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'Paperclips' Are The New F*ckboys And You Should Avoid Them Like The Plague

'Paperclips' Are The New F*ckboys And You Should Avoid Them Like The Plague

Who remembers being on Microsoft Word as a teenager and seeing the software's irritating (but also kind of cute) office assistant, Clippy, pop up on the screen? Well, the unwelcome advances of the paperclip has now inspired a new term for an age-old dating act: paperclipping.

Illustrator Samatha Rothenberg, who posts on Instagram under the name @violetclair, has shared an oh-so-relatable image that takes us right back to being on MSN after school and having Clippy pop up on our screens uninvited.

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In the illustration, the artist compares Clippy's random appearances and unhelpful suggestions to a certain type of f*ckboy we've definitely all come across.


Alongside the drawing of wide-eyed Clippy, Samantha wrote: "Sometimes I pop up for no reason at all. Like now. See, the truth is, I'm damaged, flaky and not particularly interested in you. But I don't want you to forget I exist :(."

After seeing the illustration, Metro coined the term "paperclipping", writing: "He's that guy you went on a few dates, he ghosted, then months later sends you a message out of the blue, usually saying something mysterious in its neutrality, a 'hey, how are you doing?' or 'are you up to anything this Saturday?'."

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We know the type far too well: they are incredibly confusing. Just as we've stopped wondering what we did wrong to get ghosted, they get back in touch as if the last few months of silence haven't happened.

The word is just the latest in a whole series of dating terms. We've had ghosting, when someone you've been dating disappears without a word, bread crumbing, when someone sends you just enough messages to keep you interested but without making enough effort for anything to actually move forward, and gaslighting, manipulating someone to make themselves doubt their own thoughts, memories and perceptions.

Credit: Microsoft
Credit: Microsoft

Rachael Lloyd, relationship expert at eharmony, says that as with Clippy, it's best to mute a paperclipper.

"The harsh truth is that when someone you've been on a few dates with months or even years ago pops up out of the blue, it is usually because they're bored or, dare I say, feeling horny. So, they go scrolling through their contacts to find someone sizzling and voila - there you are!" Rachael says.

"The problem is, paperclipping can have a disproportionate effect on the person being 'attached'. It can create false hope that something meaningful is happening. Suddenly, that person you really liked, the one that got away, is back on the horizon - proving that all along you were right to get hung up over them. If this is you, tread very carefully.

"The fact is if someone is committed to building something promising with you, they will make their intentions clear and honourable from the get-go. Anyone who zips on and off your romantic radar, is after an ego boost or 'friends with benefits' situation, at best. As with the original Clippy, it's not helpful, and it's best to mute and move on."

Don't say we didn't warn you...

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Topics: Sex & Relationships

Deborah Cicurel

Deborah Cicurel is a freelance journalist at Tyla. She writes entertainment, travel and lifestyle content for a variety of print and digital titles.

 

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