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Awful dating trends to avoid in 2020

Readers Lounge By Mirror
Hollywood sells the dream of a handsome stranger sweeping you off your feet (Photo: Shutterstock)

Dating can be really, really hard.

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While Hollywood sells us the dream of meeting a handsome stranger in the supermarket or on your daily commute, real life is very different and many people find themselves on disappointing date after disappointing date.

Anyone who has tried online dating apps will know all the awful terminology that goes with it - like breadcrumbing, when you lead them on by messaging with no intention of replying; dogfishing, pretending to have a furry friend to impress potential matches; and Gatsbying, when you use a date solely to post a picture to social media to make someone else jealous.

And the list goes on. And on. And on.

But apparently the old terms aren't quite awful enough, so there are some new ones to familiarise yourself with ready for 2020.

Fleabagging, eclipsing and being glamboozled are all apparently things we should be looking out for next year.

But Shannon Smith, head of PR at Plenty of Fish, says there are some positive new additions as well.

She said: "Dating is changing, and our annual trends survey reflects what singles will and won’t accept from their partners.

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"More than ever, singles feel empowered to have honest discussions about what behaviour is and isn’t acceptable, and are being open about the things they’re looking for: ‘Yellow Carding’ is a trend that we anticipate growing throughout 2020.

"However, trends like ‘Dial-toning’ show that there are still some pain points people are experiencing as they navigate the dating world."


When you consistently go after people who are completely wrong for you. Think a hot priest...

Half of singles believe they are guilty of this, but women tend to admit this more than men.

Dial toning

When someone gives you their number and says to text them, but doesn't bother to reply when you message them.

ALSO READ: Confessions: How do I tell my beautiful, intelligent friend she's the woman of my dreams?

More than 60 per cent of singles say they have experienced this at some point.

However, many people find themselves on disappointing date after disappointing date (Photo: Shutterstock)


Getting back in touch with an ex after a breakup to ask for a favour. This is normally something to do with charity, like if you're after some sponsorship pennies for your fun run.

Singles in their early 40s are the worst offenders for this one, with a quarter admitted to doing it in the past.


Taking up the same interests and hobbies as the person you are dating in a bid to have more in common with them.

More than 30 per cent of singles say someone they have been dating has taken a sudden interest in something they are passionate about.


When your partner's ex keeps reaching out to you via social media or through other methods.

22 per cent have experienced this but only six per cent admit to being this ex themselves.

Yellow carding

Calling someone out for their poor dating etiquette and telling them you're not happy with what they've done.

This is becoming more common and according to the experts is going to be a big thing in 2020.

Women are more likely to call someone out, at 28 per cent, compared to just 12 per cent of men.


Quite possibly the most annoying date trend out there - when you get all ready for a night out, hair, make-up, the perfectly picked outfit, only for the plans to fall through at the last minute.

More than half of people have been let down by a date at the last minute, at 54 per cent.

It happens to women more often than men, at 60 per cent to 48 per cent.

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