New Dating Trends 2019: Micro-cheating, Pocketing and More

new dating trends 2019Seeing that I’ve passed the mark of three years of marriage I’m not always up to date with what’s happening on the dating scene. Out of curiosity, to see how much dating has changed since I was last exploring it plus-minus 5 years ago, I’ve googled the new dating trends. Some things seem innovative but really, plus ça change!
Here are some of the more interesting dating trends of 2019 I’ve found on the web:

1. Micro-cheating

Micro-cheating means small, visibly insignificant behaviors that smell of cheating. This would include liking Instagram pictures of someone you’re attracted to, other than who you’re dating. Other micro-cheating behaviors are commenting on someone’s pictures or posts to attract their attention or going to an event just because you know you’ll see them there. It can be done with a new person, a friend you secretly fancy a bit or the worst sin of all, your ex.
If you need more insight, you can read a whole article on micro-cheating by Cosmopolitan.

Zlotybaby’s take on it: Sure, technology allows people to micro-cheat more, for instance, by letting them have seemingly innocent, public conversations on social media. It’s certainly easier to be tempted these days too, so if you feel a tingle for someone when in a relationship the easiest thing to do is just to unfollow that person.
Before Instagram and social media people had other ways of micro-cheating, though. Such behaviors as dressing up to attract someone’s attention or making sure to hang out in the right place are not our invention. I’m reading “Anna Karenina” now and they did it a lot in the nineteenth century Russia!
How to know whether you’re micro-cheating? It’s the intention behind what you do that matters. If you’re just liking someone’s stuff on FB but feel ashamed and like you shouldn’t tell your partner about it, it may be micro-cheating.

2. Pocketing

Pocketing is a situation when a person you’re dating doesn’t introduce you to his friends, family or acknowledge you on social media. It seems like you have a relationship going otherwise, only that it’s all happening away from the public eye.
What if you bump into this person’s friends or a family member together? They won’t introduce you properly and certainly you can’t count on any PDA. Chances are they’ve never heard about you. If that sounds familiar, consult this article on pocketing for tips on what to do.

Zlotybaby’s take on it: I was pretty surprised to see it on the list of new dating trends 2019 by the Sun because pocketing seems to be a pretty established thing. In fact, I’ve written about being a backpocket girl a long time ago. Perhaps it’s the social media exclusion that’s giving it a new twist.
If you see that’s happening to you, ask the questions you’ve been fearing to ask and check that you’re on the same page. Look at your flame’s actions too because you may be dealing with one of the people who talk a lot but do nothing.

3. Prowling

Prowling sounds super toxic as it includes ghosting and appearing in someone’s life again after doing that. How it goes it that you date someone and that someone disappears without a word to appear back in your life after a few months, pretending that all is fine.
A lot of manipulators do prowling to a lesser extent. They may not disappear for months but they’ll stay out of touch for a few days or a week, coming up with an excuse such as their phone being off or having no airtime.
PLEASE remember that if someone wants to contact you, they will. If they know they may be out of touch, they’ll warn you. A person disappearing for a few days is unacceptable and you really deserve more respect than that.

Zlotybaby’s take on it: Yet again, it doesn’t seem to be a new trend. In fact, the last guy I dated before my husband did exactly that to me. We met for one date after some banter, had a good one, texted all day after that and then the guy went quiet. I felt a bit hurt but it was only one date so I let it go. Two months later he got in touch again saying he doesn’t know why he went quiet. We ended up dating after that for almost two months and then he disappeared again. I was quite hurt but zen about it considering, because it seemed like a pattern and truth be told, I knew we weren’t going to work longterm.
If you really care about someone, it can be very hurtful. Even if you’re tempted, don’t let them back into your life.

4. Orbiting and Curving

Orbiting is when your relationship fizzles out without a definite end to it, so often in the early days. Then the person still half-heartedly keeps reminding you about their existence by, for instance, liking your pictures and making overly familiar comments. A similar thing in the early stages of “vibing” is called curving. It’s a situation when a person doesn’t make a proper effort but does just enough not to let you forget them by liking your pictures on social media, sending you messages about how you must “hang out” without setting an actual date and in general doing everything to keep your interest without actually getting involved in a relationship.

Zlotybaby’s take on it: Orbiting seems new as a trend for after things are done. I’ve never heard about it and have no stories to share! I guess it’s just yet another example of someone trying to maximise their options.
When it comes to curving: is it anything more than just keeping your options open?

5. Cookie jarring 

You know how sometimes you just look at the cookies in a coffee shop without buying them? Well, if you’re involved with someone, you better stop looking at those other “cookies”!
Cookie jarring can be dangerous to your new relationship because it may mean that you’re not that much into the person you’re with. It seems innocent but in reality, you may be considering your future options.

