Roaching Is The Gross Dating Trend You’ve Probably Already Experienced

Dating trends come and go, but one that’s been around since time immemorial and likely won’t disappear anytime soon is roaching. The term may be new, but the behavior that inspired it certainly isn’t. While it would be great if single people were upfront and honest about what they’re looking for from the person they’re dating, the fact that they’re not makes roaching one of the frustrating — not to mention one of the grossest — trends out there. Here’s what it’s all about.

What is the roaching dating trend?

Roaching is when someone you’re dating hides that they’re dating around. You’ve gone out together for a few weeks or even a few months and you’re feeling good about how things are progressing. You’re really enjoying your time with this person and you’re almost certain it’s going to turn into a relationship. You two haven’t had a conversation about dating exclusively yet, but you feel it should go unspoken that you’re focusing solely on each other now. However, they may not see it that way. The fact is that they’re hiding that they’re dating around. They’re evading the topic and being unclear.

The term comes from the idea that if you see one cockroach, there are likely to be many more where that one came from. This translates to there being many more crushes, dates, flings, and maybe even partners in the perpetrator’s life. You may discover you’re being roached when the person you’re seeing hints at or even accidentally admits that you’re not the only one in their life. If that gives you the ick, you’re not alone.

How to tell when you’re being roached

  1. They refuse to define the relationship. You’re really into them and they appear to feel the same. So why, then, are they outright refusing to have “The Talk”? A prime sign of roaching is when the person you’re seeing dodges any discussion about exclusivity or putting a label on things. It’s incredibly frustrating.
  2. They never truly let you in. For some reason, it feels like they’re keeping you at arm’s length. You want to open yourself up to them and share everything. However, they’re not willing to do the same in return. Instead, they hide huge parts of their life from you so you feel like you never truly know them.
  3. They regularly bail on plans and never initiate them. Because they’re seeing other people, they can’t always be available for you. If they get a better offer or realize they accidentally double booked, you’ll be left in the dust.
  4. They’re always talking about how “casual” your relationship is. Whenever you mention something about being a proper couple or moving the relationship forward, someone who’s roaching you will contradict that by pointing out how casual you are. You’re serious but they’re not.
  5. When confronted, the person reacts like there was no hint of monogamy. Despite the fact that two people have been acting like a couple, the idea that one could possibly want to be in a relationship turns out to be a big shock. The roacher freaks out and gets very defensive, saying things like, “Well, we met on Tinder, I assumed it was just casual” and “I just assumed we were both seeing other people.” They act like they had no idea at all that it seemed more serious.

Why it’s so problematic

  1. Dating is all about trust. When dating someone, both people are building up trust to be able to be in relation to the other person. Trust is a building block for all relationships. Even casual flings need trust, but more importantly, the more serious budding relationships need it. When someone can’t even be honest about what they’re doing then there’s no trust to be had.
  2. It’s not the dating around that’s a problem, it’s the being dishonest. The responsibility of communicating that they’re seeing other people is on the person who is. It’s common courtesy, but also a given in dating. It’s not assumed that the person is seeing other people so they need to communicate it. Not communicating is being dishonest. It’s okay to see other people, but just be forthcoming about it to save everyone the trouble.
  3. Lies by omission are still lies. They’re definitely being dishonest if they’re asked about what they want in terms of a relationship, but it’s a bit of a grayer area if the question is never asked directly. They’re lying by omission when they don’t say anything and they go about acting like they’re in a relationship while also seeing other people. This isn’t cool.
  4. It’s especially toxic (and potentially dangerous) if sex is involved. It’s just flat-out unsafe if they’re having sex with one person while also having sex with others and not speaking up about it. There should always be talks about STD status, when the last time you were tested, last sexual partner, etc. If these talks aren’t had for some reason then they are the ones who should mention that they’re also sleeping with others. It’s only fair and right.

How to avoid roaching altogether

While you can’t police other people’s actions, you can do certain things to reduce the chances of this happening to you. They include:

  • Being upfront about your expectations
  • Having frank conversations about what your relationship goals are
  • Communicating your needs directly
  • Calling out inconsistencies or bad behavior
  • Walking away if your needs and desires are continually ignored
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia