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Have you decoded the confusing digital language of online dating yet?

What's 'benching', 'tuning' or 'mooning'? We're here to help

By Charlotte Brouwer, 11 October 2016
Have you decoded the confusing digital language of online dating yet?

The dating game has undergone a major shift in recent years - as many of us know. The digital world is fast moving, changing the way we connect and communicate with each other, and new technology and an ever-increasing number of online dating websites and apps has inevitably led to a dating culture that can seem very foreign to some us!

Have you ever found endless dates seem to go nowhere? That everyone you meet seems so non-committal? Or that you have a great date with someone, only for it to go quiet for a few weeks? The truth is, you’ve probably been 'ghosted', 'catfished' or 'benched'. Confused? These are just some of the terms that make up modern dating lingo. Baffled? Don't fret. Travel dating website and app TourBar.com has put together a handy guide to dating terms for the 21st century, so you can finally decode the confusing digital language of love.

1. '143' 

A quirky alternative for expressing devotion, since the digits indicate the number of letters used in the phrase ‘I love you.’

2. Bae

'Before anyone else’ is a title given to a dater’s one true love or significant other.

3. Benching 

A serial-dater puts another dater ‘on the back bench’ by messaging infrequently over a long period of time and making plans that they don’t follow up on.

4. Catfishing 

A dater creates a fake online dating profile with photos that are not their own and usually the photograph is of someone more attractive than the dater, in order to fool others.

5. Cuffing season 

When daters aim to find a partner to keep them accompanied during the cold and dark winter months.

6. DTR

'Define the relationship’ is used when a dater wishes to confirm the status of the relationship and possibly secure commitment.

7. Ghosting 

A dater ceases all contact with a romantic interest without explanation (may also be known as ‘Patrick Swayzeing’).

8. Layby 

A dater is unhappy in their current relationship so begins mildly flirting with a potential future date as a back-up option, should their current relationship fail.

9. Mooning 

A user switches their mobile device to ‘do not disturb’ mode (sometimes symbolised as a half-moon logo), which mutes all notifications from messaging apps.

10. Textlationship

An entire relationship based on text and online messages, where the two daters are yet to meet IRL (‘in real life’).

11. Tuning 

A dater aims to ‘fine tune’ the relationship dynamic with another dater by making a subtle move, such as liking a profile picture or sending a cute viral video, without committing to any dates or proper conversation.