10 Dating Slang Terms You Need to Know in 2017

Are you ready to DTR or what?
Are you ready to DTR or what? Nito/Shutterstock

Dating in 2017 is trickier than ever, and not just because there are enough apps and websites coming out on a weekly basis to crash your phone. You basically need an encyclopedia of all the latest memes and GIFs, and then you should also be carrying a constantly updating dictionary with every dating slang term that'll get thrown at you on Tinder, Bumble, Grindr, or whatever other messaging system you use to get hit on.

We can't really help you with memes or GIFs, but here are some dating slang terms you'll definitely need to know this year.

The dating equivalent of hedging your bets, cushioning is when you keep a roster full of side pieces ready and waiting just in case you break up with your main squeeze. Of course, you wouldn’t (or at least you shouldn’t) be dating or hooking up with anyone outside of your relationship, but it’s more about talking and flirting with them just in case the need arises — or in case your significant other finds out about them.

Indirectly related to the famous Jersey Shore line “She’s too young for you, bro,” putting someone on layby essentially means that you find them attractive (and possibly a good dating fit), but they’re not of an appropriate age. It could mean they don't fit the half-your-age-plus-seven rule, or maybe they’re simply too young to understand the importance of the aforementioned Jersey Shore line.

Much like you might tune an instrument before playing it, “tuning” is all the work that goes into a relationship before it actually begins. From the first flirty text messages to the eventual social media account lurking (don’t pretend like you’ve never done it), there’s a whole lot of tuning that often goes on before you jump into a relationship (or into bed) with someone.

If you’ve ever sent the same flirty text message to multiple people, you were probably leaving breadcrumbs or “breadcrumbing." Breadcrumbs are those lazy noncommittal texts (or DMs or any other form of written communication in the 21st century) sent out on occasion as a relatively low-cost way of flirting (sometimes with several people at the same time). It’s an easy way to keep people mildly interested, but it’s also basically just leading them on rather than committing one way or the other.


It’s like quicksand, but caused by the emotional attachment to a dick. Example: Your friend is fawning over a guy, and the only way this could possibly be justified is because the sex is good. Think of this as almost a companion term to “pussywhipped,” which seemingly has been around forever. Dicksand, however, has entered our vocabulary relatively recently (particularly since it was explained in How to Be Single).

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Are you ready to DTR or what?
Sure, we all know what DTF is, but DTR is that awkward conversation that you generally have after a DTF moment or two. It’s when two (or more, if you’re into that sort of thing) people finally have that discussion in which they Define The Relationship. Of course, if one party believes it’s just a casual thing and the other is more or less ready to move in, the DTR conversation can also be one of the last nights of the relationship.

When your threesome one-night stand becomes a recurring thing, you might be looking at the beginning of a throuple. As nice as that may sound, a relationship with three people is likely going to be 50 percent more difficult than a standard couple in most ways. So be warned before you think throupling is all fun and games. Just ask NBA star Lou Williams and his pair of ex-girlfriends about that one.

Although it’s been going on for as long as there have been shady dudes, stealthing has become a hot-button issue. Because it's repulsive. It’s the act of a guy removing a condom during sex after saying he’ll wear one, and some lawmakers are looking to make it a criminal act.

Catch and Release
Although sex without attachment isn’t anything new, casual dating apps and websites have made it more socially acceptable and easier than ever. For that, we can now call it the catch-and-release method (even though lecherous fishermen have probably been using that term for decades). There’s nothing wrong with going this route, necessarily, but you should always make sure you don’t let go of any fish that might be worth keeping for at least a little while.

Remember when “ghosting” was a big deal? Well, now there’s haunting, which is when someone who ghosted you gets back in contact with you. What a time to be alive.
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Josh Chesler
Contact: Josh Chesler