Putting together a dating app bio is a real challenge. First, it needs to authentically represent your identity, and second, it needs to avoid being an annoying laundry list of must-haves.
Once you finally get your bio in good shape, you’re left to swipe through a sea full of faces attached to bios packed with acronyms and lifestyle descriptions. And then, there’s a bunch of ever-evolving terms to describe how dating itself actually goes.
Are their photos full of beige flags? Their bio says “sub.” Your friend texted you that the guy she met on Bumble last month is “zombieing” her. What does it all mean?! Here’s a list of terms you’ll see on the apps or used to describe yours and others’ modern dating app experiences.
Asexuality is a sexual identity in which people do not experience sexual attraction or desires in a traditional sense. There’s diversity in the way they desire or experience relationships, emotional attraction and arousal while others are also aromantic, or don’t experience romantic feelings, as well. “Ace” and “aspec” are all-encompassing terms for those on the asexual spectrum.
BDSM is an acronym for bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sadism and masochism and refers to consensual power dynamics, role-playing, and sexual activities involving physical and/or psychological elements of control, restraint, and sensation.
A beige flag is a characteristic or behavior that is noticeable but shouldn’t be cause for concern as it’s typically regarded as boring or generic. In terms of dating app bios specifically, this could include listing a love for tacos or fluency in sarcasm as something interesting about you.
Benching is typically the action that lands people in situationships. You like them enough to keep in contact inconsistently and maybe date casually, but you’re benching them because you won’t commit. They’re on the bench because they are not in the starting line-up.
Bisexual is a sexual identity that refers to individuals that have the potential to have romantic and sexual feelings for members of their gender as well as other genders.
What does the word ‘queer’ even mean?
Bi-curiousity refers to people that are exploring their attraction to members of their gender as well as other genders.
Dating app bots are chatbots coded to have humanlike exchanges with users they match with. Unlike fake accounts with a human behind them, a bot’s account is actually run by a computer program.
A label largely used in the LGBTQ+ community, bottom is typically the partner being penetrated.
Breadcrumbing is when someone is engaging with you enough to seem interested, kind of. They’ll do things like ambiguously be a little flirty over text and maybe always like your IG stories, but they’re ultimately stringing you along for no reason at all.
Cis or cisgender
Cis or cisgender defines someone who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth.
Cuffing season refers to the colder months of the year when single people are looking to temporarily settle down for short term partnerships.
Curve is a verb and it means to reject someone. It typically is done in an indirect or more passive way.
Interestingly, while there are plenty of people looking for “nothing serious,” only men taller than 6′ or a third for their polycule, some people are looking for good old fashioned dates. Dinner and movie, picnic in the park, run-of-the-mill time spent getting to know potential romantic interests.
Demisexual is a sexual identity where individuals are only sexually attracted to people they’ve formed a strong emotional connection with.
Dom or dominant
The dom in a BDSM sexual encounter is the aggressor, the controller or the one with the power and typically defines the roles between themselves and the submissive.
Also known as sober dating, drying dating is dating without alcohol. Bumble reported that 34 percent of their users are less likely to drink on a date than they were prior to the pandemic.
How to date while sober (curious)
Short for “define the relationship,” a DTR is a check-in or chat about the status of the relationship. Someone may ask “what are we” during this conversation, but it’s really a great opportunity to see if expectations are aligned.
Mashable After Dark
ENM or ethically non-monogamous
ENM is the acronym for ethically non-monogamous or consensual non-monogamy (CNM), and it’s approach to relationships that allows individuals to participate in multiple romantic or sexual connections where all parties are aware and consenting.
Inside Feeld’s disaster of a rebrand
A sexual orientation on the asexual spectrum, they are sexually attracted to people they don’t know that well and lose that interest as they get to know someone more deeply. They’re more turned on by the idea of you than actually knowing you.
FWB stands for friend with benefits and refers to friends that have sex. Their connection is typically more friendship-like rather than that of a romantic, committed relationship. This can be the outcome of a DTR.
Individuals whose gender identity can fluctuate between genders or a lack thereof at different times independently of their assigned sex at birth are genderfluid.
Coined by the sex advice columnist Dan Savage, GGG is short for good, giving, and game and defines the qualities of an excellent sexual partner — good in bed, giving “equal time and pleasure,” and game for exploring and being open-minded.
An age old dating nightmare, ghosting is when someone abruptly cuts off all communication with someone they’re romantically or intimately connected to without any explanation or warning – radio silence.
A green flag refers to positive and attractive characteristics or behaviors a potential partner has. Some examples of green flags are being a good communicator, being respectful of others and having other healthy consistent non-romantic relationships.
Green dating is the trend of people dating others who prioritize shared values around eco-consciousness with each other.
The ick is the knee jerk reaction of being immediately turned off by an action or behavior of someone you are (or were) interested in or dating. Common examples include the way someone eats or even the way people use the voice note feature on dating apps.
Love bombing is when someone overwhelms you with excessive loving attention and displays of affection in order to later heavily influence or manipulate you.
NB or enby are short for nonbinary which is a gender identity for those who don’t identify within the traditional binary understanding of gender.
Not to be confused with the Office For National Statistics in the UK, ONS is also known as a one night stand and is typically listed on someone’s bio who is just trying to hook up once.
While the parameters may differ from relationship to relationship, when someone lists they are in an open relationship on a dating app this means that they are in a relationship that permits them to be romantically or sexually involved with others outside of it.
Pansexual individuals experience attraction to others regardless of their gender identity.
Polyamory is when people have simultaneous romantic or sexual relationships with the consent of all parties, and it’s a type of ethically non-monogamous dating.
Queer is an inclusive term describing diverse sexual orientations and gender identities outside of the traditional heterosexuality and cisgender norms.
Red flags are glaring behaviors or characteristics that are a warning sign for larger problems down the road or misalignment within the relationship and should prompt a complete reconsideration of the relationship. Major red flags include someone being physically aggressive, gaslighting, verbal abuse (even if it’s in the context of a joke) and a lack of respect for your personhood or boundaries.
Formerly known as game, rizz is flirting or the ability to be charming to bag or attract someone you’re interested in.
Sapiosexual people are sexually attracted to or turned on by intelligence.
If you see sensual on a dating app, that means that they are particularly into giving and receiving pleasure specifically to stimulate the senses.
A beginner’s guide to sensation play
A situationship is an undefined romantic and sexual relationship where there isn’t much clarity around boundaries, relationship status or commitment.
When used as a noun, sneaky link refers to the person you’re secretly having sex with. When used as a verb it’s the act of going to secretly have sex with someone.
The sub in a BDSM sexual encounter finds relinquishing of power and control to another or the dom pleasurable.
A switch in a BDSM sexual encounter enjoys being in both dominant and submissive roles.
The talking stage is the precursor to “dating.” The purpose is to get to know someone before any type of romantic labels or progression of the relationship.
Typically a label in the LGBTQ+ community, top is a label indicating that the person is the partner penetrating.
Transgender refers to those whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. This often leads to a social, medical, or legal transition process to align with their affirmed gender.
Vers is a label for someone that likes to be in both the top and bottom roles.
Yellow flags are behaviors or patterns that should be taken into account, and they should make you use a little caution or perhaps take a little more time to assess the relationship. An example of this would be someone that often talks about exes or former partners as if they are all crazy and with little acknowledgement of their role in the relationships.
Also known as haunting or orbiting, zombieing is when an old dating app match or former fling who essentially disappeared from your life with no explanation (or ghosted you) pops back up. This usually happens over text or DM.