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7 New (And Bizarre) Dating And Relationship Terms You Should Probably Know About

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ghosting, phubbing, gaslighting
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Love, Sex

Stealthing? Ghosting? Phubbing? Oh my!

There is no escape from the proliferation of handheld electronic devices as we live in the world now accustomed to words like "selfies" and "sexting." But whether or not you're new to the dating world, there are certain terms you should familiarize yourself with.

Here are 7 sex and relationship terms to add to your vocabulary. You never know — understanding what ghosting, phubbing, and gaslighting are might help you protect yourself.

1. Stealthing

Otherwise known as non-consensual condom removal, this is the practice of one sex partner covertly removing a condom, when consent has only been given by the other sex partner for condom-protected safer sex.

A new study by Alexandra Brodsky for the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law explores this phenomenon and how those who fall victim to the practice can move forward. This entitlement to "bareback" sex is an act of gender-based violence and is sexual assault. Do not do this to anyone!


RELATED: How To Tell If You've Been Stealthed


2. Ghosting

This involves the act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the recipient will just "get the hint" and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them they are no longer interested.

While many attempt to justify ghosting as a way to not hurt their feelings of the ghostee, it creates confusion for the ghostee and is closely related to the subject’s maturity and communication skills.

3. Phubbing

A mash-up of the words "phone" and "snubbing", phubbing refers to that annoying moment when you’re trying to talk to somebody and they ignore you because they’re entranced by social media.

Unsurprisingly, Professors James Roberts and Meredith David at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business released a study in January 2016 that showed that the more a partner was on the receiving end of phubbing, the more smartphone use was a source of conflict in their relationship. And higher levels of smartphone conflicts led to greater relationship dissatisfaction.

4. Breezing

The opposite of "playing hard to get," breezing is the ultimate easy-breezy "I-care-so-little-I’m-going-to-text-back-right-now." You are doing everything in your power to prove you don’t care, essentially. In short, not playing any games has become the new playing the game.


RELATED: If Things Seems CRAZY Good In Your Relationship, You Could Be Getting "Breezed"


5. Gaslighting

A form of psychological abuse that happens when a victim is manipulated into doubting their own memory, perception, and sanity. This can range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.

This calculated tactic pays off when their victim becomes more dependent on them. Even if a gaslighter is not aware of their manipulative behavior, that does not make it acceptable — it is still pathological and still their responsibility.

6. EUM

EUM is short for "emotionally unavailable man," though it can apply to females as well. Such people may already be dating somebody else, married, recently separated or divorced, or in a long-distance relationship. The other party might wonder about the status and future of their relationship.

To me, the difference between this and other types of relationships such as "fling," "one-night stand," or "friends with benefits" is that there is a lack of emotional intimacy and commitment to the relationship present or the future.

7. Designer Relationships

Coined by Kenneth Haslam, "Designer Relationships" refers to people who, in partnership, craft the type of love and life that works for them — allowing room for flexibility and change.

They may encompass: people who bond emotionally but not sexually; people who agree to be non-exclusive; single people who have occasional lovers or friends with benefits; multiple partner configurations where long-term bonds exist among all or some; or partnerships in which people are kinky and that make room to explore kink.

The authors of Designer Relationships, Patricia Johnson and Mark A. Michaels, make it clear that they are not advocating that all of us ought to be in non-monogamous relationships, but rather are encouraging us to figure out what works for us as individuals.


RELATED: The Real Reason Your Man Is Emotionally Distant (And Why He Can't Help It)


Dr. Martha Tara Lee holds certificates in counseling, coaching, and sex therapy, and is currently pursuing her fourth degree — a Masters in Counselling. She works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions and conducts her own workshops. Visit her website.

This article was originally published at The Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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