10 Powerful Dating Lessons From 2017’s Awful Dating Trends

Last year was pretty rough to say the least, thanks to the overall political and social climate—and we can totally say the same thing about dating. It seems like every day, there’s a new word for the way that we treat each other when we’re trying to find love. It’s annoying AF, but what if we could actually learn something? Now that we’re staring 2018 in the face, let’s use our past as a lesson.

  1. If we get ghosted or zombied, it’s honestly not our fault. We all know about ghosting, of course, and it turns out that Zombieing is even more horrible. This happens when a guy that we thought ghosted us starts contacting us again, whether he’s texting us or liking our Instagram selfies and avocado toast pics. Yeah, it’s just as lame as it sounds. If we ever think that we could have done something to get a guy to stick around or actually want to become our boyfriend, we should stop right there. It’s not our fault and we couldn’t have done anything.
  2. We always know when we’re being benched and need to trust ourselves. Benching is one of those 2017 dating trends that has basically been around since forever. It just needed a fancy new name, apparently. When we get benched by the guy that we’re dating, he’s deciding if he actually wants to be with us or not. He says that we should spend time together but he never ever makes an actual, legit plan. So over it. We can tell when we’re being played and this is totally one of those times. We need to trust our gut instincts here.
  3. Cuffing/drafting seasons should honestly be all the time. We keep hearing that fall or spring or winter are the so-called best times to fall in love and that we have a better chance of swiping right and getting a love story out of the whole deal during those seasons. But is this really the case? Shouldn’t we be open to finding love all the time (if that’s what we’re looking for, of course)? It seems kind of silly to say that it’s easier to find our soulmates in the wintertime.
  4. It’s OK to not want anything casual. Casual dating, almost relationships, hooking up— these are the biggest dating trends of all, and 2017 was another year when we constantly heard that millennials just aren’t into the idea of commitment. Some of us actually love the idea of being in love. And we should hold onto that no matter what.
  5. There’s no such thing as a backup plan. Cushioning is a pretty gross trend. It’s the idea that we always need to have someone else in mind that we can date if our current relationship or almost relationship doesn’t work out. Um, what?! That’s the worst idea ever, not to mention the fact that it’s super insulting. There’s honestly no such thing as a backup plan. If we leave the guy that we’re with for someone else that we’re crushing on in a crappy way, it’s going to come back to bite us.
  6. Wanting a real relationship isn’t a big deal. If we listen to what people say about us, we don’t ever want boyfriends and we just want to stay single and free forever. It’s totally fine if we do think that a loving relationship is in the cards for us. And it’s not really a big deal. Even though some guys might act like we’re being unfair and ridiculous when we want them to actually commit to us, we should know the truth: that we have a right to want to be someone’s girlfriend.
  7. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to meet guys IRL. A lot of the dating trends center around using dating apps to hook up and find love, and while that’s definitely a popular way to date, meeting guys in more old-fashioned ways is cool, too. We might forget this when our BFF just met her one true love on Tinder, but if we want to stick to bars and parties for potential dates, that’s a great idea.
  8. Throwback dating is the best thing ever. This trend can mean that we go on real dates with our boyfriends instead of just Netflix and chilling, or that we want to put down our phones to find love. It’s pretty awesome, right?! Finally, a dating trend that doesn’t make us want to crawl under the covers and never go on a first date ever again. Let’s bring this trend into the new year and stop thinking that our phones are the end all, be all when it comes to our love lives. There are still people at the other end of those tiny screens.
  9. Love bombing sucks, but we shouldn’t be afraid of getting close to someone. If we haven’t heard of love bombing, it’s as horrible as it sounds: it means the guy that we just started dating is using love and affection as a form of emotional manipulation. It’s a pattern that results in our realizing that the guy isn’t as great as he seemed. Although that sucks, we should remember that feeling super close to someone, being emotionally intimate and spending a lot of time with them is still a good thing… minus the manipulation part.
  10. Some people are truly cowards and we can’t do anything about that. No matter what dating trends 2018 brings, there’s one thing that will always be true: some people are too chicken to fall deeply and madly in love. Whether we’re being ghosted or zombied or love bombed or cushioned, it’s all the same in the end. As long as we treat people the way that we want to be treated, as the old kindergarten saying goes, we’ll find the love that we’re searching for.
Aya Tsintziras is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor from Toronto, Canada. In addition to writing about dating and relationships for Bolde, she also writes about movies, TV, and video games for ScreenRant and GameRant. She has a Political Science degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Journalism from Ryerson University. You can find her on Twitter @ayatsintziras and on Instagram @aya.tsintziras.