Dictionary of Dating

The world of dating has changed rapidly in recent decades. If you’re recently divorced or widowed after a long marriage, things will look a lot different to you than the last time you were trying to woo a woman. So, we thought it would be helpful to develop a Dictionary of Dating with all the new terms from dating apps to hookup culture and everything in between. 


I’ve heard people call this their Roster or Lineup before. Others refer to it as going back to the well. Whatever you call it, benching is when you like someone enough to keep seeing them, but you have no plans to ever take the relationship to the next level.

This is someone you just want to have fun with. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you’re open and honest about your expectations. 


We’ve all been there. You’re really into someone new and she seems to like you too. Or is that just your imagination convincing you there’s a chance because you want it so bad?

She puts a fraction of the effort in that you do. You’re always the one to call or initiate plans. If you’re honest with yourself, she flakes on you more than you care to admit.

But just when you feel fed up and decide you’re ready to move on, she drops little bread crumbs of attention to reel you back in. If you step back and examine things objectively, you’ll realize she’s giving you bottom of the barrel crumbs when you deserve so much more.


Catfishing is when someone falsifies their identity online and enters into a romantic relationship under fraudulent pretenses. It’s a very broad term that can cover everything from completely fake online personas to overly edited pictures.

The bottom line is, be true to yourself and authentic both online and off.


This is when someone entertains the idea of dating other people while they’re in a relationship.

People often do this when they’re considering a break-up. They download the apps just to see what’s out there, or they flirt with a co-worker to find out if the grass is greener.


FWB stands for Friends With Benefits. NSA stands for No Strings Attached. 

Both mean relatively the same thing—a sexual relationship without a romantic commitment. These terms are often used on dating apps by people who are married and seeking an affair, or people who are involved in non-monogamous relationships. 


Ghosting is the sudden, unexpected cease of all communication from one party within a relationship

“She bailed on our plans last weekend and hasn’t returned my calls all week; I think she’s ghosting me.”


A lot of men reading this are probably guilty of hatfishing. It’s okay, this is a judgement-free zone! Hatfishing is when you use hats to hide your hair (or lack thereof) because of insecurities. 

I can’t tell you how many dating profiles I’ve seen in which every single photo, the man is wearing a hat. Women want to see the real you, don’t hide under a hat.

And remember, bald is beautiful.


Also known as Polyamory, Open Relationships, or Swinging, couples who engage in non-monogamy have romantic and/or sexual relationships with additional partners.

This type of relationship is not considered cheating, as all parties involved are aware of and consent to the sharing of partners.


Do you have a female friend you call whenever you’re single and need a plus one for an event?

Maybe the two of you kissed once at a Christmas party when you found yourselves under the mistletoe after a few too many glasses of egg nog, but nothing much ever came from it. Nevertheless you’ve remained in each other’s circles and the chemistry never falters when you’re together.

Congratulations, you’re in a situationship!

This word can really describe any romantic couple that hasn’t defined the relationship. They never use words like boyfriend or future. They have formed a casual connection that feels comfortable and fits their situation. 


Zombieing occurs when a ghost from your past suddenly reappears with no explanation for their disappearance

Rebecca disappeared on Adam last summer after they had been seeing each other pretty steadily. She just stopped returning his calls with no explanation. Today, out of nowhere she texted him, and said, “Hey stranger! I’ve been thinking about you, hope all is well!”

Rebecca is a zombie risen from the dead.