Online Dating Terms You Need to Know In 2024

You probably have stumbled upon a few terms on online dating apps. There is a whole language that comes along with the world of online dating and this guide is here to help you stay up to date.


Pansexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by not having any limitations or preferences based on gender or sex. People who identify as pansexual may be attracted to any person, regardless of biological sex, gender identity, or gender expression.

Pansexuals can be attracted to people across the gender spectrum and are open to relationships with cisgender, transgender, nonbinary, and other gender-diverse individuals. Pansexuals do not necessarily feel limited by their attractions since they can find themselves attracted to members of all genders and sexes.

This form of sexual orientation can often allow for greater fluidity in relationships than many other sexual orientations because it rejects labels and allows for potentially infinite possibilities regarding potential partners. Whereas some people may feel limited in their options due to their attractions only being towards individuals of one gender or sex, pansexuals can find themselves attracted to people regardless of those factors.



A saposexual is a person who recognizes, appreciates, and is strongly attracted to someone based on their level of intellect and wit. They are captivated by the charm of a clever conversation, an insightful opinion, or an eloquent way of speaking. Rather than focusing on physical appearance or material possessions, they are drawn to the level of intelligence.

For a saposexual individual, nothing is more attractive than having a stimulating exchange with someone who can think critically and express themselves creatively. It’s not about having the most impressive job title or the highest degree; it’s about the ability to reason intelligently and offer sharp insight into any situation.

This type of attraction can be found in many different kinds of relationships—from friendships to romantic partnerships—and it creates an interesting dynamic between two people who share an intellectual connection.


Generfluid online dating

Genderfluid is a gender identity that describes someone who does not identify with a specific gender and instead fluctuates between different identities. It is an umbrella term for people whose identities and expressions transcend the traditional binary of male and female, existing somewhere between or completely outside of it. For many, their identity may vary over time or can remain fixed somewhere along the gender spectrum.

Genderfluidity is an internal experience that is based on self-identification and how someone chooses to express themselves. A person’s individual relationship to gender can include a combination of expressions such as clothing, pronouns, activities, interests, and even names they are comfortable being referred to by.

People who are gender fluid may also identify as non-binary, transgender or agender – terms that all refer to various states of not fitting into a single gender category. Being gender fluid means that one’s gender identity exists independently of any physical characteristics like genitalia or other body parts. Instead, it’s something internalized in the mind and experienced through emotions.


Micro Cheating Photo

Micro-cheating is a growing phenomenon in relationships that are defined as the small, seemingly innocent actions that can still betray your partner’s trust. It is an infidelity without the level of deception that is usually associated with cheating; often times it’s simply a person being too friendly or flirty with someone else outside of their relationship.

These behaviors can be anything from sending a suggestive text to someone you shouldn’t, liking another person’s social media posts, or even having a seemingly-innocent conversation with the opposite(or same) sex — all acts which are easily misinterpreted and could potentially ruin any relationship.

Micro-cheating can also include maintaining another relationship behind your partner’s back, such as talking to an ex more than necessary or keeping secrets from them. This type of emotional cheating may not seem as serious as physical infidelity, but it carries its own weight and can lead to lasting emotional damage if left unchecked.

In short, micro-cheating is any action that involves dishonesty and secrecy for one partner to form an emotional connection with someone other than their significant other — even if it doesn’t lead to physical intimacy.


Orbiting in dating is a contemporary form of romantic entanglement that has become increasingly popular due to the prevalence of social media platforms. It occurs when one person maintains peripheral contact with another – often through liking or commenting on their posts, watching stories, and viewing their profiles – without any direct communication. This behavior can be seen as an attempt to stay connected with someone who may have moved on from the relationship while still maintaining some kind of presence in their life.

While orbiting cannot provide the same level of emotional connection and physical intimacy that traditional relationships offer, it can lead to feelings of insecurity, paranoia, and confusion for both parties involved. As a result, many people argue that it is an unhealthy way of staying connected in a relationship and should be avoided in order to move on from someone completely.



Polyamorous relationships involve more than just two people and are based on the idea that love is not limited. These types of connections can take many forms, from committed triads to “open” relationships with multiple partners who keep in contact with each other in varying ways.

Polyamory involves a great deal of communication between all parties to ensure everyone’s needs are met; this could involve discussing boundaries, negotiating dynamics, or discussing how much time and energy each person has available for the relationship(s).

This arrangement requires a great deal of mutual respect and trust between those involved—and often a willingness to make compromises. It is often misunderstood as being synonymous with promiscuity or having a “free-for-all” approach towards sex; this is an incorrect assumption as it typically involves thoughtful agreements and decisions regarding whom to interact with romantically.

