CULTURE

What Is Benching? The Latest Dating Trend Is Even More Annoying Than Ghosting

January 10, 2020 19:10

Dating isn't easy nowadays and there are some modern trends that make the process even more complicated. Ghosting, haunting, fading, breadcrumbing and even more. Have you ever heard these terms? My head is spinning around and what about your head?

Generally, they are slightly different variations of the same thing when a person is showing they're just not into you without actually saying it. Not funny, right? And if you want to learn more about dating world, let me present another dating trend: benching!

Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com

Here is everything you need to know about benching and how it can ruin your love life.

What is benching?

If you've ever played team sports, you are probably familiar with this term. Benching means keeping somebody on your team while not giving them a chance to prove themselves. A person who is benched isn't playing but just waiting and waiting. Sounds horrible, right?

Benching in dating means the same. According to Urban Dictionary, benching is when you like someone enough to keep in touch with them, but not enough to develop a relationship with them. And it is not about friendship. As a result, you hold them as an option while you continue to date with others.

vectorfusionart / Shutterstock.com

Moreover, you may be a victim of benching and not even realize it. To make things even more twisted, you may regularly receive warm and romantic texts, but it isn't enough. Regular sweet texting without consistent, face-to-face contact is not real dating.

Simply put, a bencher keeps you in their rotation while dating with others, while you are sitting and waiting for a real relationship. When your potential partner benches you, that's an obvious sign that they're not like you enough to be exclusive. Such a relationship has no chance to develop.

Benching is extremely common thanks to today's swipe culture.

Why benching is the worst

You may ask isn't this exactly the same thing as breadcrumbing, where a person sends you flirty messages on social media but doesn't want to be in a relationship with you? Or it may look like a situationship, when you don't fully define the relationship and leave things open. And don't forget about ghosting, when someone you're dating ends the relationship by cutting off all communication. Is benching even worse than ghosting?

However, benching is completely different. If someone is doing the benching, they not even commit to reaching out first. And we are fairly certain that benching is the cruelest form of dating because here’s no way to have a clean break and you just can't move on.

Prostock-studio / Shutterstock.com

Every time you are trying to give up, you’ll get a noncommital but romantic text. Benchers make the minimum effort required to keep you on the hook. In most cases, their strategy even doesn't include face-to-face contact, just frequent messages about plans to date. However, such plans never end up happening. You are just removed from "the game."

What to do if you are benched

We totally understand why benching is happening more and more as we live in a new digital world with specific rules. However, it’s deeply frustrating and disappointing to be benched, especially when a bencher is someone you really like. If you suspect that someone is benching you, first of all, don't panic. Take a look at your relationship to be sure. If your meetups become less frequent, messages go unanswered, but they’ll quickly get in touch just when you are going to give up, we have bad news: you are probably benched.

How can you avoid benching? We don't know exactly, but here is one golden rule: don't give anyone too many chances. Two strikes and you are out. Don't wait for miracles and just move on. You deserve a person who is really interested in you.

Alex Ruhl / Shutterstock.com

And think of boundaries as they are essential for every relationship. Setting boundaries around what you accept in the early stages of dating will pay dividends in the future. If it’s not working now, the likelihood of it suddenly working later is a bet you may not want to place.

Benching may be so common in the dating world, but it doesn’t mean that it should be a part of your dating experience. If you’ve noticed a pattern of benching, hopefully, this article has opened your eyes to what is really happening around you. Dating behaviors can be so confusing, but always remember that you are the most important person in your life.

And the awful truth... If after reading this article, you realize you are a bencher person, please stop! Or at least be honest. Tell them you want to keep things unserious. Even if you don't want to be part of a two-person team, you still can be a player. And don't forget about dating karma.

Have you ever experienced benching while dating?

Relationships