You can thank 'benching' for ghosting and all of its icky dating spinoffs

Kudos to you, 'benching,' for making the dating experience oh-so adventurous

What is benching? About the dating trend Pictured: Woman frustrated on a bench
(Image credit: Getty)

If you want to point fingers for ghosting and the like, "benching" is the obvious culprit. 

Just in case you hadn't heard, our favorite disappearing act has morphed into quite a phenomenon. Not only do you have plain 'ol, regular ghosting, but now "mosting," a.k.a. excessive flattery and behavior ahead of pulling a Houdini, is on the rise. So is "ghostlighting," which involves a ghoster reemerging only to place the blame for his or her absence on you. And then there's "gophering," which is not as cute as the name suggests. 

But why are these trends happening in the first place? We're going to go ahead and thank benching. *Slow clap* Here's everything you need to know about the negative dating trend

What is 'benching'? All about the icky dating trend

"Fating" is gaining popularity amongst singles—adding a fitness element to dates—but "benching" is equally unflattering in both the sports world and dating world. Essentially, it's when someone metaphorically puts you "on the bench" while playing the field, and in turn, the ghosting is likely to surface.

What is the reason for this disposable feeling? 

According to dating expert Rikki Dymond, singles are overwhelmed with options and are likely dating multiple people at one time. eharmony says "expirationships" are on the rise this summer amongst Gen Z singles who are only interested in something temporary. Research from Bumble suggests that travelers in search of "wanderlove" are only looking for romance on getaways. 

Considering all of these trends are making a splash this summer, and they don't necessarily focus on a lasting romance as their end goal, it can become overwhelming while swiping and connecting with someone virtually—and lead to benching. Is it frustrating? Absolutely. Are there ways to work through these troubles? Of course!

Rikki Dymond
Rikki Dymond

Rikki Dymond is a dating coach and Flirtini dating expert. Her mission is to "help women reconnect with themselves and use their natural feminine energy to bring forward mature and lasting love."

Things to keep in mind if you're being 'benched'

Dymond insists that we are not at fault for experiencing these actions, and someone parting ways with us prematurely is not because of something we did. In reality, it could be a blessing in disguise, because you likely wouldn't want that energy in a relationship, anyway.   

"With all of these dating trends that are rising, we really just need to dive deep within our own heart, know exactly what we want, need and deserve," Dymond notes. "There might be roadblocks, and that's ok. Try to take that with a grain of salt. No matter what goals we have in our life, we're going to have issues. Don't let those sidetrack you." 

And according to intimacy coach Brenden Durrell, who told us one thing we need to avoid when dating this summer, we have to enter the world of online dating with clarity and intent in order to get an appropriate match. 

"Know what your standards are," Durrell revealed to My Imperfect Life. "Know why you're dating. Know what you're out there in the field looking around. Be clear in your intention because that will set the foreground."

If you're on the hunt for commitment and something long-term, why waste time speaking to those who are only looking for a temporary partner? If your values are not aligned with those you're messaging, it can lead to hurt and benching. Have a strong mentality when you start swiping, and know that you're worthy of whatever you're looking for—regardless of those who are looking to bench their potential matches. 

Brenden Durrell headshot
Brenden Durrell

An intimacy expert, coach, mentor, and tantra guide Brenden Durell puts his expertise to good use while mentoring contestants on Netflix's Too Hot To Handle. A former baseball player, Brenden also works with professional athletes, celebrities, and leaders who are ready to dig deep. His advice has been featured in many publications, including Men’s HealthTantra, and Breathwork.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.