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‘Benching' is the worst kind of dating trend - here's what you need to know

We'd just got to grips with being ‘ghosted’ but in the fast-paced and fickle world of dating, there's a new term to consider when you jump on the dating merry-go-round. Yes, ‘benching’ is a thing, ladies and gents.

If you're "benching" someone, it means that you're not not interested in them but you're not wanting a full blown relationship - essentially, you're on the fence. Therefore you don't want to commit but every so often you send them a text when you fancy a little cyber flirt, suggest a coffee when you need a dose of attention, or just suggest a full-blown night of one-off sex and then go MIA until you decide you want to see them again. Sound horribly familiar?

As Steph Koyfman, Senior Content Producer at the language learning platform Babbel, explains: "Benching is an updated version of 'stringing someone along,' and it reflects the choice paralysis of having multiple online dating prospects to juggle. 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." Eugh.

Tina Wilson, Relationship Expert and Founder of Wingman, says benching someone basically means you have a back-up plan. "There is another person you’d happily begin a relationship with if the current one doesn’t work out. Don’t be mistaken, you like the person you are dating but not enough to make it official, so you prefer to keep them as an option, and from time to time ‘put them on the bench’ until further notice.

“This would be red flag for any partner as being a back up plan or knowing you could be dropped any second if you don’t come up to scratch isn’t a path for happiness.”

Want to figure out if you're being benched? The first sign of being benched is when you notice a sudden drop in contact - the calls and texts suddenly stop without any explanation. Then, as soon as you think you are over them, they spark up conversation again right out of the blue. “Blindsided by your feelings, even though you know it is wrong, if you are really into this person, you will keep going back and pick up where you left things until the inevitable happens again,” adds Tina.

If you're being "benched", you're the one left hanging. Unable to break-free because a) you like the person benching you so it's hard to resist and b) every time you're about to plan a date with someone else, miraculously they rear their head. Temptation, overload.

It's just a nightmare of no-closure. At least when you're "ghosted", albeit painful, you can eventually just move the hell on, right?

This article was originally published on Glamour UK.

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