Dear Millennials and Boomers,

Remember the days when dating was simple, or at least it seemed that way? You met someone, exchanged numbers, maybe had a few awkward phone calls, and eventually, you either fell in love or moved on. Well, those days are long gone, and Gen Z has introduced us to a whole new set of relationship terms that might leave you scratching your heads. So, grab your reading glasses, because we’re diving into the world of Gen Z relationship terms, and trust us, it’s quite the rollercoaster.

DTR (Define the Relationship)

DTR (Define the Relationship) - Gen Z Relationship Terms
Source: Catholic Match

Gen Z isn’t into ambiguity. When they want to know where a relationship is heading, they use “DTR” to have the talk. It’s like sending an invitation to a relationship status summit. RSVP: ASAP.


Situationship - Gen Z Relationship Terms

Remember “friends with benefits”? Well, that’s essentially what a situationship is. It’s a romantic connection that exists but remains frustratingly undefined. It’s like a gray area where commitment goes to take a nap. Talk about a lack of “DTR” (Define The Relationship) talk!


Source: X

Okay, this one might not be exclusive to Gen Z relationship terms, but it’s still a classic. Ghosting is when someone suddenly stops responding to messages or calls, effectively disappearing from your life. It’s like they’ve become a modern-day phantom. Don’t worry; even we struggle with this one.

Vibe Check

Vibe Match quote
Source: Instagram

When Gen Z asks for a “vibe check,” they want to gauge your emotional state or the overall atmosphere of a situation. It’s like taking the emotional temperature of a room. So, next time someone asks for a vibe check, be sure to bring your emotional thermometer.


Simping - Gen Z Relationship Terms
Source: Oluwatoni Ajewole

Simping is when someone goes above and beyond for their crush or significant other. It’s like modern-day chivalry, with a sprinkle of affection and maybe a dash of vulnerability. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!

Love Bombing

Love Bombing - Gen Z Relationship Terms
Source: Insider

First up on our list is “love bombing.” Now, this may sound like something out of a James Bond movie, but it’s far from glamorous. According to clinical psychologists, love bombing is a manipulative tactic where someone showers you with excessive attention and affection to gain control. It’s like being smothered with affection until you can’t breathe. If this rings a bell, you might want to keep an eye out for the signs and learn how to deal with it.


Source: Distractify

Have you ever met someone with an irresistible charm and charisma that seems to draw everyone in? Well, Gen Z has a term for it – “rizz.” If someone has “rizz,” they’ve got the smooth moves and the charm to make anyone swoon. It’s like having a magnetic personality that can’t be ignored.

Soft Launch

Soft Launch

Forget the days of shouting your love from the rooftops; it’s all about the “soft launch” now. Imagine announcing your relationship like you’re teasing an upcoming movie release. You drop subtle hints on your Instagram stories, leaving your audience intrigued but not overwhelmed. It’s all about maintaining an air of mystery while letting the world know something’s cooking.

Hard Launch

Hard Launch - Zendaya - Tom Holland
Source: Zendaya

If you’re more of a traditionalist, you might opt for the “hard launch.” This is the exact opposite of the soft launch. No beating around the bush here – you change your relationship status on Facebook or post an Instagram pic of you and your significant other, making it abundantly clear that you’re happily coupled up.

Red Flag

Red Flags meme
Source: FB/Andre McNair

These are warning signs that someone or something in your relationship might be toxic or bound for disaster. From poor communication to refusing to respect your boundaries, spotting a red flag is essential to avoid heartache and disappointment.

Green Flag

Green Flags meme
Source: iFunny Brazil

In a world full of red flags, a “green flag” is a refreshing sight. This term signifies all those positive qualities and healthy behaviors you notice in a potential partner. It’s like finding a diamond in the rough – someone who respects your boundaries, communicates well, and does all the right things.

Pink Flag

Pink Flag - Taylor Swift - Blank Space
Source: Taylor Swift

We’ve all heard of red flags, but what about pink flags? Pink flags are like the middle ground – they’re warning signs that something might not be quite right in your relationship. They are, as Taylor Swift put it, “nightmare dress like a daydream” moments: the things you notice but try to brush off, hoping they’ll get better with time. Spoiler alert: it usually doesn’t.


Source: TV tropes

No, we’re not talking about cruise ships or FedEx here. “Shipping” is short for “relationship-ing.” It’s what Gen Zers do when they want to see two people they think would be perfect together become a couple. So, next time your niece tells you she’s shipping her Harry Potter & Hermione Granger , just smile and nod, and maybe throw in a “Bon voyage!”

Sliding into DMs

Sliding into DMs

Back in our day, sliding involved playgrounds and slides, but Gen Z has taken it digital. When they say they’re “sliding into DMs,” they mean they’re sending someone a direct message on social media to start a conversation. It’s like sending a love letter, but with emojis and gifs. 


Gaslighting - Gen Z Relationship Terms
Source: Verywell Mind

Last but not least, we have “gaslighting.” This term refers to a manipulative tactic where someone twists facts and distorts the truth to make you doubt yourself and your perceptions. It’s like being stuck in a never-ending funhouse filled with distorted mirrors. Don’t fall for it; trust your instincts.


zombieing Gen Z Relationship Terms
Source: Cosmopolitan

Imagine this – you’re happily going about your life when suddenly, an ex-lover reappears, acting like they never ghosted you in the first place. That’s zombieing! It’s like they’ve returned from the dating afterlife, and they’re here to haunt you once again. The next time this happens, just know you’re being “zombied.”

Dry Dating

Dry Dating
Source: Getty Images

Gone are the days of boozy first dates. Now, it’s all about getting to know someone without the liquid courage. Dry dating means meeting up without the aid of alcohol. It’s like a dating detox – you can assess your compatibility with a clear head. Plus, it’s perfect for those nerve-wracking blind dates.


Source: Catholic Singles

In the age of online dating, anyone can pretend to be someone they’re not. Enter wokefishing – the act of feigning strong political and social views just to lure potential partners. It’s like catfishing but with a political twist. So, beware of the faux-activists out there!


Source: IMDb

Ever find yourself repeatedly getting back together with someone you know is wrong for you? Congratulations, you’re a fleabagger! It’s the dating version of a never-ending rollercoaster ride with the wrong partner. Blame it on their charm or your questionable taste, but it’s time to break the cycle.

Cuffing Season

Cuffing Season
Source: HelloGiggles

When the weather gets cold and all you want is a cozy snuggle partner, that’s cuffing season. It starts in October and lasts until Valentine’s Day. People pair up during this time, but it’s often without any long-term commitment in mind. It’s like renting a warm body for the winter.


Breadcrumbing - Gen Z Relationship Terms
Source: Getty Images

Ever had someone shower you with attention one moment and then disappear the next? That’s breadcrumbing for you. It’s when someone leads you on with just enough flirtation to keep you hanging, but they have no intention of committing. It’s like emotional teasing, and it’s not cool.


Source: Getty Images

In sports, benching means keeping a player on the bench because they’re not performing well or they’ve upset the team. In dating, it’s quite similar. Benching is when you put someone on notice by reducing your interactions with them – fewer calls, texts, or meetings. It’s like giving them a time-out, adult-style.

Source: Capital

So, there you have it, a crash course in Gen Z relationship terms that will have you LOLing and SMHing in no time. While it might seem like a wild dating jungle out there, just remember that communication and honesty never go out of style. Whether you’re a Millennial or a Boomer, navigating the modern dating world might be a bit tricky, but with the right attitude, you can still find your happily ever after, or at least avoid getting “zombied” along the way.

Happy dating, and may your love life be free of pink flags and full of genuine connections!