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Orbiting is the dangerous new 2024 dating trend that could lead to much worse things

Orbiting is the dangerous new 2024 dating trend that could lead to much worse things

Repeat after me: if you don't want them, leave them alone

From ghosting and benching, to soft launches and situationships, sometimes it feels like you need a dictionary to understand all the terms and labels we attach to various relationship behaviours.

But, while the language of dating may be confusing, it can be really helpful if you understand it.

Sexologist and dating expert Chantel Otten told GQ: "New dating terms offer more nuanced ways to describe specific situations, emotions, and types of relationships. They allow us to pinpoint certain aspects of dating and relational dynamics that were previously harder to articulate."

The latest terminology you need to know may seem harmless, but can actually lead to much worse things.

So, say you've been dating someone new but after a while they say they aren’t interested in continuing a relationship with you.

But, when you post a new snap on Instagram a few days later, they're one of the first people to like it. And they continue to view and like everything you do online.

Orbiting is the new dating terminology describing bad relationship behaviour... and no, it has nothing to do with outer space.

That, my friend, is orbiting - defined as continuing to interact with an ex's content on social media, even if you've ceased all IRL contact with them.

At its most harmless, orbiting is kind of annoying and leads to a few snarky subtweets followed by a swift click of the block button.

But, at its worst, it's can be a gateway for a far more serious problem.

You see, liking someone's Instagram posts can easily lead to other small gestures that give them a glimpse of hope for a potential relationship, despite you having no interest in this happening.

This move, that essentially sees someone leading another person for their own benefit, is known as breadcrumbing.

Orbiting refers to liking and viewing someone's social media content after making it clear you don't want to be in a relationship with them.

The term comes from the story of Hansel and Gretel, who leave crumbs in the forest so they can return home. But, when they try to follow the crumbs, they don't take them anywhere.

Dr Cortney Warren explained to Indy100: "Breadcrumbing is a manipulation tactic that only benefits one party - the breadcrumber enjoys the romantic attention they receive from you without having to truly invest in the relationship in any real way, as a committed partner would."

And this can be really harmful for those being led on. It can cause a lot of confusion, doubts, insecurities, self-esteem issues and problems with trusting future partners.

Essentially, it all comes down to communication and being clear about what you want. If it's not the person you've been casually dating, leave them alone.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Sex and Relationships, Social Media, Dating trends