Stuck in a 'mid-mute dating' rut? Here's what relationship experts want you to know about the toxic trend

'Mid-mute dating'? It's a red flag for sure, but our romance experts are here to help walk you through it

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Contrary to what "mid-mute dating" enthusiasts believe, all text messages, DMs, phone calls, emails and carrier pigeons are up and running Monday through Friday, not just the weekends. 

If you're on the lookout for love, the last thing you should settle for is a chronic ghoster who is unreachable mid-week. We get it, dating in 2023 can be challenging, and schedules are hectic, but a quick Tuesday-morning text or Instagram DM is important if you're looking to build a connection. Everyone has a minute to spare. 

Don't rely on Saturdays for those romantic outings, and if you find yourself falling for someone who is a "mid-mute dater," it's cause for concern, according to romance experts. But there's no need to worry or fall victim to dating burnout—our relationship pros have your back! Here's what to know about the toxic dating trend: 

What is 'mid-mute dating'?

Coined by Wingman founder Tina Wilson, "mid-mute dating" is when someone silences their partner's notifications during the week and only chooses to get together over the weekends.

Could professional demands get in the way of a budding relationship Monday through Friday? Sure. Is it possible that family obligations make get-togethers challenging mid-week? Absolutely. But if the person you're dating is pressing pause on your talks the majority of the time, you'll want to proceed cautiously. 

"It’s a red flag, depending on what you’re looking for," says Erika Kaplan, the VP of Membership at Three Day Rule Matchmaking. "If you’re looking for something long-term, then you want someone who’s willing to make the time. If it’s important enough, you always make the time."

Erika Kaplan headshot
Erika Kaplan

Erika Kaplan is the VP of Membership at Three Day Rule Matchmaking, an exclusive, personal dating experience available across the U.S. that promises quality connection.

How to escape the 'mid-mute dating' trend:

Let's say you have a deep connection with someone who tends to go M.I.A. come Monday morning. While it's definitely something to bring up, you don't need to lose all hope just yet. 

"I think there are red flags or red lights that could turn into green lights and green flags in a conversation, but it depends on how the conversation is received and what happens after," says the Hunting Maven's Julia Bekker, a matchmaker and relationship coach. 

Though it is next to impossible to change someone's intentions—if you ask Kaplan— don't just assume that you're not meeting up on Wednesday nights because they're not interested; there could be an explanation, but you'll never know unless you ask.

"You never want to leave things up to assumption—communication is crucial," she says.

Julia Bekker headshot
Julia Bekker

The founder, matchmaker and dating coach of Hunting Maven, Julia Bekker has been in the business for 15+ years. Her goal is to connect with her clients and help them find real love and compatibility.

Once you bring the issue to light with your romantic partner, he or she should adjust their behavior accordingly. If they don't, then it's time for you to make some adjustments.

"See the action of them putting more effort and see that you’re communicating more during the week, then keep going," Bekker says. "But if they’re not doing that, why are you? Why are you in this situation that is not serving your needs?"

However, if you've managed to pick the person who is set in his or her ways and not really looking for a full-time romance, know that it's time to move on, should that be your main goal. And as Bekker insists, the conversation doesn't need to be malicious—it's just acknowledging that you're on different paths.

Like the 2023 terms that came before it—OnlyPlans, infla-dating, etc.—know that this behavior is only bothersome if you let it be.

"Dating apps have made dating feel impersonal and dehumanized so it makes sense that you can feel you can quite literally mute," Kaplan says. "It’s a pretty toxic trend, but it’s only going to be a trend for the people who aren't in it for the right reasons."

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.