Everything You Need To Know About Benching: A Dating Trend That Can Ruin Your Love Life

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What is benching, but a way for your potential partner to keep you hanging

Modern dating might have made it easier to approach your crush, but it can be equally complicated and downright exhausting. There are so many terms to get together and even blow off your date. From ghosting to haunting to uncuffing, there is a lot that’s going on in the dating world. But if there is one that is extremely frustrating, it has got to be benching. So what is benching and how does it affect relationships?

What Is Benching?

It might be the most harmful of all the millennial terms floating around the dating circles, but its certainly the most frustrating.

Generally speaking, benching is defined as, “dating someone you think is nice and who has potential, but you’re not crazy about them. You don’t know whether to keep dating them, or dump them and move on to the next one. This is where benching happens; instead of going for either of the above polarized options, you put your date in your mental ‘maybe’ folder and ‘bench them’ so you date around to see what else is out there.”

In other words, its the modern incarnation of what we used to call leading or stringing someone on.

Basically, when you fancy someone enough to keep dating them, but something’s still amiss and you are not entirely ready to lock it down with them. As a result, you keep them as an option while you continue to date other people.

Yes, it sounds selfish and adds to the other annoying dating phenomenon that defines modern dating today, such as ghosting, uncuffing, breadcrumbing, fading, and entering a situationship.

Different versions, yet same conclusion- he’s just not that into you.

what is benching

What is benching, but a way for your potential partner to keep you hanging! | Image courtesy: Unsplash

How Exactly Is It Done? 

If your date isn’t as committed to the relationship or even to you, its sort of the first sign. Yes, modern dating means you cannot expect your partner to commit a 100 percent to you 24×7.

But that doesn’t mean infidelity should be an option either. That’s where you can identify benching.  

Ultimately, benching in dating only benefits the bencher, making it a one-sided situation.

If they balk at the idea of spending time alone, sometimes it is easier to give in and meet the person being benched because it beats staying in alone.  

Here are few other signs you are being benched, so you no longer need to wonder, what is benching! 

1. You are invited out only at the last minute. Especially when they are already out with friends, and not planning to hang out with you specifically.

2. You have fun times together, but they are almost out of reach otherwise. Communication is inconsistent when not meeting up, even though you might enjoy hanging out together in real life.

3. They are not wanting to commit to plans or your invites. They seem enthusiastic and say things like “I’ll see if I’m busy but sounds fun!” when you want to hang out with them, as they treat you as an option.

4. They have fluctuating enthusiasm about hanging out. They might turn to you only when someone they prioritise is not available for them.

5. They are always backing out of plans. They are not treating you seriously and not respecting your time.

6. You always text or make plans first. It is obvious when someone fancies someone else, as they will make an effort to see them. You will not feel it is one-sided and the only one maintaining the relationship.

7. They are confused and send mixed signals. One minute they like you, but the next they tell you they are not interested in anything serious. 

Either make the decision for them and walk away. Or, have a little fun with it, and bench them right back. Your call. But seriously, if you want something long-term and are losing hope of anything ever changing, just remember this word can save you unnecessary stress and tears: NEXT!

If they cannot afford to make compromises, they never plan to be there for you when it matters anyway. 

Also read: Covert Narcissism In Relationships: Are You Dating A “Secret” Narcissist?

(Images courtesy: Shutterstock, Unsplash)

Written by

Melia Widjaja