From The Straits Times    |

Credit: 123rf

You’ve just finished regaling your friends with anecdotes about your latest love interest. In response, one comments, “Wow, he has hella rizz.” Another says, “So is this a situationship?” Meanwhile, another friend asks if you’re ready to be cuffed, and how you’re going to soft launch him. 

If there’s only one thing on your mind — huh? — you’re not alone. New dating terms have been popping up left and right, aptly describing pretty much everything that happens in one’s love life. But don’t worry, because we’ve got your back. Presenting, Her World’s dating dictionary:

Love bombing

According to Dr Elaine Yeo, a senior clinical psychologist at Promises Healthcare, love bombing is a pattern of behaviour where one showers attention, affection and admiration on another with the purpose of controlling or manipulating them. If this sounds familiar to you, read all about the signs to look out for and how to deal with it here.


An abbreviation for the word ‘charisma’, someone who has rizz is smooth, charming, and has ‘game’. They can attract anyone they please, and they’re sleek when they do it.

Benchwarming or benching

In sports, it refers to a player, usually a substitute, who barely gets to play in games or matches. They usually just sit on the sidelines and — you guessed it — warm the bench.

In dating, it’s pretty similar. One person keeps the other, the benchwarmer, on standby while they play the field to look for better prospects. Then, when they please, they pay attention to them. Essentially, they don’t like them enough to commit to a relationship with them, but at the same time, they like them enough to keep them on hold as a backup option. Oof.


It’s basically a relationship, but without the label of one. The parties feel an emotional connection and likely have feelings towards each other, but the status of the relationship remains ambiguous and hasn’t been formally established yet. 

It’s typically a less-than-ideal circumstance, where things are neither here nor there. Suspect you may be caught in a situationship? This guide will help you find out.


You’re ‘cuffed’ when you enter a relationship with someone, mainly because you’re tied (or handcuffed) to them now. You may also hear people mention cuffing season — a period of time where everyone seems to be getting into relationships. It may sound like it has negative connotations, but it really doesn’t.

Soft launch

It’s now the way to announce a relationship! Think of it as a teaser for a film, but the teaser is a series of well-thought-out Instagram stories while the film is your relationship. 

For example, you post an Instagram story of your delish Sunday brunch. In the photo, a man’s hand can obviously be seen. But other than that, there’s no tagged handle or other information that alludes to the identity of this man.

It’s vague, mysterious and effective. It informs your audience that something is going on while keeping it lowkey and allows you to escape the scrutiny that would have been inevitable had you outright tagged him in your Instagram story. 

Hard launch

It’s the exact opposite of a soft launch — there’s no beating around the bush, and you’re straight up just letting people know that you’re cuffed. Whether it’s changing your relationship status on Facebook or an Instagram post showing you two all loved up, one thing is for sure. You’re in a relationship now!


When breadcrumbing someone, a partner leaves the other with just enough ‘crumbs’ to keep them following the trail. It’s non-committal and indicates they have some interest, but it’s still mostly leading the other person on as the breadcrumber probably doesn’t have any intention of letting things go further than they currently are.


The act of cutting off all contact with the other person without any prior warning, ghosting is usually accomplished by blocking the person on all platforms. Although typically seen as rude and discourteous, it’s not always a bad thing — this tactic can be used to escape toxic situations. 

Green flag

A green flag is a positive, desirable quality or healthy behaviour you notice in someone. For example, asking for someone’s mobile number instead of an Instagram or Snapchat handle. Or, promptly apologising when they’re in the wrong. 

Red flag

On the other hand of the spectrum are red flags, seen as warning signs that a person is toxic or the relationship is doomed to fail. Possible red flags include poor communication or not respecting your boundaries. Or, if he’s an Andrew Tate fan or subscribes to the ‘sigma male’ mindset. No thank you!


By twisting facts and spinning the truth, a gaslighter makes matters seem like the victim’s fault, and that the victim is not good enough for them.

For example, confronting your boyfriend about a hurtful thing he said. Instead of apologising, he says, “I only said that because I love you. You know I would never hurt you.” This makes you doubt yourself, thinking that you were in the wrong because you misunderstood his intentions, even if that wasn’t the case.

Ethical non-monogamy

Ethical non-monogamy is an all-encompassing term used to describe romantic and sexual relationships where the partners are not exclusive — they have romantic and sexual relations with others. The partners discuss this beforehand and usually have an agreement where boundaries and limits are drawn and respected.

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