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Getting 'benched' is being called worst dating trend of 2023

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

Getting 'benched' is being called worst dating trend of 2023

If you’re on the dating scene, you’ve no doubt heard about all the terminology floating around, from getting 'ghosted', to getting 'zombied', or being 'breadcrumbed', but have you ever heard of being 'benched'?


As if the dating world wasn’t tough enough, there’s also apparently an entire language that goes along with it that you’re needed to learn if you want to understand it all.

Obviously, most of us know what ‘ghosting’ is by now, and might even have heard about ‘quiet quitting’ from either the dating sphere or the working world.


Getting 'zombied' is something like ghosting, but also somehow worse.

However, benching is a bit different, though similar to the rest as it's still a pretty crappy way to treat someone.

Ghosting is obviously when you just completely stop talking to someone or start ignoring them - the outcome is broadly the same - without letting them know.

Essentially, you become a ghost.

This bloke looks like he's about to get benched. Credit: Pexels
This bloke looks like he's about to get benched. Credit: Pexels

Benching is a little bit different, as it seems to mean that while you do still like this person enough to spend time with them when it suits you, you aren’t keen enough to actually start a relationship with them if there is something better or more desirable on offer.

Consider, if you will, the world of professional sports.

In football, you might have a first team, who you call on throughout the season and rely on to provide the bulk of the goals, the strength of defence, and generally they’re your go-to guys.


However, behind them in case of injury or poor form, you’ve got the substitutes, who are there to step in should something happen to one of the top picks.

Where do the substitutes sit?

You’ve guessed it - on the bench.

So, if you’re getting texts from someone asking you if 'you’re up' or if you only hear from someone every now and again, sorry friend, you just may be getting benched.


Basically, according to Steph Koyfman from language learning app Babbel, it’s like ‘stringing someone along’, but now with a horrific and distinctly '2023' dystopian frisson.

And we thought 2016 was bad, right?

if you're the last person that gets the call, you may just be on the bench. Credit: Pexels
if you're the last person that gets the call, you may just be on the bench. Credit: Pexels

Koyfman told GLAMOUR: “Benching someone is essentially like benching a football player - they’re not your first (or maybe even second) choice, but you still want to keep them around as a backup option, so you give them just enough to keep them interested.”


Told you it was a s****y thing to do to someone, didn’t we?

Anyway, it’s arguable that this is even worse than ghosting, because at least there’s an end point there.

Benching just leaves someone hanging by a thread, before dragging them back every now and again when convenient.

So, maybe it’s time to recognise what’s happening to you, and stop getting benched.

Maybe it’s time to ghost the bencher?

Maybe it’s just time to write the whole thing off as a bad job and learn to love yourself.

As the great prophet RuPaul said, if you can’t do that, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?

Featured Image Credit: Edward Eyer/Pexels

Topics: Weird, Sex and Relationships

Tom Wood
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