couple obviously not getting along - dating trends photo by Brian Lindquist fqIw EHSxoI unsplash
Young couple apparently upset right now. The day is beautiful - great day for a boat ride and they are mad. What a waste! Control is a part of one of the toxic dating trends called love bombing.
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It’s the little things that glue couples together. However, there are three dating trends that may get in the way of your relationship goals. Let’s look at the ones I believe could become problematic for the romantic at heart.

The “Love Bombing” Sociopath

Love Bombing signs can be hard to recognize, especially when a person is telling you everything you want to hear. The clues are in phrases like “I haven’t felt this way in so long,” “I’ve never felt this way before,” or “I know we just met, but I need you.” 

Dating trends like this can be manipulative. Someone’s over-the-top behavior patterns, such as constantly giving you lavish gifts and making grand gestures could be using love bombing to gain your trust and loyalty. This person also uses excessive flattery to get the love and attention of the other person. 

The bomber wants to control everything, including how you behave, look, or dress. This person will go so far as to keep you from your friends and family. You ultimately lose yourself and won’t even realize you’re a victim of love bombing narcissist abuse. Maybe playing ‘hardball’ before committing to someone will help prevent toxic relationships

What is “Hardballing”? 

“Hardballing” is when you put all your cards on the table after meeting someone. This is before you even go on your first date. I mean, if you don’t want the same things, why waste your time? It can save you a lot of money, especially if you’re paying for the date. 

Playing hardball also provides the other party with enough information to make a judgment call. This technique works both ways in that the individuals know what the other expects from the relationship. Expectations, goals, and boundaries are upfront, and at least one person is transparent. This transparency hopefully prevents miscommunication and hurt feelings. 

If someone plays hardball with you, thank them for their honesty and return the favor. Ask questions if unclear about something, never assume anything. This is not the time to be shy. Get all the answers you need to make a good decision so you’re not a victim of pocketing. 

“Pocketing” Dating Trends

“Pocketing” is another dating trend you may or may not be familiar with, although you may have had some experience with it before. Psychotherapist and life coach Ana Jovanovic explains pocketing as “a situation where a person you’re dating avoids or hesitates to introduce you to their friends, family or other people they know, in-person or on social media, even though you’ve been going out for a while.” “Your relationship seems non-existent to the public eye,” she says. 

Pocketing may mean that one person is cheating. In either case, this dating trend is toxic, and anyone enduring this behavior shouldn’t. Here’s how to tell if you’re being pocketed: 

  • Mostly, you don’t go out, but meet at your respective residences 
  • They don’t post pics of you on social media, but still have pics of their exes
  • Friends or family don’t have any clue that you are alive, let alone dating
  • Your date doesn’t invite you to any holiday dinners or celebrations
  • They avoid talking about their friends and family or give vague answers

Avoid Toxic Dating Trends 

If you weren’t dating during the pandemic, you may have realized that being single has its perks. Social distancing may have given you time to reflect on previous relationships, and you may have observed some of the above dating trends like pocketing or hardballing. 

We can only suggest that you become more intentional with your decisions to date going forward so you can recognize people like the love bombing psychopath. While being single has many advantages, you still may want to be in a healthy relationship. Having someone to grow old with or at least have that experience with what life is all about. 

When dating, please remember this: every time you chip away at a person’s self-esteem or self confidence with behaviors such as love bombing, pocketing, ghosting, and every toxic thing in between, you make it harder for that person and anyone that could be interested in dating them to come together. So, if you are not ready for a relationship, don’t disturb someone’s singleness with these crazy dating trends. Be grown or be gone! 


Photo by Brian Lundquist on Unsplash

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Mikki Donaldson is a southern girl, born in “hard time Mississippi.” She, like her town, has seen many hurricanes, but bounce back each time. Mikki is no different from any other person with a passion, late to bed and early to rise. The writer adores her family and seeks to leave her mark on this remarkable world.