An A – Z of love and dating

They say communication is the key to a good relationship, but talking about love can leave even the most confident person tongue-tied.

It’s important to have the right vocabulary to express yourself in the dating game, so we’ve put together a handy A – Z guide to give you all the help you need to become fluent in the language of love.

From ‘aggy’ to ‘zombie-ing’, you need never be lost for words again!

Know your chat


Aggy – Used to describe feeling or acting aggravated, irritated or annoyed.


Benching – If you’re ‘on the bench’ you’re someone’s back-up option. They might call on you if no one they fancy more turns up, but you’re not their first choice. Bin them.

Bae – What you call your boyfriend or girlfriend. Sometimes short for ‘babe’, sometimes used as an acronym of ‘before anyone else’, it conveys your undying love and dedication to your other half.

Breadcrumbing – When someone doesn’t commit to being in an official relationship, but they leave a trail of flirty texts or likes to maintain your interest. They’re leading you on.

Bromance – A non-romantic love and affection shared by two men who are bffs. Think Curtis and Tommy having a heart-to-heart on the balcony. A beautiful thing.

Bro code – The unspoken, unwritten rules and ethics that exist between men. Particularly with regards to relationships with significant others.

Benching: being kept on the sidelines
Don't always trust what you see online.


Catfish – A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone else online and then tricks people into forming relationships with them.

Caspering – The opposite to ghosting. Telling someone in a mature and sensitive way why you want to break up with them. It's about being a friendly ghost rather than a scary one!


Dealbreaker – Something that makes or breaks a relationship. Like having no sense of humour or bad hygiene. Next please!

DTR – An acronym for ‘define the relationship’. That critical moment when one or both sides of the couple want to put an official label on the relationship.


Effort – Whether that’s making a cup of tea, meeting the parents or listening to your partner rant about a bad day, effort comes in many forms and is the key to any successful relationship.

Extra – Used when someone is acting over-the-top and displaying diva-like behaviour. For example, 'His reaction to that text was extra'.


Freeclimbing – Researching someone intensely on social media. It’s dangerous (like freeclimbing) because if you accidently ‘like’ one of their old pictures, they’ll know you’ve been swotting up on them!

Friend zone – A mythical place. You’re said to be in the friend zone if your crush tells you that they don’t fancy you, but they like you as a buddy. This doesn't have to be a negative thing: it's your right to choose the nature of your relationships, and friendship is never something to be sniffed at. For an example of ‘friendzoning’ at its finest, see when Curtis met Molly-Mae in the hot-tub.

Firedooring – When a relationship only goes one way. Your crush is keen to respond when it suits them, but not when it doesn’t.

When freeclimbing, strap in tightly!
Your ex disappeared into the ether? You've been ghosted!


Ghosting – When the person you are dating suddenly stops all communication with you and doesn’t give any explanation as to why. They disappear like a ghost.

Girl code – The unspoken, unwritten rules and ethics that exist between women. Particularly with regards to relationships with significant others.

Grafting – Working really hard to win someone’s affections by flirting, spending time with them and generally putting in the effort.

Gaslighting – A manipulation technique used to place doubt in someone's mind and cause them to question what they know.


Hook up – To spend time with someone in an informal way. May be romantic or not, depending on context.

Haunting – see also zombie-ing. When someone who has ghosted you returns from the dead and starts following you again on social media. Spooky!

Half-girlfriend/boyfriend – A label to use when you want to be ‘exclusive’ with someone, but aren’t ready to commit fully yet because you’ve not known them very long. May or may not catch on!


IRL – An acronym meaning ‘in real life’. When you meet up with someone in the physical world, rather than online.

It is what it is – A phrase used when you want to sound wise but don’t know what else to say. Has a similar meaning to ‘c’est la vie’: that’s life!


Jealousy – The feeling you get when want what you can’t have. Often arises if you feel insecure that you’re going to lose a friend or partner to someone else. Can be seen whenever anyone new enters the villa.

