Seven 2019 Dating Terms That You Should Definitely Be Aware Of


If there's one thing that I look forward to at the turn of a new year, it's the creative names for dating scenarios that folks seem to come up with. When it comes to 2019, I was not disappointed. Last year was all about cushioning (keeping people around as extra "cushions" in case the main guy or gal didn't work out), Caspering (someone who doesn't quite ghost you but after a couple of dates, only communicates via texts), and subbing (which is basically short for sub-tweeting an ex on social media).

This year, things are a bit more, well, "cryptic" is the word that immediately comes to mind. I say that because unless you know what kind of red flags to look out for, you could very easily become the victim of one (or several) of these forms of manipulation.

No one said that dating was easy. But the more information you have about what goes on out in these streets, the better equipped you'll be to spot straight-up foolishness way before too much of your very valuable time gets wasted.

7 Dating Terms You Should Know

1. Cookie Jarring

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Basically, this is a cute term for cheating. Well, kind of. Although cookie jarring is all about dating two people at once so that you'll have one of them waiting in the wings if it doesn't work out with the other, this doesn't really apply to serious relationships. It's got more of a casual dating feel to it.

What's wrong with that? Nothing — at least not on the surface. Where this gets tricky is when you've been dating a guy for a couple of months and you think it's headed towards something serious. Then some girl implies that he and her spend quite a bit of non-platonic time on her IG page. While you were out here thinking that things were heading towards exclusivity, he was out here giving more women than you that very same impression.

Cookie jarring folks have the "don't put all of your eggs in one basket" mentality. That's fine so long as you know that's where they're coming from. Unfortunately, when someone is cookie jarring you, usually, you don't.

2. Prowling


Prowling is the dating form of playing cat and mouse. Initially, things are all good. You know for a fact that the guy is into you because he texts "good morning", calls at night, and plans dates on a fairly regular basis. He's been consistent long enough that you start to let your guard down and relax in the relationship. Oh, but just when you exhale, he gets ghost.

As if that already doesn't suck, what makes matters so much worse is right when you let the shock-then-anger-then-expectations-of-hearing-from-him again go, he has the nerve to pop up — just so he can start the cycle all over again.

I'm not really sure what a man gets out of being a prowler other than getting off on knowing that he can leave and come back at any time (when women let him). Oh, I guess I got my answer, didn't I? My bad. Next.

3. E-Maintaining


Out of all the dating terms that I'll share with you, this one is probably what most of us become the victim of (or victimize others with) whether we realize it or not. Case in point — have you ever gone on a date with a guy, things went really well and, a few days later, he mentioned wanting to hang out again? Only he didn't do this on the phone. He did it either by hitting up your inbox or DM'ing you? He was polite and engaging but the plans he brought up were super vague and he never followed through? He didn't only do this one time, though. Over the course of several weeks, you've received similar messages.

Ladies, I present to you e-maintaining. It's when someone is on the fence about actually going out again, but says something along the lines of "We should catch a movie sometime", just so they can stay on your radar. SMH.

4. Pocketing

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Back in the day, R&B singer Stephanie Mills used to sing a song with a chorus that said, "I just can't go on being your secret lady, mystery baby, you're the one I want." It's talking about an affair but when you're caught up in pocketing, it almost feels like you must somehow be the other woman.

That's because a person who's trying to pocket you is all about spending time and gettin' it on. The problem is, they'd prefer that no one on the planet knows about it other than the two of you. Even months into the relationship, you haven't met a friend, family member, or even a co-worker if they can avoid it. In fact, if they can get away with keeping you off of their social media, they'll do that too.

If you like being an undercover lover, do you. But if you want a relationship that has a real future, pocketing is NOT the way to go.

5. Scrooging


This one cracks me up, mostly because I know GROWN MEN (and yes, I'm yelling that!) who continue to pull this stunt. OK, we all remember A Christmas Carol and how ridiculously stingy Ebenezer Scrooge was. All that money and resources and until some ghosts visited him in his sleep, he kept it all to himself.

With that as your clue, can you guess what scrooging is? It's when a dating situation is all good. That is until Valentine's Day, Christmas, or your birthday rolls around. Then all of a sudden, dude needs some space.

Rather than chalking this up to being cheap or even broke, I'd prefer to go with him being uber-selfish. A guy without a lot of money who still wants to keep you in his life will figure out something. On the other hand, a guy who is willing to end a relationship just because he doesn't want to give or get you anything probably didn't have long-term plans for you anyway.

Valentine's Day is steadily approaching. Pay very close attention to if you've got a Scrooge on your hands — or not.

6. Kittenfishing

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Catfishing is when you're pretending to be someone you're not. Kittenfishing is when you're exaggerating about who you are. You might post a pic from when you were 10 years younger (or 20 pounds thinner). You may claim that you're on staff at a top media company, when the real truth is you did some contract work for them a couple of times several years ago. You get this gist. Kittenfishing is presenting yourself in (what you think is) your best light, even though you know you're not being totally forthcoming or honest.

If you catch a guy kittenfishing you, while I'm not saying that it has to be an automatic deal breaker, he is showing you that he's not the most truthful person on the planet. Be careful. White lies are still lies.

7. Mindfulness

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I decided to save the best for last because it really is good to see that some of us are growing weary of always swiping left and/or hooking up. Some people want to get back to old-fashioned dating, taking things slow and falling in love.

Making lasting connections. Being in the moment. Organic dating. Romance. Emotional intimacy before physical involvement. All of these things are making a comeback this year and I couldn't be more thrilled about it!

In the midst of all of the ridiculous that comes with dating, don't get too jaded. Dating with a purpose is trending this year. Lucky us!

Featured image by Getty Images.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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