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Benching Is the New Ghosting – Sort of

In dating, benching means keeping a potential partner on the sidelines as a backup option, in case your first or second choice of partner doesn’t work out. This is a more recent term, and it is often seen as a form of manipulation or stringing someone along.

Leave it up to kids these days – members of that wonderful group known as millennials – to come up with new ways to treat people like an old toy thrown in the closet; keep it around just in case you may want to play with it again someday. These, after all, are the people who created “Ghosting” and now even “Ghostlighting.”

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If you find yourself being sidelined, there are ways that you can tell if you are being “benched” in a relationship. For example, the other person might not make any plans for the future with you, or they are not as responsive to your texts and calls as they used to be. They are also always busy when you try to make plans and they are seeing other people.

All this differs from ghosting in that the other person will continue some level of contact with you. They will call you or message you from time to time and so forth. But this is just to keep the other person on the hook, so to speak, so they won’t move on and fine someone else.

Steph Koyfman, Senior Content Producer at the language learning platform Babbel, told Glamour, “Benching is an updated version of ‘stringing someone along,’ and it reflects the choice paralysis of having multiple online dating prospects to juggle. Benching someone is essentially like benching a football player – they’re not your first (or maybe even second) choice, but you still want to keep them around as a backup option, so you give them just enough to keep them interested.”



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