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How Tinder's new dating dictionary is a guidebook to modern love

Valentine's Day often brings with it an influx of new dating trends. Tinder's collaboration with Under25 tries to explain them all

New terms have entered the dating scene. (Pexels/cottonbro studio)
New terms have entered the dating scene. (Pexels/cottonbro studio)

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You might have heard of ‘situationship’ making the rounds this Valentine’s Day but did you hear someone mention ‘per-file’, a perfect dating profile, or that they were looking for NDR, no-distance relationship? As soon as you think you are updated on the dating lingo, there is an influx of new terms, leaving you baffled. So, the popular dating app Tinder, in collaboration with youth culture brand, Under25, has come up with a Modern Dating Dictionary in India – a glossary of love language that young daters swear by. This dictionary of 23 modern day dating trends will save you the trouble for many wrong guesses of what these mean. 

Here are some of the trends mentioned in the dictionary. 

Swipe right material

Do you remember the age-old advice of being the right person rather than looking for one? Turns out, that’s exactly what daters are doing this year. #Swiperightmaterial is when young daters, channelling their ‘main character energy’, embrace their uniqueness and present their authentic self socially. Love can be challenging from the get-go, so ill-advised games can just make it unnecessarily complicated. With this realization, daters are wearing their heart on their sleeves and keeping all kinds of masks aside as they step into the dating scene this year.


“Where do you see yourself in the next five years?” is not a question you’ll hear at only job interviews anymore. The dreaded question, which often pulls one into an existential rabbit hole, could be common on dates. To get to know a stranger, people might put them under rapid fire questions to navigate whether they are compatible. It’s more about getting the basics right before venturing into the emotional side of things. This is a more practical approach to dating for those who are definitely not looking to waste energy or time. 

Also Read: Understanding how to love is complex, says Vex King

On ice

Most likely coined by Ross Geller (from the sitcom Friends), this term refers to taking a break in a relationship. It’s when you put a relationship on ice, take a break, set boundaries, and take some downtime. Daters today are not hesitant to communicate if something is not working and they need to pause and evaluate. Taking a break is all about prioritizing physical, mental, and emotional well-being before getting back into the dating game.


This sounds like a wild throwback to the SMS era of relationships when text messages on newly introduced mobile phones lay the foundation for love letters for the next generation—a shift from using words to breaking them as per convenience to fit the cursed word limit. Textlationship refers to a relationship wherein people mostly text each other but rarely (or never) meet. There is no in-person meeting, only sweet nothings exchanged in a virtual world. 


As there is more talk about relationships, labels, and unlearning of stagnant ideas around both, one of the dominant discussions has been around non-monogamous relationships. People are exploring what they want in relationships and questioning what feels imposed like societal pressure from dead ancestors. Ethical non-monogamy (ENM) refers to different types of relationships where there is mutual respect and intimacy without the label of exclusivity. The most important aspects of ENM are clarity and communication, something young daters seem to be clear about these days.

Love haze

Often as a relationship ends, you gradually bring a person down the pedestal, and start discussing them in therapy or with friends, it clicks: how in the world did you ignore those red flags? If this hasn’t happened for you, please consider writing about how you dodged people who are walking red flags because that’s a perennial struggle for many. However, if the scenario sounds familiar, turns out there’s a phrase for it: love haze. It refers to falling too head over heels in love and being unable to see a person's flaws. When on a date it’s important to identify the red and green flags (the good signs that indicate compatibility and respect) but love haze can prevent you from seeing the difference. This year looks like young daters need to be careful about falling into the love haze trap. 

Also Read: What to keep in mind if you're stressed about being single

Green dating

The climate crisis is no longer up for discussion; denial or not, it’s very much happening and looming over heads as we gush about Boba teas. With sustainability talks gaining momentum (finally!), it’s not surprising that it’s entered the dating space. Green dating refers to sustainable living and environmental activism. In a recent survey by One Poll, over one-third of young adult daters stated that matching with someone who cares about the environment is important to them. With more people becoming conscious about the effect of human activity on the environment, it becomes almost a default setting to date someone who understands this as they will affect your lifestyle.


You meet, have a great conversation and are able to be yourself but as you bid good night, a mutual realization occurs: no attraction. But you like each other too much to say goodbye so you stay as friends. Best friend situation (BFS) is when you rather continue as friends than romantic interests. It could be because there were ‘no sparks’ or you don’t have time to date, but whatever the reason, you found yourself a new friend. 

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