It also does not necessarily involve having multiple concurrent romantic relationships; some people may choose to have several partners at once, while others might be content with one partner but maintain open lines of communication with them.

All in all, polyamorous relationships allow for creative solutions when it comes to expressing love beyond the traditional framework of monogamy—giving individuals the space and freedom to explore their own desires without judgment.


Submarining is a sneaky dating tactic where a person disappears from the relationship for an extended period of time before resurfacing with little explanation or remorse. This can be done for weeks, months, or even years and can leave the other person in the relationship feeling betrayed and confused.

online dating coach advice and help

Submarining has become more common as couples can use technology to stay connected; however, it can also be used by individuals who have been in long-term relationships but have lost interest or decided they want to move on without actually breaking up with their partner.

Submarining is a manipulative form of ghosting and can be emotionally damaging to the victim because they may not know why their partner left them so suddenly. As a result, the victim could feel abandoned and left wondering what they did wrong while the submariner gets away without facing any repercussions.


CNM/ENM, also known as “Consensual Non-Monogamy” and “Ethical Non-Monogamy,” respectively, is an umbrella term that refers to any relationship that allows its partners to engage in sexual and/or romantic relationships with multiple partners simultaneously. It encompasses a variety of relationship types, such as polyamory, swinging, open relationships, and other forms of relationship structures that involve more than two people. 

Swingers in Bed

It is a growing concept that is becoming increasingly popular among the younger generation due to the freedom it provides for couples to express their love and commitment in nontraditional ways.

CNM/ENM requires both partners to be honest about their feelings and intentions towards each other, as well as with their partner’s other partners. Both partners must agree on the parameters of their relationship – including how many additional partners each person will have – in order for everything to work without one partner feeling neglected or betrayed.

This creates a safe space where all parties involved can freely express themselves emotionally, sexually, and romantically while still maintaining some sense of security within the relationship. Furthermore, accepting CNM/ENM can help strengthen relationships by increasing communication between partners and fostering trust among them.

At its core, CNM/ENM is all about providing an opportunity for people who are looking for alternative methods of expressing their love and devotion while still getting their emotional needs fulfilled. By embracing it instead of conforming to traditional monogamous arrangements, couples can create fulfilling relationships that give them the opportunity to grow together instead of apart.


Benching in dating is when someone strings another person along without fully committing, usually in an effort to keep the other person interested and available while they pursue other options. They might sporadically reach out with flirty texts and invite them on dates, but they don’t take any steps toward fully engaging in a committed relationship. Benching can be hurtful as it gives the receiver false hope of something that may never come to fruition.

It is emotionally draining for the person being benched and can lead to feelings of self-doubt and insecurity. For example, if one partner withholds love or affection from their partner, only to suddenly become more interested at times, it creates a roller coaster of emotions for the receiving end.

Often this kind of behavior creates a cycle of toxic relationships as one partner continues to bench the other no matter how many times they are rejected or let down by the other party. In order to avoid this kind of behavior, it’s important to be honest about your intentions rather than leading someone on with ambiguous communication and mixed signals.


Firedooring is a dating trend in which someone re-engages with an ex months or years later. It typically occurs when the person who initiates the contact has been out of sight and out of mind for a while, then suddenly appears again with a text, call, or social media message. The intent is often to start a new relationship, but could simply be an effort to catch up and see how the other person is doing.

Firedooring can be extremely confusing for both parties involved, as it can be difficult to gauge the intentions of the other person and why they decided this was the right time to reconnect. It may lead one person to believe that they are being strung along while the other party continues to keep their options open.

Therefore, it’s important to talk over any issues you may have before rekindling any spark between you two to clarify your expectations and ensure that you’re both on the same page about what you want from this relationship.


Kittenfishing is an online dating phenomenon where someone presents false information about themselves to deceive their potential dates. It could involve manipulating a profile photo or exaggerating one’s accomplishments in order to appear more attractive and desirable. This deceptive practice is unfortunately common on many dating apps and websites, as the person attempting to do the kittenfishing can portray themselves however they want without consequence.

Some of the most common forms of kittenfishing include: using old or photoshopped pictures, giving incomplete information, or lying about one’s interests and hobbies. When someone is kittenfishing, they often try to be vague about their age and/or location, which can lead to safety concerns for those who are not aware of what’s going on.

Furthermore, it can be difficult for the deceived person to know when they’re being catfished, as the other person will likely never meet up with them in real life. All too often, people looking for love fall victim to these manipulative tactics employed by those who wish to present a false version of themselves online.

