Are you feeling a bit uncertain? (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)
‘I’m unsure about getting serious with someone now, because what if there’s another lockdown? I can’t be bothered for walking dates again,’ a friend says over dinner.
Hesidating (/hez-i-date-ing) is a new dating trend you should expect to see more of, partly due to the lingering impact the pandemic is having on our romantic lives.
It was coined by dating site Plenty Of Fish, who define it as: ‘Feeling indifferent about dating, unsure if you want to date seriously or casually because life in general is so uncertain right now’.
While post-Freedom Day there was a surge in people looking to commit after a lonely lockdown, people are now feeling less pressured to settle down given how active our social lives have become, along with reluctance due to the worry of new restrictions or lockdowns.
One of their recent surveys found 58% of singles using Plenty Of Fish are unsure if they are seeking a fling or full-blown commitment.
People that hesidate are active in the dating world – but given their indecision, if you’re seeing someone in this mindset you might get mixed signals.
Are you hesidating? (Picture: Plenty of Fish)
Kate Maclean, the site’s resident dating expert, says to navigate this, ‘it’s important to take the pressure away from dating and remember to have fun with the experience’.
‘It can be a great opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, whether it’s romantic or not,’ she notes.
‘I would encourage singles to do whatever they feel comfortable doing in their own time and not rush anything – this may mean taking time to focus on yourself before re-entering the dating game, or getting back into the swing of dating and focusing on all the positives it can bring while figuring out what kind of relationship you’re looking for.’
One key thing is to be honest with the person you’re seeing, especially if they think it’s going somewhere and you’re still unsure.
‘Be honest and transparent with your date who has made their feelings clear. Communicate how you are feeling so you don’t waste their time – or yours,’ Kate says.
‘A simple conversation is all that is needed to make sure you’re aligned so you can make a joint decision on whether to keep spending time together or go your separate ways.’
But how do we know when we’re right to hesidate?
There are many reasons – beyond the pandemic – why you might pause.
Perhaps there are ‘amber’ flags your date is giving off, or you’re still healing from a breakup and aren’t sure what you’re ready for.
Kate says: ‘There really is no right or wrong when it comes to how you feel about dating at any given time.
‘Everyone has different comfort levels especially when it comes to dating.’
She says if you simply just want to take things slow with someone, that isn’t a problematic style of hesidating (when compared to not communicating your uncertainties, for example).
‘You never know, sometimes the relationships where you take things slow and day by day without the pressure can be the most successful,’ she adds.
Dating has been shaken up since March 2020 due to coronavirus, and we aren’t free of its hold yet.
And given a new year is creeping up on the horizon too, that means new trends are on the way.
Here’s what else Plenty Of Fish predict might happen to those out there looking for romance:
- Moderna Love (/mod-ern-ah luhv): Considering COVID-19 vaccination status, including which shot received, as a desirable trait. With over a third (37%) of singles admitting to this it seems there’s another reason to get jabbed!
- Bubbling (/buh-buh-ling): Being unsure about the physical boundaries that are acceptable due to Covid-19, such as whether to hug, handshake, or wave at your date. Now there’s nerves, excitement AND physical faux pas to consider on dates with 58% experiencing this.
- Piers Pressure: (/peers-presh-ur): Walking out on your date because they didn’t agree with your opinion is a common dating disaster with 50% knowing someone who has done this. Advice to avoid? Don’t bring up the pandemic, money or politics.
- Greal Deal: (/gr-eel d-eel): Fancying someone solely for their profession. While Jack Grealish stole the hearts of the nation this summer, a quarter (25%) of all singles also know how it feels to be considered attractive for their chosen career path.
- Transformate-ing(/trans-fawr-meyt-ing): Morphing into your counterpart by dressing and acting like them. Thanks to a certain unlikely celeb couple (Kravis, we’re looking at you) almost one in five (18%) have had their date play copycat.
- Staycationing (/stay-cay-shun-ing): Finding a romantic connection with someone who has been in your life for a long time has been the case for 23% of singles. Forget the holidays, maybe love is all you need after all.
- Duking (/dew-king): Being caught up in a whirlwind romance full of drama. 46% know someone who has done this a la Duke of Hastings and Daphne Bridgerton from Netflix’s Bridgerton. .
- Pinged Off (/pingd off): When your friends warn you about the red flags when you’re dating someone new but decide to ignore them. A notorious player? Talks about their ex? Just bad vibes? 42% of hopeless romantics have opted to ignore them all.
- Gambit’ing (/gam-bit-ing): Taking a strategic and calculated approach to the dating game like a game of chess. Almost a quarter (24%) know someone who has done this. Whether it’s multiple dates a week or same dates, or a different person – they are masters of the dating game.
- Communidating (/kuh-myoo-nuh-dayt-ting): Using dating apps and social media to make friends and connections, not just for dating and intimate relationships is popular among 40% of singles. The more friends the merrier, right?
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