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What is orbiting? And all the other wacky dating terms you need to know

The A-Zs of weird dating terms, explained.

by Rheana Murray / / Source: TODAY
Close up of broken heart on computer keyboard
When someone you're seeing refuses to call you back but watches your Instagram story? Yeah, that's orbiting.Getty Images

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If you're starting to think there are more dating trends than you can keep track of, you're not alone.

From breadcrumbing to zombie-ing, everyone is confused at this point. And now there's a "new" one: orbiting. What the heck is that, you ask? Well, it's sort of like ghosting — which, if you've been keeping track, is when someone you've been seeing suddenly disappears, and stops responding to calls or texts, for example.

Orbiting is just like that, except the person continues to follow you on social media. He or she likes your photos on Facebook or views your Instagram stories, but doesn't say anything. Weird, right?

In case you need a refresher, here are all the other wacky dating terms that have made their way into the modern lexicon.

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Breadcrumbing is stringing a potential partner along without committing, often by sending occasional check-in text messages, but never asking for an actual date.


Breezing means being direct and saying what you want in a relationship. The opposite of following dating "rules" or playing games. Yes, this one is actually good.


Having a plan B in case your current relationship doesn't work out. Cushioning can be outright cheating on an exclusive partner, or it can be sending flirty texts to multiple people so that if one falls through, you have someone else to turn to for romance.


Ghosting is exactly what it sounds like: Disappearing without warning after a series of dates or romantic correspondences.


Presenting yourself in an overly positive light on the internet, by lying about your height or posting a photo from when you were a few years younger, for example. Kittenfishing is not as extreme as catfishing, in which someone assumes a completely fake identity online.


Refusing to introduce the person you're dating to friends or family — sort of like stashing them in a drawer.


Jumping back into a relationship or a fling after ghosting. So, basically submarining is ... Zombie-ing. (See below.)


Hitting someone up after a long period of silence. (Or, you know, returning from the dead.) A form of breadcrumbing (see above).

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