Capfishing, Vampiring And Leapfrogging: The 2020 Dating Trends You Need To Know
There's no avoiding it. Dating today is an absolute minefield.
We're all familiar with the new challenges that dating apps have brought into the equation. Nowadays you can swipe left, right, up and down on various apps, and it means that romance is more accessible than ever - but also more disposable, deceptive and unquestionably more shallow.
The last few years have seen the emergence of a whole array of dating terms, which are now pretty much dictionary official.
There's catfishing - when someone lies and pretends to be somebody different in their snaps to bag themselves a date. Then there's breadcrumbing - when a guy never quite comes through with a relationship, but offers you glimmers of hope in the form of flirty messages to keep you following his 'breadcrumb' trail.
And of course, there's good old ghosting - when you think its all going well but then he suddenly blanks you one day out of the blue (if you don't know the definition of this one by now, count yourself lucky).
So what's next? In the ever evolving world of digital dating, the romance disasters never stop coming.
Don't worry, Pretty52 has got you covered. We've coined the next dating trends you need to be on the lookout for, and asked Match.com's dating expert Hayley Quinn for tips on how to stay safe.
AKA: Matching with somebody just so you can "jump" over to their much fitter friend
Let's be real. We've all been guilty of at least fantasising about this, but being on the receiving end isn't pretty. Think your Tinder date is the full package? Well, watch out because he might have eyes for your BFF instead, and before you know it he could be leaping like a frog from your log to hers. Don't be a pawn in his game, here's Hayley's advice.
"A common complaint about online dating is that it can be hard to tell who's who if all your photos are group pictures. Avoid this trap, and leapfrogging, by limiting yourself to one group photo on your profile. And for anyone considering leapfrogging, it's never going to work."
AKA: Hiding your baldness on dating apps by tactically wearing caps
Don't get us wrong, a thin head of hair is nothing to be ashamed of, lads. But if you leave your date none the wiser until you turn up at dinner, then that's false advertising and it's basically a mild form of cat-fishing. Hiding behind an array of headwear isn't going to find you The One, and it makes you a Capfish, plain and simple.
Hayley says: "Since the dawn of Instagram we are all expected to look better in our pictures. Bald men especially may feel self-conscious that they don't fit the profile of what many women are looking for.
"I have seen many resort to snapbacks, beanies and flat caps in an attempt to give a false representation of what they look like. My advice would be to stop this as the truth always comes out in the end - be proud of who you are."
AKA: Repeatedly changing your picture on social media to get someone's attention
In the old days, the only way to reignite a faded romantic flame was to bite the bullet and reach out. But these days, if that chat goes cold everyone knows that it only takes is a hot new WhatsApp picture or Insta upload to lure someone back in.
You know the drill. Put up that new selfie on whatever social media platform you wish and BAM! they'll be sliding into your DMs just like that. Of course, flexing is dangerous, and quite frankly it's obvious. Plus, if you're only messaging someone because they put up a fit new picture, then you're probably not that into them.
Our dating expert warns: "In the age of social media, singletons overthink EVERYTHING. Whether it's an Instagram post, story, Tweet or a simple change of status or profile picture - a million questions and irrational situations immediately spring to mind.
"A new picture is a good tactic to spark an out of the blue, 'hey' message. However if you want to escape this cycle, and appear less vain in the process, consider removing your picture or replacing it with something that isn't a selfie."
AKA: Sporadically 'liking' Instagram photos in order to weasel your way back into someone's thoughts
Again... you've probably done it. Chuck a cheeky 'like' on someone's feed and remind 'em you're still interested. But Weaselling is so much worse. It's calculated, it's emotionally manipulative.
A weasel will always go for the third or fourth picture on your grid to show they've given you a stalk. They might even leave a fire emoji under your latest snap. A weasel knows what they're doing, and, like flexing, it'll unfortunately probably work a treat.
Hayley advises: "In 2019 we have an increasing ability to hide behind our phones, and never is this more obvious than when instead of calling you, a guy chooses to 'like' a bunch of your pictures instead.
"My advice to the ladies out there would not be to validate the lame effort here on his behalf, and instead wait it out for someone who can communicate with you clearly in the real world."
AKA: Sucking the romance out of a relationship by only trying to meet up in the early hours
Everyone's dated someone who, like a vampire, appears to be nocturnal. The first few dates have gone well... things are progressing, but then suddenly it's only ever 3am they want to see you, and undoubtedly after a beer or seven.
Vampiring is when booty-calling goes too far. Soon, they're sacking off any ordinary plans and only ever thinking of you in the AM. They want to do one thing and one thing only, and it's draining your relationship of all romance whatsoever.
Hayley says: "Hang some garlic round your neck and avoid Vampiring at all costs if you're looking for any kind of meaningful relationship. A vampire is using you to meet their needs without taking into consideration your other priorities and commitments.
"Swerve the, 'hey what are you up to?' messaging by archiving the chat until the next day, then respond at your leisure to hold those boundaries!"
Be safe singletons, it's a dangerous world out there...
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash