Online Dating Slang – What Does it Mean?

Online dating slang and abbreviations can be quite confusing, but don’t worry as we’ve got your back! There are just so many terms that might not make sense to you if you’re new to the game.

You might find yourself deep in a conversation with a match, only to be flummoxed by a word or term they’ve used, leaving you frantically searching on Google for its meaning. In this post, we introduce you to some of the most common online dating slang to help you navigate your initial conversations in this exciting world!



Bae is a term of endearment, usually reserved for your significant other. So, if someone starts calling you bae, it’s a sign that your relationship is moving in the right direction!



The practice of breadcrumbing refers to sending flirtatious messages with little meaning, simply in the hope of stringing someone along for the fun of it. The person sending the messages has little or no interest in actually dating the person they’re messaging.



In the online dating world, bot is the term used to refer to an account that is almost certainly not maintained by a human being. Bot accounts usually present a picture-perfect profile and lack substance, so if you suspect you’re interacting with a bot, it’s best to end it.



Catfishing is like fraud, as it refers to what happens when someone takes on a false identity to try and scam another user. Their intentions are almost certainly bad, and it can often be an attempt to steal money or introduce some form of online scam.



This acronym is important to understand, as it stands for ‘define the relationship.’ If someone posts ‘DTR?’ they’re looking for your thoughts on where things stand and what the future holds.



Ghosting is what happens when someone disappears all of a sudden, never to be heard from again. Maybe you’ve been messaging a match for a while, and then one day, they stop responding to your messages with no explanation. If this is the case, you’ve been ghosted.



Another popular acronym in the world of online dating is IRL, which stands for ‘in real life.’ It’s commonly used to suggest a meeting, for instance, ‘I’d love to get to know you IRL.’


Swipe Right

Although not all online dating sites have this feature, the term ‘swipe right’ has come to signify that two matches are interested in one another. This is thanks to the right swipe feature that exists on popular dating apps like Tinder.



Submarining is linked to ghosting, but with an even more sinister step. If you’ve been romantically involved with someone who disappears all of a sudden, only to reappear and pretend like nothing happened, this is submarining. People who do this don’t offer any explanation or apology; they just look to pick up the relationship where they left off.


Hopefully, these nine online dating slang terms will help you navigate your online dating journey and will give you the perfect vocabulary with which to find the perfect person to chat to online.