Healthy lives for young people
Staying Safe Online

Online dating glossary

In our Digital Romance report young people told us they prefer flirting online than face-to-face.

Messaging was described as the perfect tool for playful flirting and participants said it was less risky than flirting face-to-face because it’s less embarrassing if you get ‘pied-off’.

When it came to breaking up 84% of respondents had been broken up with through messaging (either text or private message) and 25% of young people had been ‘ghosted’.

Dating language and slang terms are constantly changing and growing. If you’re not familiar with these dating terms then take a look at our online dating glossary below:

  • Aired – to be ignored
  • Benching – no longer hanging out with someone but keeping contact via social media (think about when you’re benched in sports, you don’t get to play but you’re still on the team)
  • Basic – can mean boring, clumsy, gross – anything negative
  • Breadcrumbing – sending out flirty messages and comment on people’s posts to keep them interested but not fully committing to them (think about leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for someone to follow)
  • Booted – to be dumped
  • Cuffing – when the weather starts to get colder and people who usually enjoy being single find themselves wanting a relationship (think about being ‘handcuffed’ or tied down)
  • DM slide – sending someone private messages in the hope they will flirt back
  • Freckling– (similar to cuffing) when the weather starts to get warmer and people want a relationship for the summer months
  • Gassed – happy
  • Ghosting – ending a relationship with someone by suddenly stopping all communication without any explanation
  • Haunting – continuing to like someone’s posts or watch their stories after ghosting them
  • IRL – in real life
  • Merked – could mean really drunk/intoxicated/beaten up or even getting found out/told off
  • moving to (someone) – approaching someone romantically (could also mean aggressively)
  • Pied-off – being rejected (think a pie to the face)
  • Preeing – looking at someone online also known as ‘online stalking’
  • peng/tidy – really attractive
  • R-bombing – reading a message but not replying
  • Stacked – built, really muscly/well-built/toned
  • Slipping – messing up
  • Ship – relationship
  • Zombieing – when a ‘ghoster’ suddenly gets in touch out of the blue (think back from the dead)

If you’re under 25 we’d love to hear your experiences of online dating – this can be positive or negative. Just email us and you can remain anonymous if you want to.


    Other Stuff you might find useful…

    Social media and relationships
    Staying Safe Online
    Online dating and staying safe
    Staying Safe Online
    Cyber Bullying
    Staying Safe Online
    Sexting and selfies
    Real Story
    Online Relationships: Isha’s Story
    Staying Safe Online


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