31 dating terms you need to know, from ‘dawn dating’ to ‘cookie jarring’

Written by Leah Sinclair

With so many dating terms circulating on the internet, we’ve listed them all to keep you in the loop.

Keeping up with all the new dating trends, terms and sayings can be a challenge.

With many of them originating from dating apps, it’s a minefield just trying to understand them all – but despite the confusion that can ensue when trying to keep up, these trends do serve a purpose.

After all, a lot of these terms are just things daters have experienced at one point or another.

Like being ghosted by someone but having them pop up on your social media or the endless slog of dating your type and it not working out.

So while it may feel like an effort to stay in the loop, these phrases merely put a name to those frustrating experiences – and if you feel like you need help knowing your negging from your hard-ball dating, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive glossary of all the dating terms you need to know this year.

Dawn dating

Dawn dating is described as people who prefer going on early morning dates, from coffees to runs instead of evening or late afternoon dates. The term was coined by dating app Badoo, after seeing a considerable rise in morning dates among singles, with the platform finding that 51% have been on a pre-10am date before or would like to start doing so.


According to founder and manager of Ignite Dating Michelle Begy, cookie-jarring is a toxic dating trend that refers to the fact that the person you’ve been dating has no intention of settling down with you. “Instead, they string you along in order to have a back-up plan as they pursue other people. You become a cookie in their jar, which they can dip into whenever they feel like it.” 

The Hey-ter

According to dating and relationship expert Tina Wilson, ‘the Hey-ter’ is when you ignore any conversation that starts with a “hey”.

“If you’ve tried online dating, you know there’s always that one match who begins your conversation with a “hey” and then disappears. Where is the witty humour?” says Wilson.

“The art of conversation is dead as soon as you begin with a ‘hey’ or a ‘hi’. Do better than ‘hey’.”


‘Corona meets honesty’ with this dating trend, as Wilson states that being upfront about your dating intentions has proved more popular because of the pandemic.

“For many months, singles were not able to meet up during quarantine and lockdowns so their patience for polite chit-chat came to an all-time low,” says Wilson. “The questions that daters ask each other are far more forward and to the point now.”

Slow fade

When the communication starts to slowly drop, this is referred to as the ‘slow fade’. “Have the calls, texts and meeting plans become less frequent? It’s a sign your relationship is coming to a slow fade and potentially entering the ghosting phase,” warns Wilson.

If you’re someone who needs closure, spot the signs before communication stops completely and be ready to move on.”


Situationships are defined as a space between a committed relationship and something that is more than a friendship. It’s something many millennials will have experienced at one time or another, with dating app Hinge reporting that a third (34%) of users have found themselves trapped in a situationship before.


Ever dated someone who you think pretends to act “woke”? Well, they may be wokefishing you. The term refers to those who cosplay as caring about the same sociopolitical issues as you in a bid to reel you in and date you when in reality it is all an act. Terrifying.


Emotional manipulation can come in many forms – and on dating apps, negging is apparent when someone insults you with a backhanded compliment to undermine your confidence.

Green dating

Green dating is people who have an invested interest in “environmentalism” and are more interested on going on ‘green’ dates, such as walks in the park.


According to Badoo dating expert Sophie Mann, it’s officially time to ditch your usual type and embrace ‘untyping’. Research from the dating app found three-quarters of singletons are more open to dating outside their usual ‘type’ this year, with two-thirds claiming dating their ‘type’ hasn’t worked out in the past.


As the antidote to cuffing season – oystering – a term coined by Badoo encourages people to celebrate their freedom and embrace being single post-break-up. Want a different date every night? Go for it. Looking to be wined and dined as you deserve? Make it happen.


Longdez-vous means to have longer dates in order to find deeper connections – something dating app Badoo says is of greater importance to singletons with 74% of daters wanting longer dates in 2022.


If your relationship came out of friendship you may have been ‘facilidating’. “Many relationships are formed from friendships and in 2022, we’ll see more people swiping for people they already know in real life, making dating that much easier,” says Mann.

Badoo’s research shows that nearly a third (32%) of daters have dated someone they already knew IRL after matching on a dating app, with 41% claiming matching someone they already know allowed them to feel more comfortable and 36% felt it made asking them out that much easier.


We’re all for making dating fun – and ‘liberdating’ does just that.

The term created by Badoo means putting the fun back into dating after years of tentative dates and restricted romancing due to the pandemic.


Dating someone who owns a home is of greater priority, with ‘accomo-dating’ – a phrase coined by Badoo – predicted to be a hotly-tipped dating trend in 2022 with one out of five daters looking for someone who owns their own home in 2022.


Dating app Inner Circle coined ‘groundhogging’, which refers to the idea that people are going for “the same type of person over and over again, whilst expecting different results”.


Have you been ghosted by that person but they still view your Instagram stories and like you’re tweets? Then you’ve been orbited, my friend.

The term refers to when someone you’re dating cuts off contact with you, but continues to engage with your content on social media.


If you like someone, but you’re not ready to commit, you may be benching them to keep them as an option.


Taking an easy, relaxed approach to dating is never a bad thing – and breezing is all about that while remaining upfront and honest with those you’re seeing.

Consciously single

According to Bumble, consciously single refers to those people who are consciously making a decision to be single, with many being more mindful and intentional in how and when they date.

Dry dating

Dry dating is for those who choose not to drink alcohol on dates.


Kittenfishing is basically catfishing’s little sister and refers to those who aren’t lying on their dating profile but maybe bending the truth here and there.


Voicefishing is someone who puts on a fake accent or choice of dialect in an attempt to impress their potential matches on dating apps.

Hard-ball dating

Hard-ball dating is about being more open and honest with potential partners about exactly what it is they want from the relationship.


Roaching is when the person you’re seeing is secretly dating or sleeping with multiple other partners.


Zombieing is when an ex emerges back from the dead (the dead being your relationship), usually after ghosting you.


What cuffing season is to the winter, freckling is to the summer, as people seek a partner during the warmer months.


People spending less time getting to know one another and the initial dating period moves along at faster speeds.

White clawing

Ever dated someone purely because they’re attractive despite their dull personality? Well, this is referred to as white clawing.


Caspering is ghosting’s cousin but on a much nicer level, as they start to slowly fade out of your life as opposed to ghosting abruptly.


When someone you’re dating keeps you hidden by not introducing you to family and friends and leaving you off social media.

So there you have it – all the phrases you need to know to keep your dating knowledge in tip-top shape.

Images: Getty

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