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The internet did not turn us into flakes, it just streamlined the process.

'Ghosting', 'breadcrumbing' - all the terminology used in online dating seem to be ways of explaining disappointment.

'Disappointment' itself is a euphemism for someone being rude and uncaring towards you.

Joining the gruesome club is the term 'Benching'.

What is 'Benching'?

Imagine getting a match on one of your various online dating profiles.

In order to 'bench' someone, you follow these simple steps (if you are a terrible person):

You like them, the conversation flows, so you arrange a date.

  • The day comes, but, although you think you will like them, you do not feel like meeting them that day.
  • So you postpone.
  • This happens on repeat.


You do not want to cut off the prospect of seeing this person, because you do not want them to move on from you and date someone else, but nor are you so enthused that you want to go through with meeting up with them.

The term 'benching' is drawn from sports, when a coach or manager keeps an athlete on the bench, but does not use them in the game or match.

Keeping someone as a back up or plan B was despicable before we were able to do it with smartphones.

At least in those days you had to send leave the cancellation message with their answering machine, or by a letter days in advance, or with the waiter at the restaurant at which you were meeting the person.

Not 20 minutes before, when they are clearly already on their way to your rendezvous point.

The fact that we as a species are phrasing romantic decisions in terms of sports, the occult, and fairy tales tells you a lot.

If language shapes conception, this can only end badly.

HT Mirror

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