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What Does “The Ick” Even Mean? 2021’s Most Popular Dating Terms

What Does “The Ick” Even Mean? 2021’s Most Popular Dating Terms

Róisín Lynch

Dating terms could make up a whole language on their own at this stage. There are so many and there seems to be new terms every week. From “The Ick” to “Benching” we are breaking down the most popular dating terms of 2021.

The Ick

One of the most popular dating terms thrown around. You are probably familiar with this one, especially if you are a Love Island fan!

“The Ick” refers to the sudden cringe you get for some someone you are in some form of a romantic relationship with. There is often no explaining the ick, you just suddenly become repulsed by the person.


Breadcrumbs refers to the act of sending out flirtatious, non-committal signals to a person you like without putting in much effort. It is just like leaving breadcrumbs for the person.


If you are familiar with dating terms you have probably heard of ghosting.

Unfortunately ghosting happens to the best of us. Instead of being straight with the person, people gravitate towards ghosting when they want to end anything from talking stages to situationships and relationships. It is the act of ceasing all contact and communication with someone you are dating or a friend.

Usually the ghosting comes out of nowhere. One day you are talking normally and the next they leave you on seen, never to speak to you again.

Soft Ghosting

A more gradual form of ghosting. It doesn’t make it any nicer however! Soft ghosting refers to conversations that are gradually dropped. The person takes longer to respond, messages you first less often, their contact with you overall becomes more spaced out.


Benching refers to being involved with someone romantically but not committing because you want to keep your options open.

In short the person keeps you on a bench while they play out their other options. If you think you are involved with someone who is benching, it is best to move on, you are worth so much more than someone who treats you like an option when you are the whole package!


When dating terms meet human rights movements. Woke-Fishing refers to a guy who pretends to be up to date and aware of human rights matters for example feminism and Black Lives Matter, without doing anything to assist the movement. They are only saying they are aware to impress you or because they are aware of your interest and involvement in these movements.


Pocketing is when the person you are dating is hesitant to introduce you to their friends and family in person or even on social media even if you have been going out for awhile.

See Also

Essentially when someone pockets you they are hiding you away. If you are dating someone and  realise you are being pocketed, run a mile, it is a major red flag in a relationship and you deserve to be shown off, not hidden away!

DM Slide

Slang for someone direct messaging you on social media apps such as Instagram and Facebook. The person who sends you a direct message is doing so in an attempt to flirt with you or get involved with you romantically.


Notice your ex is always lingering in the background liking your instagram posts and occasionally messaging you? This is what haunting is. It is a dating term used to describe a past relationship that is for the most part void except for their sporadic presence on your social media pages. Their interaction isn’t constant but they make an effort to engage with you online from time to time.

Have you experience with these popular dating terms?

On the topics of dating and relationship have a read of this article on Toxic Traits of Bad Relationships!

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