Apparently there are 10 types of online romance, and you’ve been in all of them


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Apparently there are 10 types of online romance, and you’ve been in all of them

I’m always ‘Thirsting’

Af if panicking about where you stand in a relationship weren't nauseating enough, a new study by dating app Happn asked users to compile a list of terms encompassing even the most undefined of relationships, and it has me shaking.

Not only are we all going to get ghosted, but then we're going to get haunted and tuned, as well.


Sadly, ghosting is probably the term millennials are most familiar with.

The whole act of mysteriously disappearing on a significant other feels like it was ushered in by dating apps like Tinder, and kind of just overstayed its welcome.

From screening calls to 'forgetting to texting back,' ghosting is nothing more than a lazy way for one side of a relationship to leave without having to explain themselves thoroughly.

But if Drake could do it to Bella Hadid, really, it could happen to any single one of us.


Haunting usually comes in the aftermath of Ghosting.

This dating phenomenon is the act of slyly reappearing after previously ghosting someone. Things are going fine and one day they stop texting you up. You're not desperate so you let it go and hope to never hear from them again.

But of course you hear from them again, because either they realize they made a mistake, or they're lonely, sad and want back in your pants — probably the latter.

Haunters won't usually initiate direct contact but might trawl your Instagram with likes after disappearing. Just be cautions because once someone ghosts you, there's nothing stopping them from doing it again.


Cuffing is a seasonal romance trend that focuses on tying someone down for the winter.

Of course there's nothing wrong with cuffing, if you're both on the same page about it, but more often than not one person thinks you're cuffing and the other thinks it's more than that.

Cuffers will never make the relationship known online and are just seeking a body to keep them warm in the cold months. Come spring, they'll delete your number before you have time to tell them how you feel.

Don't let yourself be deceived by a cuffer just because they seem genuine right now — the warm weather brings out the devil in most of us.


The textlationship is a relationship that develops solely over texts and kind of just stays there.

The two of you have talked about meeting up 100 times, but every time the day comes, you're staying late at work, or suddenly his friend is in town and staying with him. But it's extremely unlikely this relationship will go anywhere if the two of you can't get off the phone and try it in person. Everyone is different when they don't have time to come up with a witty response.

If someone keeps refusing to meet up with you, there's probably something else going on — an ex has come back into their life or they still aren't over someone else.

Slow fade

The slow fade is a painful, drawn-out version of ghosting.

This person will continue to show interest in you, but will not always be there when you need them. They'll string you along by commenting on your pics, and continue to make vague plans for the two of you without ever solidifying anything.

Eventually they'll stop texting so much or go entire weekends without trying to see you at all, and it'll feel shitty because you never got a clean break.

With cases like this, it's safest to go cold turkey and ghost them before they leave you.


Benching is all about keeping someone on the side while continuing to play the field.

We're all guilty of doing this at some point in some relationship, but there comes a point when (if you really want things to work between you and the person you're seeing) you have to stop.

That high school crush you still occasionally text late at night, your ex who you "stayed on good terms with."

There's nothing wrong with keeping options open, but if a partner catches on too far down the road, they could leave.


The thirsting stage is the most relatable one and one we all wish we could avoid.

When you're thirsting after someone, it usually means they haven't noticed you or aren't thirsting after you in the same way.

This could be anything from stalking someone you barely know on Instagram, to spending every waking moment thinking about your future life with someone who definitely hasn't thought about it for one moment with you.

Thirsting almost always ends in heartbreak, but it's not too painful because deep down you knew the romance was in your head.


Talking is as basic as it sounds and means neither of you has committed in any way to the other yet.

This phase of the relationship should be super flirty and fun, and if it isn't then you should get out because it's only going to become harder from here. Maybe the two of you met at a party and have been texting, or you matched on Tinder and have only met up in person a few times, but it's very early stages.

Unless you click with someone immediately while in this phase there isn't much sense trying to pursue the relationship.


Tuners are romantically interested but afraid to be up front about it.

Like a bencher, a tuner will keep texting someone else on the side, but only because they're scared things won't work out with you, and want to make sure they have someone to fall back on.

A tuner can be coerced out of it in a way a bencher can't, but they'll need a lot of reassurance that they're the only person you're interested in, and that you're ready to go all in with them.

It should be obvious the tuner wants the relationship to advance in a way the bencher doesn't.


DTR is the stage of finally defining a relationship.

You aren't officially recognized as partners yet, but you're no longer just going on a few dates or "talking."

Your friends know exactly who you're talking about when you bring them up and may even mistakenly refer to them as your partner to other people. You probably don't have a photo of them on your Instagram yet, but they've appeared in your Snap story.

This is a great stage to be in and could be one you're in for months. There's no reason to force this stage to the next step. The titles will fall into line when they're meant to and it'll feel entirely natural.

This is the honeymoon, so enjoy it.

Hopefully this list has cleared something up for you, and that "something" isn't that you're being benched. But knowledge is power and at least now you can finally leave them.


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