Modern day dating scene is one weird mumbo jumbo of a world for singletons or not so single. They are confused about their relationship status and tend to coin new terms to make sense of what’s going on in their turbulent dating life. After ghosting, where your potential partner simply vanishes on you without informing you, benching is the new dating term which has caught people’s fancy.
Benching, a term which has been coined by the New York Magazine writer Jason Chen, occurs when you start dating someone and you realize that probably the person isn’t the one for you. But instead of moving on from the person you simply keep them as a backup option.
The idea behind benching is that if things don’t work out with option A then there is always an option B. So how do you know when you get benched? “You get benched when the person strings you along by flirting with you and making false promises to meet, but they never commit to you or meet you.
Unlike ghosting, where a person simply vanishes, in benching people don’t vanish but they only message when things are not working out with your partner or they hit a rocky patch in their relationship,” says Pulkit Sharma relationship expert.
But this is not the only reason why people have started to bench, time and convenience also plays a part. “Youngsters don’t have time and patience for commitment that a normal relationship requires. Benchers view relationships as an extension of social media friendship and chats, wherein you chat with multiple friends and meet them personally as per mutual convenience,” states Shivani Misri Sadhoo, a relationship and marriage counsellor.
The psyche behind the individual who likes to bench is that maybe the individual is scared of being alone and does not like being single. “At times people also want to present an image of themselves that they are desirable that they always have someone with them,” adds Sharma, psychologist.
However, this raises another question that why do people allow themselves to get benched? “People allow themselves to get benched because it’s short, hassle free and convenient. To an extent, benching dates are better than ghosting dates where one partner after sometimes vanishes where their desires and social needs are fulfilled,” says Sadhoo.
At times, people allow themselves to get benched thinking it’s better to have someone than be single. “Some of the people who get benched have a low self esteem and have a tendency to undervalue themselves” explains Sharma, psychologist.
However, people in the city have a different spin on this concept all together, “There is no harm in testing the waters before taking the plunge. However, it’s only fair if both parties are upfront about it, they should know what they are getting into and should be fair to each other,” says Mihir Misra, 26, businessman.
People who get benched at times aren’t even aware that they got benched and that could lead to a messy situation because apart from being hurt and used the person doesn’t even know how to move on or process the entire situation.
“I’ve been benched and it hurts the moment you realize your role or your importance in the other person’s life. But feeling like a victim doesn’t help and you should not be with someone just for the sake of it. People have enough of their own stuff to handle so maybe benching fulfills the need of security without commitment to anyone,” says Arjun Shankar, 26, Advertising Professional.
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