fish asked said they’d experienced it.

6. Glamboozled


Glamboozling may be the most irritating dating trend of 2020. You’ve got your new nice top and jeans on, you curled your hair and even did winged eyeliner, only to get a text from your date asking to cancel or reschedule. It’s painful, but Plenty of Fish found a massive 58% of singles have gone through this.

7. Whelming

Online dating can be pretty distracting. When putting yourself out there, the responses can come like an avalanche. It can all gets a bit too much, which can cause some people to complain about their vast number of matches — to their matches. Bumble has coined a term for the slightly tactless act that you can take into 2020: whelming. Associate Director, EMEA Marketing at Bumble Naomi Walkland explained: "whelming matches is something that we would encourage our users to avoid. If someone has taken the time to message you it's kind to make them feel respected and avoid mentioning other matches to them as everyone deserves to feel special during their dating journey." Just because you're getting all the dating app love, doesn't mean your matches need to know.

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