Online dating has created hundreds of new dating terms, from ghosting to catfishing – and the latest term that has gained popularity is benching.
But what exactly is benching? It sounds like a gym phrase, but it doesn’t have anything to do with working out. It is actually linked to casual dating.
The Definition Of Benching
Benching was first used as a sports phrase; if someone gets benched, they are asked to sit on the sidelines while the rest of the team are playing. The phrase is now more well-known as a dating term, but the meaning is still fairly similar. Urban Dictionary defines benching as dating someone who has potential, but you’re not crazy about them. So you spend less time with them and start talking to other people – but every so often you reach out to make sure the first person is still sat on the bench, waiting for you.
The Pros And Cons Of Benching
There are pros and cons to benching. One of the main pros to benching is that it gives people the chance to find someone they really like, as they don’t make a commitment until they are absolutely sure – but this can be very frustrating for the other person, especially if they want to find a serious relationship.
Another con to benching is that it can stop people from finding real love. The abundance of choice can mean that people are constantly hopping from person to person, without ever finding a real connection. It can also be very painful to realize you may have been a second option, and over time this can really damage a person’s self-esteem.
People who are emotionally unavailable also often use benching to distance themselves from other people. This could be because they had a bad dating experience in the past, or it could be because they are narcissistic; either way, benching stops them from personal growth.
If You Want To Try Benching
So if you want to try benching, be honest with the people you are dating. Don’t lead them on or imply that you are exclusive; tell them how you really feel, and then let them decide if they want to continue dating you. This shows your date that you respect their feelings, and it means you will have an open, honest relationship with each other.