Loading articles...

Bae's been benched: An online dating dictionary

Last Updated Feb 13, 2017 at 2:41 pm EDT

A sample profile page and a sample list of matches from PlentyOfFish.com.

With a new(ish) form of dating comes a new vocabulary. Here’s a short-list of our some of the most popular words associated with online dating. Memorize them now and you’ll be well equipped to swipe right to find your next bae. Want to add a word to the dictionary? Tweet us @CityNews and use the hashtag #CitySex.

ALGORITHM
Google defines this as “a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.” In terms of dating apps, each one has a different algorithm. Tinder, for example, includes a feature where the app re-orders a user’s photos so that their “best” ones appear first, according to Fortune.

BAE
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has various definitions, including bachelor of aeronautical engineering, bachelor of agricultural engineering, and bachelor of architectural engineering. None of those are what we mean in this case. Instead, it’s simply a one-syllable term for your boyfriend or girlfriend. You know, because babe is not a simple enough one-syllable term. There’s also another story floating around the Internet and the Urban Dictionary that “bae” stands for “before anyone else.” So romantic.

BENCHING
Apparently coined by a New York Magazine writer, benching is exactly what it sounds like. You’re on the bench as the man or woman you may or may not be interested in is leading you on, all while seeing what other fish are swimming around in the sea. They like you but they’re not really that interested. Interested enough in sending texts but not interested enough in making (or keeping) date plans.

CATFISH
A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone else online. Dating website eHarmony lists 10 ways to catch a catfish. The hoax was first exposed in a documentary creatively called “Catfish,” where a man fell for a young woman online. She turned out to be a middle-aged woman with a husband and children.

DUCK-FACE
The pursed-lips look that is featured in all too many selfies has actually been studied by scientists. No, we’re not joking. Business Insider reports that a study at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and cited on the British Psychological Society Research Digest, says that “neurotic people were more likely to use the duck face in their photos.”

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS
Well, this is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a no-strings-attached relationship that only consists of relations of the sexual variety. It’s been around longer than online dating has, but we assume apps like Tinder make finding a FWB a much easier task. Psychology Today unsurprisingly warns that potential feelings may make the situation complicated and that labels can get in the way.

GHOSTING
There’s no bigger insult than being ignored. The fact that the term ghosting is so widely known is a pretty sad reflection of the state of (non) affairs happening in the online world of dating. Ghosting essentially is a non-magical disappearing act, where a person simply stops contacting you without any explanation. The ultimate silent treatment is a rejection tactic that is viewed by mental health professionals as a form of emotional cruelty, reports Psychology Today.

SWIPING
Tinder users either swipe to the right or left when assessing potential matches. Swiping to the right means you like the photos you see, and swiping to the left is the exact opposite. The newest swipe feature is swiping up, meaning users “super like” who they see. Tinder is making the most out of swiping, even releasing the “most right-swiped jobs” (it’s pilot for men and physical therapist for women, FYI). And in case you’re wondering, digital writers are not swipeworthy, according to the list. Guess we gotta go work on that duck-face.

Related stories:
Because it’s 2017: Online dating the norm as Valentine’s Day approaches
Video: Love and sex week kicks off on CityNews