Relationship Advice

Stashing, bread-crumbing and the worst... haunting: We outline every modern day dating term and what they mean

We've all come across at least one of these...

When it comes to dating, communication is the key. Except, in today's technology-driven world, the language of love has gone from;
You are the apple of my eye, to LMAO bae, dtf on the w/e or netflix & chill :P ??
Need a bit of help navigating 21st century romance? Let us decode all the terminology for you...


Have you been dating someone for a while, and realised they haven't introduced you to anyone important in their lives?
We get it, meeting parents is a pretty big deal, but they haven't even introduced you to their friends at a casj setting like drinks.
Soz, girl, but it sounds like you're being "stashed."
First coined by Ellen Scott of Metro UK, "stashing" occurs when the person you're dating doesn't really acknowledge your relationship in a public way.
This could be by failing to introduce you to people, or by never posting anything about you on social media (rude).
Dating expert Jo Hemmings explained to the Daily Mail that if you're being "stashed" then you're basically being played.
"They could be someone who doesn't think of you as a long-term prospect, or they don't think you're special enough to have brought you into their circle of friends."


Cushioning is like an extension of benching (see more below), but it's kinda worse.
It's when you're in a relationship but have a few "cushions" around — people you're flirting with — so if your relationship goes south, you have some "cushions" ready to soften your fall, aka your breakup.
Just a suggestion: if you have people cushions there's probably something wrong with your relationship in the first place.
Mad Men's Don Draper was a serial cushioner. (AMC)


Breadcrumbing is the hot new dating term of 2017 that unfortunately does not involve bread but refers to 'when a guy or girl gives someone just enough attention to keep their hope of a relationship alive' (thanks Urban Dictionary).
It's kinda like if ghosting and haunting had a baby.
And yes, it's inspired by Hansel and Gretel, which means one day those crumbs may disappear and you may find yourself at the mercy of a witch who wants to eat you.


The act of ghosting is when you are seeing someone and suddenly they disappear off the face of the earth.
Simply put, it's a person's way of telling you they aren't interested anymore.


Some people may never verge beyond the texting stage of a relationship or meet IRL.
This known as a textlationship, whereby everything stays behind the screen of your phone.
Textlationship's have becoming common practice in the Millennium's dating game. (The CW)

Slow Fade

Less dramatic than ghosting, but still annoying af.
Basically, a slow fade is when you are chatting with someone, who at first seemed interested, but over time the convo slowly dies and they make less of an effort to keep in touch.

Cuffing Season

This term refers to those who would normally be happily single but decide to be in a committed relationship for the colder months of the year.


This is an acronym for 'define the relationship.'
Often used when you want to know what the hell is going on.


Bit different to the above; this is an acronym for 'down to f##k.' In other words, you will likely receive this from your local f##kboy after 10 PM.
Chuck Bass, certified F##k Boy in his earlier days. (The CW)


This is when someone you have been chatting with keeps finding ways to avoid actually seeing you in person, but continues to contact you over social media.
In other words, they are keeping you on their "bench" while they play out their other options. (Heads up, delete this bloke and never look back.)


This is when someone who previously ghosted you comes back from the abyss and does something completely random, like following you on Instagram or 'liking' a picture from two years ago, just to remind you that they exist.
Mr. Big: Prime haunter. (HBO)

Sliding into their DMs like...

If you slide into someone's DMs, it means you're ready to take your social media flirting somewhere a little more private: their direct messages, instead of on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram where everyone can see.

Feminist boyfriend

He's the ultimate BF. He understands that you aren't getting paid enough, he will happily go and have high-tea with you and totally isn't phased by subverting gender stereotypes.

Netflix & Chill

In case you haven't picked up on this one, it basically means throwing on a Netflix movie, and not watching any of it whatsoever.


A term used to describe those who are extremely eager/desperate for a bit of action.


This is an acronym for 'friends with benefits.' A state whereby two people, who are simply friends, enjoy having casual sex on the reg.


This is an acronym for 'dance floor make out.' It's brief, and often occurs when "Closer" by the Chainsmokers comes on.


This is an acronym for 'Facebook official.' Aka when you and your significant other are ready to let your friends know you're in a committed relationship.