Zlotybaby’s take on it: Cookie jarring is as old as relationships are. Yet again, in the world of social media, it’s just much easier to keep appreciating the merchandise when you’re already involved.
I know a lot of people do it but I don’t like it. Before I was married I had married coworkers laugh at me for commenting on them indecently eyeing guys coming for interviews. “You’re allowed to look!” they’d always say.
Sure, some people are attractive and being in a relationship doesn’t stop you from seeing that but there’s a difference between noticing and indulging. I still stand by what I said back then!

To conclude the new-old dating trends, I’ll just briefly discuss three other lovely terms I’ve found in this article:

  • Insta-gator
    A person who makes a relationship public or makes it seemingly last longer by posting pics on Instagram. If you’re dealing with pocketing, feel free to take your vengeance by becoming and Insta-gator 😉
  • Bird boxed
    You know the movie Bird Box with Sandra Bullock? In the post-apocalyptic world depicted, people need to keep their eyes closed to survive. A bird boxed person in dating is someone who doesn’t see how not cool someone they’re dating is.
  • Exagger-date
    It’s when you claim that a date was much better than it actually was.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the “new” dating trends. The way I see it, they’re mostly a variation on the theme. They’re not entirely new but social media gives a spin to old phenomenons.

Have you heard about these dating trends? Have you heard about any other worth mentioning? Do you think that anything really changes or are human tendencies just finding new ways of expression? I look forward to hearing from you! 








  1. Love this list! I am the target of many women’s Micro-cheating behavior but was never sure what to call it. I’ve several married or seriously committed coworkers and quasi-friends (people I don’t hang out with but who talk to me daily) who treat me almost like a surrogate boyfriend. On one hand, it’s very frustrating to be a single person who has attractive married women flirt with him all day but on the other, I know that I am at least mildly responsible for this too as I could just stop letting them talk to me this way. Very difficult to do when you’ve been single for almost a decade, though!

    Old, addict Brian was for sure a prowler, too. I’m not proud of that part of my life and after reading the definition, it is so clearly what I did to women! We’d go out on a couple dates, sleep together, and then I’d ghost them for a month until I felt “needy” again. I’m disgusted when I see that behavior now but I have to acknowledge to myself that I did it. I’ve even recently been the victim of it more than once. Karma, perhaps!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading it. I think a lot of women (and men) do micro-cheating. From what I see it often means that they’re not that happy in a relationship they’re in. A lot of women I saw doing micro-cheating before – for instance, by having a couple of friendzoned friends they’d still flirt with – stopped doing it once they found a person they really like. Guys are guilty of micro-cheating as well, the only difference is that when a woman is the woman who’s being flirted with she more often than a man is willing to put things on hold and hope that something will work out with this person who’s just flirting with them.
      I think it’s because of the way women are often brought up.
      I’ve enjoyed being the source of micro-cheating in my single days and I’ve also micro-cheated when I had a boyfriend I wasn’t THAT much into anymore but didn’t want to go through a break-up yet.

      Honestly, I think prowling is better than ghosting forever. Prowling when you’re a victim allows you to say “no” or simply ignore and make you feel like you’re not such a loser. If someone simply ghosts you, you never get a chance. I’ve been secretly hoping the last guy who ghosted me would send me a message one day to which I’d reply with my wedding picture 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s true that I get no small amount of satisfaction from being the target of women’s micro-cheating, and at the same time it depresses me slightly because although I do have real feelings for some of these women, deep-down (not that deep, actually) I know that nothing will ever happen. If I truly wish to live by the morality I set for myself upon my sobriety date, I’d stop letting them talk to me the way they do. Perhaps that is my goal for the next month…

        Hey, you never know! Maybe some time in the future your ghost-er will remember you and feel a pang of desire and decide to reach out. I’ve had people from my distant past send me friend requests on social media before. I usually accept if only so they can see how well I’m doing now!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, it’s sometimes just nice when people fancy you even if you’re not interested. I am dealing with this one creep, though that could be my dad that keeps making weird comments whenever he sees me and he makes sure to attend ALL events that I attend… He makes me feel pretty uncomfortable but because it’s all “playful” I can’t really address it properly. I know the type – if I showed any interest he’d run for the hills which is perhaps exactly what I should do to get him off my back 😀
        That’s the problem with micro-cheating when you’re the object of someone’s attention – even if you wanted to take it somewhere else, they’d probably get scared or offended. The weird unwritten rules of this world!

        Hahaha, maybe. But I feel after a year since I last heard from him has passed he probably started to feel it’d be silly to contact me even if was curious how I’m doing or stupid enough to think I haven’t moved on or something.

        Liked by 1 person

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