Modern Dating Slang: Decoding Today’s Relationship Vocabulary

by Tara Price

30th April, 2023

Modern Dating Slang: Decoding Today’s Relationship Vocabulary

Dating can be confusing, especially in the age of online dating and social media. There are so many new terms and phrases to describe different aspects of dating, from how you meet someone to how you end things with them. If you want to keep up with the latest dating lingo, you need to know what these terms mean and how to use them. Here are some of the most common modern dating terms and what they mean:

Dating Slang Terms for Meeting Someone

  • Swipe: To swipe is to use a dating app that allows you to accept or reject potential matches by swiping right or left on their profile picture. For example, “I swiped right on him because he looked cute.”
  • Match: A match is someone who swiped right on you and you swiped right on them on a dating app. For example, “We matched on Tinder and started chatting.”
  • Slide into DMs: To slide into someone’s DMs is to send them a direct message on a social media platform, usually with romantic or sexual intentions. For example, “He slid into my DMs after liking my Instagram post.”
  • Rizz: Rizz is a term for a person who is attractive and has a lot of charisma. It comes from the word razzle-dazzle. For example, “She’s such a rizz, everyone wants to date her.”

Dating Slang Terms for Different Stages of Dating

  • Talking: Talking is when you are getting to know someone through texting, phone calls, or video chats, but you are not officially dating yet. For example, “We’ve been talking for a few weeks, but we haven’t met in person yet.”
  • Exclusive: Exclusive is when you and the person you are dating have agreed to only see each other and not date other people. For example, “We had the talk and decided to be exclusive.”
  • DTR: DTR stands for define the relationship. It is when you and the person you are dating have a conversation about what your relationship status is and what you want from each other. For example, “We need to DTR soon, I don’t know where we stand.”
  • Exploridating: Exploridating is when you date different types of people to broaden your horizons and discover what you like and don’t like in a partner. For example, “I’m not looking for anything serious right now; I’m just exploridating.”

Dating Slang Terms for Ending Things

  • Ghosting: Ghosting is when someone suddenly stops all communication with you without any explanation or warning. For example, “He ghosted me after three dates; I never heard from him again.”
  • Zombie-ing: Zombie-ing is when someone who ghosted you comes back to life and contacts you again as if nothing happened. For example, “He zombied me after six months of silence; he texted me, ‘Hey, how are you?’”
  • Breadcrumbing: Breadcrumbing is when someone leads you on by giving you just enough attention or affection to keep you interested but never commits to anything more. For example, “She breadcrumbed me for months; she would text me every now and then but never make plans to see me.”
  • Roaching: Roaching is when someone you are dating is secretly seeing multiple other people at the same time without telling you. For example, “I found out he was roaching me when I saw him on another dating app with a different profile.”
  • Fauci-ing: Fauci-ing is when you turn down a date with someone because they are not taking the pandemic seriously enough. It is named after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. For example, “I fauci-ed him when he said he didn’t believe in wearing masks.”

Dating Slang Terms for Other Dating Behaviours

  • Orbiting: Orbiting is when someone who ghosted you or broke up with you still follows you on social media and likes or comments on your posts. For example, “He broke up with me two months ago, but he’s still orbiting me on Instagram.”
  • Soft launching: Soft launching is when someone posts subtle hints on social media that they are dating someone new without revealing their identity. For example, “She soft launched her boyfriend by posting a picture of two glasses of wine on her story.”
  • Hardballing: Hardballing is when you are very clear and direct about what you want and don’t want from a relationship and don’t settle for less. For example, “She’s hardballing him; she told him she won’t date him unless he deletes his dating apps.”
  • Whiteclawing: Whiteclawing is when you date someone who you find physically attractive but boring or uninteresting. It is named after the popular alcoholic seltzer drink that is low in calories but high in alcohol. For example, “He’s whiteclawing her; he only likes her for her looks.”
  • Darwining: Darwining is when you break up with someone because they have different views on science or evolution. It is inspired by Charles Darwin, the famous naturalist and biologist. For example, “She darwined him when he said he didn’t believe in climate change.”

Dating Slang Terms for Other Dating Concepts

  • Dating Glossary: A dating glossary is a list of dating slang terms and their definitions. For example, “I had to look up some words in the dating glossary to understand what he was talking about.”
  • Dating Lingo: Dating lingo is the slang language that people use to talk about dating. For example, “She knows all the dating lingo; she can explain what ghosting and zombie-ing mean.”
  • Searching for Singles: Searching for singles is the act of looking for potential romantic partners online or offline. For example, “He’s searching for singles on Tinder and Bumble.”
  • What is Dating?: Dating is the process of getting to know someone romantically through spending time together, communicating, and doing activities. For example, “They are dating; they go out for dinner and movies every week.”
  • Exclusive Dating: Exclusive dating is when two people agree to only date each other and not see other people. For example, “They are exclusive dating; they deleted their dating apps and changed their relationship status on Facebook.”


Dating can be fun, exciting, and rewarding, but it can also be challenging, confusing, and frustrating. Knowing modern dating slang terms can help you communicate better with your potential matches and understand what they are looking for. Whether you are swiping, talking, exclusive dating, or anything in between, remember to be respectful, honest, and open-minded. And don’t forget to have fun!

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