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

The A-Zs of weird dating terms, explained.
by Rheana Murray /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY
THE GREAT GATSBY, from left: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, 2013. (C)Warner Bros. Pictures/courtes
In "The Great Gatsby," Leonardo DiCaprio's Jay Gatsby tried to woo his love interest with lavish parties.Warner Bros/Everett

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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: Gatsbying. Remember in "The Great Gatsby," how Leonardo DiCaprio — er, Jay Gatsby — threw lavish parties at his Long Island estate, hoping to catch the attention of his beloved Daisy?

Well, Gatsbying is the modern-day equivalent, and it happens on social media. It's when you post something — say, a snapshot of your travels abroad, or a particularly sexy selfie — just so your crush will see it, according to model Matilda Dods, who coined the term. In other words, when you throw a party on the 'gram.

"Why, instead of just sending a text to the boy that I like, am I throwing the equivalent of a champagne-soaked, chandelier-swinging, Charleston-dancing party on my Instagram story?" she wrote on the Australian beauty site, Tomboy. "All for that ceaseless green light across the water that is the attention of a boy who, let's be real, probably isn't good enough for me anyway?"

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


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.


When someone continues to follow you, even after they've ghosted. (See above.) They'll like your Facebook posts or watch your Instagram stories, for example, but won't say anything.


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).

This article was originally published on May 2, 2018.

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