Benching: The New Dating Trend That’s Worse Than Ghosting and How to Avoid It

Adithya Thatipalli
5 min readMay 28, 2023

After Hookups, Casual Relationships, FWB, Situationship, There is a new term in the market i.e., Benching…. Lets dive in and understand it

If you are in relationship or single, hold on to your seat. Because I’m about to tell you something that might ruin it. Or make it better. Depending on how you look at it.

While Scrolling through the reels, I noticed that there is a repeat pattern of videos related to relatable relationship videos of breakup, ignore and many other messed up relationships. One thing I noticed is the change in how people perceiving their relationships and how its different from online with many numbers of options.

So, I would like to ask a question, “Have you ever been benched?”

No, I don’t mean you’ve been sitting on a wooden plank in a park. I mean you’ve been kept on the sidelines by someone who’s not really into you, but also not really out of you. Someone who texts you “hey stranger” every few weeks, but never asks you out. Someone who likes your selfies but doesn’t like your personality. Someone who makes you feel like you’re the one, but also like you’re one of many. Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone.

Benching is the new dating trend that’s worse than ghosting and it’s happening to a lot of people these days. And it hurts heavily. Big time. That’s why I’m here to tell you all about it. In this article, I’m going to explain what benching is, how to spot it, why people do it, and how to deal with it. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this.

Benching in dating is when someone keeps you as a backup option (Yes, you heard it right 🤯🤯🤯), but doesn’t commit to you. They may text you once in a while, flirt with you online, or even hook up with you occasionally, but they never make plans to see you again. They are basically putting you on the bench until they run out of other options or get bored.

Benching is a common and harmful dating trend that can hurt both the person who does it and the person who gets it.

According to a survey by Plenty of Fish, 63% of people have experienced benching, and 45% have done it to someone else. Benching can make you feel confused, frustrated, insecure, and lonely. It can also prevent you from finding a real and meaningful relationship.

So why do people do benching?

There are many possible reasons, but none of them are good excuses for playing with someone’s feelings. Here are some of them:

- Fear of being alone: Some people use dating to manage their fears of being alone, for validation and as a distraction. They keep multiple options open so they never have to face loneliness or rejection.

- Unrealistic expectations: Some people may be unrealistic in their expectations around partners. They may be looking for the perfect match or the next best thing, and they don’t want to settle for anything less. They bench others as a way of keeping their options open.

- Use of online dating apps: Some people may be overwhelmed with choice and are often juggling multiple partners because of the ease and convenience of online dating apps. They may not be serious about finding a long-term relationship, and they may enjoy the thrill of swiping and matching with new people.

- Changes in dating behavior: Some people may have changed their dating behavior due to the pandemic or other life circumstances. They may not be ready or able to commit to a relationship, but they still want some connection and intimacy. They bench others as a way of avoiding commitment and responsibility.

- Stress: Some people may be dealing with stress in their personal or professional lives, and they may not have the emotional bandwidth to invest in a relationship. They bench others as a way of coping with their stress and avoiding confrontation.

- Saturation: Some people may be bored or dissatisfied with their current dating situation, and they may want to spice things up by adding some variety and excitement. They bench others as a way of satisfying their curiosity and exploring new possibilities.

- Mental health issues: Some people may have mental health issues that affect their ability to form healthy relationships. They may have low self-esteem, attachment issues, or personality disorders that make them act selfishly or impulsively. They bench others as a way of protecting themselves from getting hurt or hurting others.

- Lack of empathy: Some people may simply lack empathy and compassion for others. They may not care about how their actions affect other people’s feelings. They bench others as a way of exerting power and control over them.

There are many more reasons on why people bench others ( Any random reel related to spill some beans :D)

So how can you avoid being benched or deal with being benched?

Here are some tips and advice:

- Set boundaries: Be clear about what you want and expect from a relationship, and don’t settle for less. If someone is not meeting your needs or respecting your boundaries, let them know and walk away if they don’t change.

- Communicate clearly: Don’t play games or send mixed signals. Be honest and direct about your feelings and intentions. If someone is being vague or inconsistent with you, ask them what they want and where they stand.

- Trust your intuition: Listen to your gut feeling and pay attention to the red flags. If someone is making you feel bad or unsure about yourself, they are probably not good for you. Don’t ignore your instincts or rationalize their behavior.

- Prioritize your needs: Don’t put your life on hold for someone who doesn’t value you. Focus on your own happiness and well-being, and do things that make you feel good. Don’t let someone else’s actions determine your self-worth or mood.

- Move on: Don’t waste your time and energy on someone who doesn’t deserve it. Cut off contact with them if they are not treating you right, and don’t let them come back into your life if they try to reach out again. Find someone who will appreciate you and treat you well.

Benching in dating is not fun or fair for anyone involved. It can hurt your feelings and prevent you from finding true love. Be respectful and honest in dating and avoid benching or being benched. You deserve better than that.

Thanks for reading :)



Adithya Thatipalli

Security Engineer by Day, Cloud and Blockchain Learner during Night