‘Trickle-Ghosting’, “Pocketing’, ‘Cloaking’ And Other Dating Trends You Need To Know

Let this glossary guide you through 2019’s weirdest dating trends.

(Photo: Getty)

(Photo: Getty)

Surely you’ve heard of “Ghosting,” right? You know, when the person you’ve been dating suddenly falls off the face of the earth with no explanation? Yeah, that. Actually, odds are you’ve been ghosted if you’re still playing the dating game, and you know it hurts like a bitch. 

But since online dating in 2019 is just getting more and more difficult, there are tons of other awful dating trends you should know about in case they happen to you…or you happen to be the offender.

This would be a ranked list of least to most shitty, however I can’t decide which of these horrible trends is worse than the other. So, since all of these dating trends suck, here is your ultimate awful dating trend glossary, in a completely arbitrary order.

Trickle Ghosting

Trickle Ghosting got its name on a Reddit thread, and describes the situation when you think everything is going great, but the person in question slowly and gently retreats. They’re suddenly and progressively less and less available, they don’t text you back for days, and all the while they’re very slowly working their way towards ghosting you. This is also known as the Slow Fade, and while it’s less aggressive than the other shitty dating trends, it still hurts.

(20th Century Fox Television)


This is when your partner doesn’t want you around their family and other important people in their life, and means they don’t see a future with you. It’s just downright rude and wasting your time — unless you, too, are just in it for a cheap thrill.


Cloaking is when your date stands you up, and then proceeds to block you on all communication platforms with no explanation whatsoever.


You know those people who flash their Gucci sneakers and literally post pictures of their car on their Tinder profile? Showing off and bragging about “coolness” and wealth is called Flexing, and as you already know, it’s never a good look.

Cookie jarring

This is when you keep someone around just to employ when you want a little treat. You don’t see a future with them and they aren’t good for you, but they’re a fun little snack for when you’re in the mood for something sweet, just like a cookie. 


Everyone has had a moment in a relationship or while simply seeing someone new when something unpleasant happens or you realize there’s a massive red flag, and you get the hell out of there real fast. That’s a You-Turn.


Remember the now-retired and pretty annoying Microsoft assistant Clippy that would pop up out of nowhere when you really didn’t want him bopping around your screen? 


Well, after Brooklyn-based artist Samantha Rothenberg shared an illustration comparing Clippy to people who are “damaged, flaky, and not particularly interested in you,” the act of disappearing and then reappearing out of thin air six months later got its name.



Ah, ghosting. This cowardly move involves having the person you’ve been dating suddenly stop talking to you with no explanation whatsoever. No text, no call, nothing. Much like a magician’s disappearing act, poof. They’re gone. Assuming Ghosters disappear for the sole purpose of avoiding the “This isn’t working out” talk, I emphasize that this is a cowardly move.


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Have you ever had someone ghost you, but not completely disappear from your life and continue to interact with your social media? As in they cut off all communication with you with no explanation, but for some odd reason, they watch your Instagram and Snapchat stories, like your pictures, etc., just like a ghost that keeps coming back to haunt you. So annoying. So stupid.


Or, as I sometimes like to call it, Back-Burnering. This is when your romantic interest leads you on for a while, but doesn’t really do much to take the relationship anywhere, but doesn’t make you lose hope, either. They keep you on the bench until or unless you’re needed in desperate times. If their main love interest is compromised, you’re in the game! But until then, you’re just not that important. 


A slight variation of Benching, Breadcrumbing is when someone shows you juuuust enough interest to string you along by making you feel like they might be interested, but that’s it. A flirty text every now and then or a cute Snapchat, but it never leads anywhere.


Have you ever dated someone where you saw them regularly, texted all the time, and had a great time together, but never met their friends or were otherwise never a visible part of their life? 

That’s called Stashing. It’s when the person doesn’t introduce you to friends or family, doesn’t post pictures of you on social media, and otherwise keeps you separate from their life in order to date other people as well (perhaps your friends?)…or keep you and their spouse from finding out about one another. Not cute, and not very respectable.


Here’s one that really hurts: Curving. A curver is someone who, unlike a Ghoster, does respond to your texts and continues to keep in touch with you, but always in a way that makes it obvious they’re not interested in you. But even though you know deep down that they don’t want to see you or talk to you, the fact that they’re responding keeps that teeny tiny spark of hope alive.

If the person in question responds to your text two days late with “Sorry. I thought I responded,” you got curved. If they reply with a thumbs up emoji, you got curved. Other examples include “lol,” “Ya,” “Cool,” and “Haha.” 


Following ghosting, the individual who dropped you like a hot potato and ignored you for weeks or months suddenly rises from the dead and texts you with a “Hey, how have you been??” like nothing’s wrong. I suggest deleting the texts and ignoring their calls immediately because someone who ghosted you once will probably do it again.