It’s funny when you think about it. Twenty years ago dating was almost exclusively limited to meeting those within social and geographic circles and using early dating platforms was considered quite strange. In fact, the very thought of online dating was alien. But today a single person NOT entering the digital dating pool is deemed odd.

Ghosting, benching, zombieing – there’s a lot of odd phrases circulating the online dating industry these days but these are three words that you absoloutely must familarise yourself with.


The vanishing act of ghosting occurs when your date suddenly goes off the radar. They won’t respond to your messages, answer your calls, and all communication is lost. You stress about what’s happened to them, perhaps even worry for their safety, and then… a new picture of them shows up on Facebook.

Ghosting is nothing new and has been happening long before online dating came about. Remember that age old cliche of the husband nipping out to the shops, only to never come back? That’s ghosting. The digital realm simply makes it more painful because you will inevitably see who the “ghoster” is dating further down the line.


Benching is perhaps the cruelest dating habit. The process involves keeping somebody “on the bench” or “backburner” until you’re ready to cast them aside or delve deeper. Unlike ghosting, benching will leave you in a state of confusion: one minute all is well and the next it’s not.

In most circumstances benching occurs because the person your dating has commitment issues. They probably like you, but not enough to take things further. Either that or – dare I say it – they’re purely after sexual gratification.


Zombieing is a post-ghosting activity that occurs when your date has disappeared, only to re-emerge out of the blue and pretend nothing has happened. Usually this happens via social media. One day you’ll post a new picture that’ll remind them what they’re missing, and the next minute you’ll see a little message pop up in the corner saying “Hey, what you up to?”

Always be cautious of zombies! While they may have genuinely good intentions, more times than not they’ll simply want a quick hookup. Having said that, people do change. But whether or not you choose resent or rekindle always requires very careful consideration. Once that zombie infection has taken ahold, it can outbreak at any time.

Technology has certainly helped us (society) develop some pretty bad and downright ignorant habits. But, negatives aside, it’s also made the whole process a lot easier. The traditional method is scary and not everybody feels comfortable approaching would-be partners in a public setting. The Internet has opened doors for those who struggle meeting people. Give a casual dating site a try by all means, just avoid these bad habits!