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Five dating trends we need to leave behind in 2023

Every year, we come across various trends, from fashion to makeup. The rise of social media has also made us aware of the dating trends that may be going around and the ones we need to save ourselves from. This year is almost over, and as we bid farewell to 2022, here are some dating trends that we need to leave behind in 2023, along with our emotional baggage.

1. 'Situationships’

This must top the list of toxic dating trends of 2022. It's the end of 2022, and I'm sure we've all heard the term "situationship." But if you’re still among the lucky few who haven’t ridden this sinking ship, here’s a definition: “a phase where both of you are more than just friends and less than an official couple.” But from personal experience, it is an uncommitted relationship with fewer benefits than you get in a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship and more complications than any other relationship. Although situationships have proven beneficial in the early stages of some relationships, sailing this ship with no destination in mind can be disastrous. From constantly worrying about how the other person feels to feeling stuck at the talking stage, situationships are not something you would want to carry into 2023.

2. Categorising people as ‘beige flags’

Be it misbehaving with the waiter at a restaurant or trash talking your ex, the concept of ‘red flags’ has seeped into our lives. But have you heard of the beige flag? According to Caitlin MacPhail, "beige flags" are signs that your date lacks spice. Beige personalities, or people who give predictable answers, will be considered a red flag in 2022. For example: “What is your favorite pastime?” “Sleeping”. 

However, it seems like we may be going too far by trying to put  people into boxes. Labelling those who give cliche answers as "beige flags" seems rather harsh. Ultimately, the trend is rooted in our desire to be different, to be unique… to be the "main character". Therefore, why not allow people to simply be their cliche selves? It's better we stop painting people with colours like beige and red in 2023 and accept the rainbow that the world is. 

3. ‘Benching’

 You might have grasped the meaning just by looking at the word itself. Benching is a word taken from the football analogy, referring to when a person is put on the sidelines. In dating terms, it is when you are simply putting someone on the sidelines as an option because you aren't ready to commit or you don't feel strongly enough. Slightly different from ‘ghosting’, benching keeps the person being benched hanging on without any certainty. The end result can be complicated and messy if you continue to do so. If you’re the one doing the benching, stop! If you’re the one being benched, run! It is not a position you want to be playing in 2023.

4. ‘Groundhogging’

Repeat after Taylor Swift, “It's me, hi, I'm the problem, it's me,” because groundhogging is just that. According to Glamour “Groundhogging refers to the idea that people are going for the same type of person over and over again, whilst expecting different results. “People pick out someone who fits their ideal type, date them, but end up feeling underwhelmed.” If you’re someone who keeps on asking yourself “Why do I end up falling for the same men?”, then you need to break the cycle in 2023. End your pattern of ‘ground hogging’.


5. ‘Wokefishing’

Well, social media activism has become more of a requirement than a personal choice right now. If you’re not actively revolting against all the forces of oppression on your Instagram stories, FOMO looms over your head. However, some people might just feign wokeness to impress their dates, without actually having the required knowledge about the said topic. Much like catfishing, ‘wokefishing’ involves pretending to embrace liberal political beliefs in order to entice potential partners. The person wokefishing might, for example, appear to be a feminist who goes to protests, identifies as sex positive and anti-racist, and eats vegan food from ethical sources. However, in practice, they couldn't care less about any of the big worldly issues. Let’s save ourselves from catching this fish in 2023.

Mallika Barsaley is an MA International Journalism student at City, University of London. She is pursuing a career in lifestyle journalism and her interests are reading books and magazines, and writing about feminism, fashion and beauty.

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