Just friends – A phrase used to dispel any rumours that there might be feels between two people. Not necessarily negative: friendships are some of the most important and long-lasting relationships you’ll have in your life.

Beware jealousy: the green-eyed monster!


Kittenfish – Someone who uses an out-of-date or heavily edited photo to create an unrealistic image of themselves on social media. It’s still them in the picture, they just won’t look like that IRL.


Labels – Labels are ways to define your relationship. There are lots of them, for example: single, seeing each other, exclusive, official…

Loyalty – An important quality in any relationship. It means staying true and having the back of the people who matter to you. Remember, loyalty is shown through actions. Saying ‘I am loyal’ repeatedly does not automatically make you loyal!

Swinging from one bae to another? You little monkey!


Monkeying – Swinging quickly from one relationship to the next, like a monkey swinging from tree to tree.

Mug – Someone who acts in a stupid way and makes bad decisions. They can also be described as acting ‘muggy’. If a mug treats you disrespectfully, you've been 'mugged off'.

Melt – Used to describe someone who is acting super soppy because they’re so in love.

Marleying – Getting in touch with an ex at Christmas. Like when Jacob Marley surprised Scrooge on Christmas Eve.


Negging – Giving a compliment that is also a hidden insult to undermine someone’s confidence. For example, 'Wow! You're actually pretty smart!'. Avoid anyone who negs – it's not an attractive quality.


Openers – The all-important first line when you slide into someone’s DMs. You’ve got to have a good one! 'Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?' just won't cut it. You've been warned!


Pocketing – When the person you’re seeing hides you away from their family and friends. They keep you ‘in their pocket’ and only take you out when it suits them. Don't stand for it.

Peacocking – Dressing up to attract attention, like peacocks use their brightly coloured tail feathers to attract a mate.

Pied off – To be dumped, disrespected or treated in any way that makes you feel like a clown having a cream pie smushed into their face!

If only being pocketed was always this cute.


Queer-eyeing – When someone starts trying to subtly ‘improve’ their other half. From tweaking their grooming routine, to revamping their flat, you’ll know you’re being ‘queer-eyed’ if your other half turns up with a new wardrobe and a house plant for you!


Read receipts – The devil's work. There’s nothing more heart-breaking than seeing ‘read’ next to your DM but not receiving a reply and knowing you’ve been ignored by your graft.

Sssssssstop being so snakey!


Snakey – Used to describe someone when they are being deceptive or untrustworthy in their relationship. For example, swearing loyalty to your partner’s face then hitting on someone else behind their back. SSSSssssss!

Slow fade – Gradually cutting ties with someone. Not as sudden as ‘ghosting’. The slow fade takes place over a longer period of time – missed texts, cancelled plans, dwindling calls – until the relationship sadly, slowly dies.


Throning – Dating someone to boost your reputation or status. Like in an American high-school movie when someone goes out with the head cheerleader or the best football player just to gain popularity.


U up?– A classic opener to a late night text. If you receive this, the sender isn’t just concerned about your beauty sleep...


Vulturing – When someone waits in the wings for another person’s relationship to fail so they can swoop in.

Waiting in the wings to swoop?


Wingman – also wingwoman. A friend that you take along with you on nights out to help you to pull. Their job is to laugh loudly at your jokes, tell stories that put you in a good light and generally make you look as attractive as possible.


Exes (ok, it doesn’t actually start with an ‘x’ but this one's tough!) – an ex is a former boyfriend or girlfriend. Every ex is different and people deal with them in different ways. Some stay friends, some cut all ties. Act in a way that feels right for your situation.


You – The most important person in any relationship. Always be true to yourself and follow your own heart.

You're dead to me!


Zombie-ing – also see haunting. When someone who has ghosted you returns from the dead and starts following you again on social media.

So there you have it. Everything you need to know to chat your way through the weird and wonderful world of love and dating!

Whether you choose to banter like a pro, or prefer a sentimental heart-to-heart, communication is key in any successful relationship. So make it your priority to be on the same page and watch your romance blossom!

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