13 Dating Terms to Know, Before You Enter the Modern Dating Scene

Here are 13 of the most current dating terms and phrases for your modern love adventures — and what they mean.

So, here you are. You are single. You are lonely. Your Saturday nights involve tubs of ice-cream and marathons of “My 600-Pound Life.” You have been through a divorce, or you were widowed young (like me). Or maybe you just haven’t found anyone yet that is better than your ice cream.

You are finally willing to “get out there” in the world of dating, but the minute you do, your confusion overwhelms you and paralyzes you. You go onto a dating site or twelve, and immediately, you are met with words and phrasing you don’t understand. What language are these men speaking? What is going on? How am I supposed to date when I don’t even know what the hell these people are talking about?

I hear you, sister.

It’s hard to keep up with modern dating terms and they can be very tough to decipher.

Just when you have learned a brand new term and actually know what it means, it starts going out of style, and is replaced with the next one. It’s like when everyone on earth is in line for the new iPhone 10, and you’re finally getting rid of your Blackberry Curve.

But before you give up completely on what the latest terms mean and how to be aware of them — fear not. I am here to act as your dating dictionary, so that you don’t have to waste your life Googling everything.

Here are 13 dating terms to know, before you enter (or reenter!) the modern dating scene.

1. Catfishing

Okay, we’re starting really simple. This one has been around for awhile now. You may know that “catfishing” is the term for someone online who is lying or tricking someone else as to who they really are — but do you know why it’s called that?

The term “catfishing” is actually referring to literal catfish. It came from an old tale told by a fisherman, about a common problem in transporting cod. During the boat ride, the cod would become under stimulated and bored, causing them to become stale and tasteless. Someone came up with the idea to put catfish in with the cod, so that they would chase the catfish and keep them moving, active, and agile; resulting in a better quality cod.

So, because the catfish were “luring in” the cod, and stimulating them, this term began being used to describe what people were experiencing with online dating. For example, let’s say you develop an online relationship with this great guy named Alex. But every time you ask Alex to talk on the phone or Skype, he has some lame excuse about bad reception. Eventually, you decide to meet Alex in person. But when you get there, it becomes clear that Alex isn’t really Alex. In fact, he isn’t even male. Or the age you thought they were.

Congratulations. You have been catfished.

2. Netflix and chill

One might think this means exactly what it says, which is: “Hey girl, let’s hang out at my place and watch a movie on Netflix and relax.” But no. It is code. What it actually means is: “Hey girl, let’s hang out at my place and fool around with no commitment or promises for anything (otherwise known as “hooking up”). I may or may not show up with a condom. Cuz that’s how I roll! ”

It Is very important to know this phrase, because if you don’t, you would innocently assume you were going to someone’s apartment to watch a movie. When you pull up “My List” on Netflix and they pull out something else, you will then realize you have gravely misunderstood this common phrase.

3. DTR

I had to look this one up myself when a guy I had been seeing for about 2 weeks asked if I wanted to “hang at his place and chill.” Which is just a less impressive version of Netflix and chill. I told him I thought it was a bit too early for that, and he said: “We can hang out. DTR. And go from there.”

He followed this up with a wink-wink type look, but I followed it up by googling: What the hell Is DTR? Turns out it’s a simple acronym. It stands for “Define the Relationship.” Because saying all three of those words took SO MUCH TIME!!! Clearly, we need to abbreviate that. Anyway, that’s what it means. And Mr. Two Weeks clearly wanted to define our relationship as: “come on over and have casual and probably mediocre sex.” No thanks.


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