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The Girlfriend's Guide To 5 Terms That Redefine Modern Dating

Whether you’re in a “ship,” or need to decipher your teen’s love life, you may want to learn the newest lingo.

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illustration of woman writing modern dating terms on a chalkboard
Carolyn Sewell
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Whether you’re in a “ship,” or need to decipher your teen’s love life, you may want to learn the newest dating lingo. (Ship is short for relationship; you’re learning already!)

FBO: This is when you’re ready to take the ultimate plunge — FBO stands for going Facebook Official. When someone changes their status to “in a relationship” or “single,” you know it’s for real.  

“I heard they were dating, but wasn’t sure until I saw they’d made it FBO.”

Ghosting: When a significant other (or friend) “disappears” from your digital life (and real life). No texts. No calls. No contact. Nada. This person is now dead to you, or vice versa if you’re the one doing the ghosting.

“Have you heard from Karen? Because I haven’t in weeks. I think I’ve been ghosted.”  

Textlationship: This is when communication is almost exclusively via text — and it can be the demise of a budding romance. Hundreds of texts — even intimate ones — are shared, but there are few phone calls and no physical connections. Rapport is different in person, and if people wait too long to get together, it can stifle real conversation.

“We have a killer textlationship, I’m not sure I want to ruin it by hanging out.”

Breadcrumbing: This is when one person is interested in someone else — but just enough to string them along, not to actually commit. There are a few texts here and there, some FB post likes, and not much more. He/she is likely weighing other options or not ready to make a real move. Weeks may go by without touching base — this is the digital version of being led on.

“I’m not ready to ghost him yet, just going to breadcrumb for a while so I have a Plan B.”

Stashing: When you text and talk and meet up, but have zero presence or photos on their social media sites. You’re being stashed away, or hidden, from the rest of the people in his/her life because they’re not ready to take you public. This should make one of you go … hmm.

“We have a lot of fun together, but I’m going to stash this until I’m ready to let people know I’m dating.”