What Is “Fireworking”? You Need To Be On The Lookout For This Manipulative Dating Trend

Have you heard about “fireworking”? It might sound like a good thing, but it’s actually a terrible dating trend that’s incredibly manipulative. Here’s what you need to know about it.

  1. Fireworking is about creating a display. In the same way that fireworks can be a display in the sky, a person who “fireworks” you is trying to create a big show, but not in a good way. This isn’t about trying to impress you with a romantic gesture. What’s even worse about this, though, is that you might not realize that the romantic gestures have a dark, hidden agenda. Yikes.
  2. It’s ridiculously manipulative. As coined by Grazia, fireworking is basically when someone tries to make their ex jealous by getting with you — and you can bet they’ll make a big show of it! The guy you’re dating might engage in lots of PDA with you when his ex is around, which might seem strange if he’s not the type to usually do that.
  3. It might not just be about their ex. Some people who firework will be trying to show off to their friends or family members. In this way, fireworking is the opposite of stashing, when someone hides their relationship from their loved ones. Unfortunately, it can be just as painful!
  4. It’s a red flag if your partner says this. If you notice that the person you’re dating is always talking about how everyone thought they were a loser when they were single for so many years before you came along, he or she might be a fireworker. They’re so desperate to be accepted by society that they’ll date someone just to impress those around them. There are other signs to spot in your partner that can signal they’re a fireworker.
  5. They’re different in real life. One of the biggest signs that you’re dealing with a fireworker is that they’re different online versus in real life. They’ll tag you in lots of cutesy couple pics on Facebook or talk about how lucky they are to have you in the hopes that their friends and followers will be quick to “like” and comment. But then when you’re alone, your partner will be distant and maybe seem not that keen on you. It’s clear that they’re only full of love when others are watching.
  6. They’re weird about their ex. Another sign that you could be fireworked by your partner is if he or she still seems torn up about their recent breakup. Maybe they don’t talk about their ex excessively, but whenever the ex comes up there’s a clear shift in mood on your partner’s part. They might become angry, quiet, or really sad, which can signal that they’re not over the relationship. That can be the perfect breeding ground for fireworking because they might want to show their ex that they’ve moved on, even if they clearly haven’t.
  7. They come on way too strong. They declare they’re in love with you when you haven’t even been dating for longer than three weeks. They’re super-excited to change their Facebook relationship status, after just the first date. They can’t wait for you to meet their friends, even though you’ve hardly said a few words to each other. While these things might be flattering, they could also be signs that your partner is fireworking you.
  8. How can you tell the difference? It’s not always easy to tell if someone’s really interested in you or just fireworking you, especially because when you start dating someone you will be excited to introduce them to your loved ones and maybe even to share your joy with your FB friends.
  9. It comes down to your gut. Pay attention to your inner voice because it will tell you if something just feels off about how your partner is treating you. The best way to deal with the issue is to confront them about it and share your doubts. Maybe they are just really excited to be with you, but maybe they’re using you to make themselves look better. Whatever the case, you owe it to yourself to get to the bottom of things.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.