The pandemic didn’t just change how we interacted with each other for a couple of years, it’s also had a profound effect on the things we value and the way we approach life as a whole. Dating in particular has taken a hit, with hesidating becoming a trend that doesn’t appear to be abating anytime soon.
Dating site Plenty of Fish coined the term “hesidating” to describe the ambivalence many single people feel these days about being in relationships or even dating at all. The site found that 70% of users aren’t really sure what they want anymore, and that makes dating even more complicated than before.
Why is hesidating so common right now?
Many people might argue that the uncertainty of the pandemic is largely over and that it’s time to go back to “normal life,” whatever that is. However, that’s not possible or desirable for many people. Lockdown and the changes COVID-19 brought to our lives were jarring and unexpected. As a result, a lot of people still feel ambivalent about committing to something (or someone) when it can all be upended without warning. In other words, it’s a trauma response that we’re still trying to process. While hesidating will most likely become less popular with time, it’s not going anywhere just yet.
Another reason hesidating is so common is that our perspectives have changed. While we may have prioritized looking for love before the pandemic, when that came to a grinding halt, we were forced to fill our lives with other things. Many started spending more time connecting with family members and close friends. Others picked up new hobbies and passions. Some were able to finally fall in love with their own company and found a new solace and pleasure in being on their own. So, when the world opened back up and dating became a possibility again, they found their heart wasn’t quite as in it as it may have been before.
Of course, companionship is a very human need. There’s a part of all of us that seeks out comfort and company in other people. That’s why there are so many hesidaters out there right now. They’re not ready to completely give up on love, they’re just not willing or able to give it 100% right now.
How you can recognize a hesidater in the wild
If you’re one of the people still genuinely looking for a real relationship and a long-term partner, you’ll want to steer clear of the hesidating trend. But how can you know when someone is guilty of this behavior?
- They seem overly picky to a ridiculous degree. It’s good to have standards and expectations, but a hesidater takes this to the extreme. They’re so picky that they seem to be constantly looking for an excuse to bail. This is because, in the back of their mind, they’re not really interested in building something real. An easy out is always welcome for them.
- They’re noncommittal and in no hurry to move things forward. You often mention hanging out or meeting up but their response is always lukewarm. They say they’d like to meet up but they never actually make plans to do so. They keep chatting to you but don’t seem interested in moving things beyond that.
- They don’t seem 100% present in your conversations. This is a sure sign someone is hesidating. Sure, it could just be that they’re not feeling you. However, if that was the case, they’d likely just ghost you. They want to chat to you and probably even like you. But because they’re not totally into it, you never get their full attention.
- They’re very hot and cold. One day they seem super excited about getting to know you, the next it seems like they couldn’t care less if they ever talked to you again. This likely mirrors their internal feelings of ambivalence. There’s a constant war inside them between desiring a relationship and not really caring either way. It sucks to be on the receiving end of this.
- They flake on your plans last minute. You finally set a date and time to get together and do something fun. Great! You can finally see if your chemistry is solid and if there’s relationship potential. However, you get a text from them last minute saying they got caught up or they’re not feeling well. They ask for a raincheck but then never try to make plans again. Yep, they’re hesidating.