Hei Bae, DTF? (Or, How To Talk Like a Modern-Day Dbag)


If you are anything like me (born before the ’90s, social media wary, technologically mediocre), you may occasionally feel a droning sense of fatigue while scrolling through Instagram and realizing that there is an entire meme jargon that reads more like Morse Code to your seasoned ears.

And yet, no matter how much we resent it, not understanding the language of the Internet is similar to not understanding the language of the country you live in – highly liberating, yet a surefire hazard for getting screwed over. Since I certainly don’t want you to get screwed over in the dating arena (leave that one to me!), I have compiled a handy little guide that will allow you to both decipher and chime into the wild jungle of Generation Hookup with a few gems of your own!

Bae. I always thought this was a short for ‘baby’ but it’s actually means ‘before anyone else’. Which should, technically, give it mucho gravitas, except that it’s usually just casually applied in reference to the latest BFFL or boyfriend du jour. Best used in dumb sentences that start with “When bae..” and accompanied by an image of something in Millennial Pink.

Benching. Sports reference that entails keeping extra contenders on the back burner, just in case the others bail. Speaking of sports, do you know which players coaches usually keep on the bench? The shitty ones. Don’t be somebody’s shitty player! Get the hell off that bench!

Breadcrumbing. That moment when you’re in the mood for some fun and you copy-paste the same “What’s shakin”” message and send it to every Bumble / Raya / text buddy on the roster. The messages are the crumbs and the beaus are the birds, I suppose. Quelle poésie!

Cuffing Season. Cold time of the year when you happily spend hours spooning with anybody, your gym trainer included, in order to avoid leaving your home. (More here!)

Drafting Season. Warm time of year when you get to ditch the gym trainer and re-stock on new lovahs. Together with cuffing season, constitutes as the circle of life. (Insert audible sigh.) 

Draking. Weirdest one yet. Apparently, Drake is such an emotional wreck that his name has become synonymous to feeling feelings / wallowing in one’s own misery, inspiring memes such as “Don’t Drake and Drive!” I personally don’t understand why they didn’t just call it ‘Adeling’.

Ghosting.  This one is easy and I bet you your Bumble you have seen it in action. It is, quite simply, douchiness at its finest – evaporating into the abyss of love interests past without a word, a sign, a trace. Just like Casper the Ghost!

Manicorn. A mythical male creature who may or may not exist in real life. Combines the looks of a (pre-plastic-surgery) Brad Pitt with the mind of an Elon Musk with the parenting skills of a Ryan Reynolds, all while looking perfect in Tom Ford and tolerating you while you are on your period.

Female: ladicorn (ref: me)

Netflix and Chill. The originator of dumb millennial terminology that alludes to the act of fornicating to the background noise of Netflix. Celebrated amongst men as an excellent way to forgo dinner expenditures.

New Car Smell. A very particular vibe exuded by a newcomer to a city that alludes to their vulnerability and naiveté, making them the prime target of local players. (Ref: me during my trip to Moscow.)

Sapiosexual. (From Latin ‘sapient’ i.e. ‘wise’.) A sucker for good ol’ intellectual lubrication, she who gets lady-boners from Socrates quotes rather than six-packs. I say “she” because this syndrome has yet to be encountered in males.

Ship. Publicly cheerleading a relationship. Kind of like we did for Big and Carrie for three seasons before he ditched her for Natasha and we finally realized that he was a douche.

Situationship. A relationship placebo. Looks like a relationship, feels like a relationship, but is actually just two people putting on a stellar act to avoid the big bad Commitment Monster! According to various fake news sources à la Buzzfeed, this predicament is becoming increasingly common so you better start nipping those babies in the bud.

Slide into the DMs. You know when you get a random Instagram or Snapchat Direct Message from a stranger and don’t understand why this person is contacting you via an obscure social media pathway that you don’t really know how to use? Well, that’s how Gen Bullshit flirts.

Slow Fade. The coward’s breakup technique, entails slowly disappearing from a person’s life over an extended time period. (Insert another audible sigh.) 

Vacationship. (My own spin on ‘situationship’.) A couple vacation of a non-couple. Excellent way to exercise girlfriend skills and mess around with the hotel staff by asking for honeymoon perks!

And now for the abbreviations…

DTF – Down to F*ck. Best accompanied by a question mark for simple, straight-to-the-point modern communication. “DTF?”

DTR – Define the Relationship. That scary moment you have to actually sit down and put a title on your situationship. Assuming that cadence matches that of leap days.

LTR – Long Term Relationship. The outlier in a sea of non-committal terminology!

NSA – No Strings Attached. Duhskies.

THOT – That H*e Over Here. Apparently this is a things amongst kids these days.

On that note, just kill me now so I can have a happy afterlife in some faraway Jane Austen village where language is pure and Instagram is nonexistent and men at least try to mask their douchiness with long prosaic letters. I promise I will be better off there.

As for the rest of you, happy texting!


  • I wonder if compared to 5 years ago the same percentage of people want long term relationships or is that number going down?

    • Hahah there’s a piece of data I have no awareness of. Does ANYBODY want to be in a long-term relationship these days?!

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