There are several things I’d like to leave in 2022. Some are more realistic than others. I don’t see TikTok going anywhere, despite how much I’d like it to pop-n-lock to the graveyard along with Bebo and Myspace. I’d be ok with having fewer prime ministers, but that’s a story for another time. There are other things I’d love to see more of in 2023, and funny stories about dating and ridiculous dating trends are thoroughly enjoyable. I think the first dating trend I remember becoming aware of was “ghosting”. It became part of the lexicon and now most people, even those who have never been on a dating site, know what it is. It was common and when it was named, people responded. Now, we’re showered with dating terminology that’s more niche and probably isn’t really used in real life. Huffington Post has collected the trends and descriptors which, apparently, became more common in 2022.
What is zombie-ing?
Zombie-ing is where someone ghosts you and then you become aware of their existence again, like, well, either a zombie or a ghost. I don’t know if we particularly need a term for this, because it’s basically just ignoring an ex who keeps viewing your Instagram story or passes you in the supermarket. Just avoid eye contact or checking out their social media and pretend you didn’t have sex. I think we can leave Zombie-ing in 2022.
What is voice-fishing?
Voice-fishing is the ridiculous end result of Hinge’s idea to include audio clips on users’ profiles. I remember when the news of this broke and we quickly realised that this was a stupid gimmick that was launched with a large enough platform to become rapidly mocked. The idea is that you try to make yourself sound sexier over the voice recording, so people are more attracted to you. It’s the auditory equivalent of editing a selfie so your boobs look nice. Again, I think this is a bit of a stretch and I’d be fine if voice-fishing and audio clips got left in 2022.
What is hesidating?
I knew I was going to hate this one because of how many times autocorrect was going to try and change it. Basically, the idea is people want to form romantic relationships, but their social skills were destroyed during the pandemic and now they are conflicted. I have a fair amount of compassion for those who are hesidating and those who are attempting a romantic relationship with someone who hesidates, because humans are messy and complicated and imperfect. A lot of people feel burnt out by online dating, and if they’re forcing themselves to go onto online sites and attempt to connect, hesidating seems like a foregone conclusion. I think what I’d like to see in 2023 is people taking a break if they’re not happy, investing in vibrators and allowing themselves time to be free.
What is power-PDAing?
I think, generally, we could leave the Kardashians behind in 2022. They have plenty of money, now let them enjoy obscurity. We certainly don’t need to see Kravis power-PDAing all over the internet, it’s been more than enough. Perhaps I should spend less time on Buzzfeed. How interesting could another person’s tongue possibly be? Power-PDA is when you deliberately engage in over-the-top physical contact in public. The thought is that we’re all a bit touch starved and therefore weird. For what it’s worth, I don’t object to some open signs of love, but I think it needs to be a bit PG13, please. Holding hands is lovely, and a kiss on the cheek is sweet, but grabbing someone’s bum as you walk to the station is cringe-inducing. I don’t think many people actually used the term “power-PDA”, but the concept is uncomfortably familiar.
Inventing terminology can be funny and helpful as it allows us to label and analyse certain behaviour. I think this can sometimes be taken too far: nobody knows or cares what a beige flag is, and “winter coating” is something the Inuk probably invented thousands of years ago. Ultimately, and broadly, can we all decide to make new year’s resolutions to be kinder to ourselves and the people we online date, and only label dating trends when we’re a few drinks in at brunch?