Cuffing Season

Cuffing season is a period of time when singles are eager to enter into an exclusive, romantic relationship. It typically begins in the late fall or early winter, when the cold weather and holidays create a sense of loneliness that sparks a desire for companionship. This type of behavior could be seen as opportunistic and short-term, but it’s also natural for humans to crave physical contact and emotional connection during this season.

online dating consultant couple story


The term “cuffing” refers to the act of putting on handcuffs – metaphorically, it means to engage in a committed relationship that can help stave off any feelings of isolation and provide warmth and comfort during the colder months. During cuffing season, singles may find themselves gravitating towards people they wouldn’t normally date or forming relationships with someone they just met, all in pursuit of having companionship during winter.

While cuffing isn’t necessarily a permanent fix for loneliness or lack of love, it can provide an enjoyable distraction from feeling alone and wanting something more than just friendship.


Breadcrumbing in dating is an insidious yet all-too-frequent phenomenon that affects people of all genders and ages. It occurs when someone showers a potential romantic partner with attention, affection, and compliments in order to keep them around without any real intention of taking further action. The person doing the “breadcrumbing” typically sends sporadic messages such as likes or comments on social media, brief unanswered text messages, or invites out that never actually materialize.

Women looking at dating appsThis behavior can be frustrating for those on the receiving end as it often creates false hope and lures them into a cycle of confusion and disappointment. Breadcrumbing is a form of manipulation intended to make someone think they still have a chance at something more while avoiding outright rejection. Despite its subtlety, this type of emotional abuse can cause deep psychological harm by creating an atmosphere of doubt and insecurity.


Freckling is a term used to describe the dating trend of having summer flings with no strings attached. It is often seen as a way for two people to enjoy each other’s company during the warmer months without feeling obligated to stay together year-round.

The idea is that when autumn comes around, and summer ends, so too does the relationship, with no hard feelings or guilt. Freckling can be viewed as a kind of “no strings attached” style of dating, where two people can spend time together and benefit from one another’s companionship without worrying about expectations or commitments in the future. It is typically done between two consenting adults who are both looking for something casual and light-hearted rather than something more serious.

Some say that freckling encourages honesty and communication between partners since there’s an understanding that both parties will eventually part ways at some point, which means that all parties involved need to maintain open lines of communication about what they want out of the relationship. Freckling can be incredibly freeing for those who aren’t interested in settling down long-term but still want to enjoy a meaningful connection with someone else on a short-term basis.


In recent years, the concept of daddy dating has been exploding in popularity. This form of dating involves an older, more mature, and financially stable man (dubbed ‘daddy’) with a younger woman (referred to as a ‘baby’ or ‘sugar baby’). The relationship is often transactional and focuses on providing financial security and stability to the younger partner.

The daddy typically provides financial support in exchange for companionship and intimacy, access to luxury experiences, or other mutually agreed-upon benefits. The daddy may be significantly wealthier than their partner, but they are not necessarily wealthy by societal standards. However, they are expected to have the ability and willingness to provide financial assistance to their baby.

Some view this type of relationship as an unequal power dynamic, while others see it as beneficial for both parties involved, allowing them both to benefit from one another in different ways. The age gap between the partners can also be quite significant, leading to issues with social acceptance and potential legal ramifications. Ultimately it is up to each couple to decide if this type of relationship works for them and what expectations should be established upfront.


Incel is an abbreviation for “involuntary celibate,” a term used to describe people who feel they cannot succeed in forming romantic relationships or find fulfillment in sex. Generally, incels are straight men who have been unsuccessful in finding partners or engaging in sexual activity despite displaying sincere effort and desire. In fact, it is estimated that around 1 in 10 people identifies as an incel.

Incels experience various emotions such as frustration, sadness, anger, and jealousy due to their perceived inability to fit the societal standard of being able to find companionship through dating and physical intimacy. Many incels also feel that they have been excluded from the traditional dating process due to their looks, age or personality traits which may be deemed unattractive by potential partners. This can lead to feelings of alienation and loneliness within these individuals and fuel their sense of resentment towards those who appear ‘lucky’ enough to find relationships easily.

The online community has become a haven for many self-described incels, providing them with a platform where they can commiserate with each other over their shared experiences of loneliness and rejection while trying to date. But, unfortunately, this space has also become a breeding ground for misogyny and hate speech; too often, these negative sentiments get directed at women because they are unfairly denying some men the opportunity for love – an attitude that is both unfounded and dangerous.


From traditional monogamous partnerships to more alternative arrangements, dating in 2023 can look vastly different than it did even a few years ago. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to relationships, people need to be aware of the various terms and nuances associated with different types of dating so that they can make informed decisions about what works best for them. With this knowledge, one might be more empowered to go out and find the relationships that will make them the happiest.

As always, it’s important to remember the importance of consent, respect, and communication when engaging in any relationship, regardless of its form. Doing so can ensure that their experience is more positive, healthy, and fulfilling.