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It’s a new year and a new opportunity to find love, and with Valentine’s day just around the corner the hunt for that special someone is on. 


However, before you venture out into the dating world there are a few new terms you should probably know.



With everyone in their homes due to yet another lockdown, zombies are popping out of their coffins more than ever. Zombies are people who have previously ghosted you, but then after some time they ‘rise from the dead’ and reach out to you again. This could be by text, dm, phone call or matching with you on a different dating app and messaging first there. Whatever the case may be the person will appear active about their re-interest in you and it will be up to you to decide whether it is worth letting them back into your life.



The last year has highlighted how fragile life is and the pressure to find ‘the one’ has increased, thanks to the lack of human contact we are all being subjected to at the moment. As coined by Plenty of Fish, apocalypsing is the act of getting overly serious with someone you just started dating.  Rather than living in the moment and enjoying getting to know this new person, those guilty of apocalypsing treat every relationship like it will be their last. This could result in ignoring red flags in favour of progressing the relationship, becoming overly dependent and ultimately becoming serious with a person who isn’t right for you. 



Someone can be accused of breadcrumbing when they send out flirtatious but non-committal social signals to lure a romantic partner. They’re not overly interested in you but they’ll keep you on the bench ‘just in case’. Whether it’s texting or liking social media posts sporadically, their attention never actually progresses to the point of going on a date. 


Foster Girlfriend

If you have ever dated someone and spent time and effort helping them with their personal growth only for them to break up with you, date someone else and settle down with them? Congratulations, you have been a foster girlfriend. A foster girlfriend dates a guy until they find their ‘forever home’. The girl is essentially used as a stepping stone to his better self and ergo his better life. 



Unlike friends with benefits, where both parties agree not to develop feelings, the boundaries of a situationship are less clear. Lack of clear communication leads to an individual feeling stuck in that situation, unable to progress to an actual relationship but past the point of a casual hookup. A situationship has all the emotional connection and sometimes physical intimacy of a relationship, but none of the commitment. 



If you are lucky enough to maintain a relationship during this time, make sure you don’t ruin it by being overly focused on fairy tales. Those Disney romance expectations will never compare to reality. 



If you have survived all these trends and you and your significant other are serious about each other, it might be time to define the relationship. It’s important that you communicate and are in agreement about where the relationship is and where it’s going.


Dating is hard enough as it is, but it has definitely been made more difficult due to the pandemic. A lot of these actions can be harmful to a person’s mental state and hopefully recognising them might be the push you need to leave that toxic situation.  

Law graduate at DCU.
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