25 Modern Dating Terms You Should Know About


Last Updated: May 1, 2024

Dating Tips

It can feel like the list of modern dating terms you should know about changes all the time. And that’s because it does! With new viral videos, in-person gossip between friends, and influencers throwing out new terms, the lingo around dating is constantly evolving.

But, don’t worry. You can keep up with the trends by familiarizing yourself with these 25 terms!

Wife material (aka Wifey Material)

A woman who is wife material is someone who encapsulates everything a partner is looking for in a wife. Of course, that list of characteristics will depend on who is using the term. For some people, wifey material refers to women who are kind, nurturing and gentle. Others will want a wife who is financially independent, ambitious, and brutally honest. More generally, someone may say a woman is wife material when they feel compatible and able to picture a future with this person.

Also, important to note that husband material, or hubby material is also a popular modern dating term!


Someone who is demiromantic won’t feel romantic attraction to a partner unless they’ve already established a strong emotional bond with them. In other words, people in this category aren’t likely to fall in love easily and probably won’t be swept off their feet by a crush or infatuation. Instead, they tend to take new relationships slow or focus more on physical intimacy rather than romantic pursuit.

Bedroom Eyes

So much of our communication is non-verbal and that is the case for bedroom eyes! This is a look that someone will give you when they want to take things to the next level.

Code 143

It’s funny that this phrase can be included in modern dating terms because it actually dates back to the 90s. Way back then, people needed a shorthand to say “I love you” because of character restrictions on pagers and cell phones. Hence, the numbers refer to the amount of letters in each word.

143 may be having a comeback, but in terms of dating, it’s not always positive. A “code 143” may refer to someone saying those three little words too early in a relationship.



In a swinging situation, a couple is free to engage in physical intimacy with a person or people outside of the relationship. The exact rules of how this works will depend on the couple. Some may want to be involved in the selection process for partners outside of the relationship. Others will have free range to pursue connections on their own.


Ever been in a situation in which someone had stronger romantic feelings for you than you for them? Chances are, you probably found yourself “swerving” them. This is a tactic used to avoid communication or keep all conversations as unromantic as possible until the other person gets the hint that you’re not interested.


In the age of the internet, catfishing is a sadly normal occurrence. This is a practice of lying about one’s appearance, accomplishments, or any other personal information in order to attract someone online. Some catfish are scammers, while others feel the need to hide behind an online facade in order to make connections or feel better about themselves.


Thinning hair or a receding hairline is nothing to be ashamed of! But, many people feel the need to “hatfish” or cover up their hair with a hat in all pictures and in-person interactions in order to attract a mate.


Peacocking is one of the modern dating terms that sprouted from the so-called Pickup Artist in the late 90s. It’s a tactic in which a person attempts to attract a potential partner by wearing an outlandish accessory or following an eye-catching fashion style. The intention is to stick out from the crowd, appear confident, and get more attention.


Breadcrumbing happens when one person sends mixed signals about their romantic interest. They offer just enough affection and validation to give the person hope, but they never fully commit to the relationship. Breadcrumbing is a popular tactic in situationships, and may be conscious or unconscious.


Being benched by someone comes from the sport’s world, i.e. putting someone on the sidelines until you need them. If you’re being benched, the person is not interested in pursuing a relationship with you, but wants to keep you around in case their feelings change. Breadcrumbing is a popular way for someone to keep their love interest on the bench.


Social media gives us an opportunity to check in on another person’s life without ever interacting with them directly. And that’s what orbiting is all about. It may refer to an ex-partner that you still follow on Instagram, or your crush that you’ve been thinking of asking out on a date.

Catch and Release Dating

Catch & release dating is a potentially toxic form of dating in which one person strongly pursues a potential partner up until the moment that their interest is reciprocated. In other words, you might have gone on a few dates with someone who showered you with compliments and gave you hope that there was a connection between the two of you. But, as soon as you started to share your romantic feelings with them, they broke up with you or ghosted.


Bae refers to your baby, your boo, your beau, or as the acronym spells out: the person you put “before anyone else.”


BIF and BIM are acronyms for bi-sexual females or bi-sexual males.


Ghosting happens when one person in the relationship wants to end things but does not have a clear conversation about their intentions. Instead, they stop replying to messages and may block the other person on all social media platforms.


Submarining is a specific ghosting tactic in which the person reappears after a period of silence. This is also sometimes referred to as zombie-ing.


Someone with rizz knows how to flirt! They always say the right thing to attract a partner, and their confidence keeps all eyes on them.


Beige Flags

You’ve probably heard of red and green flags, but what does a beige flag mean in modern dating terms? Beige flags are characteristics about someone that are simply neutral. They’re not inherently good or bad, but they make someone unique.


GSOH stands for “good sense of humor!” This person is funny, which may be a green flag or may be an indication that someone uses humor to avoid deepening emotional intimacy.


Hypergamy is one of the rare modern dating terms that comes from social science rather than the cultural Hypergamy originally referred to women who seek partners above their own social status or income level. Nowadays, the term is gender-neutral.


Monogamy refers to a relationship in which both partners agree to be exclusive, sexually and romantically.


In polyamory, metamour refers to the person that your partner is seeing outside of the relationship. It’s a simpler way to say “my partner’s partner.”

Sapio Romantic

Someone who is sapio romantic is attracted to their partner’s intellect above other characteristics.

Cuffing & Cuffing Season

Cuffing means making your relationship official. And cuffing season is a playful way to refer to the time of year when single people may cast their net more actively in order to find a partner for winter. After all, no one likes to spend the holidays alone!

Final words about acronym dating

Navigating the wild world of modern dating can mean searching Google to figure out what in the world all of the acronyms mean! Don’t worry. Not understanding all of the lingo doesn’t mean you’re out of touch or uncool. Everyone, even the most well-connected influencer or dating guru, is going to come across a term or two they don’t know! So, be easy on yourself, turn to the internet for the latest lingo, and don’t feel pressured to use these modern dating terms in your own convos if they don’t feel right. Simply knowing them is enough to wade through the modern dating pool!

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