From ‘ghosting’ to ‘love bombing’ and ‘breadcrumbing’, finding romance in the modern age can be a confusing journey.
And the latest dating trend, called ‘paperclipping’, is set to baffle you further.
According to Metro, it’s not an adventurous sex move requiring high levels of flexibility, but the act of receiving a friendly message from an old flame - who ghosted you after a couple of dates - months down the line without any explanation.
The name is inspired by Clippy - the irritating Microsoft Office assistant who used to pop up with advice on Word, often when you least needed it.
Just like the animated paperclip on your computer screen, long-term daters will have encountered those people you see for a couple of weeks, then stop talking to you for no logical reason, and who resurface once more just as you’ve forgotten about them.
Their message will probably be a friendly ‘how are you?’ or ‘what are you up to this weekend?’ - providing no explanation for why they suddenly stopped messaging back in the first place or if they now want a relationship.
It can be tempting to message them back, and try to get to the bottom of their unexpected text.
However, to reply could condone their initial bad behaviour and it’s unlikely to end well.
The Clippy-esque act has been enshrined on Instagram by talented Brooklyn-based illustrator Samantha Rothenberg (@violetclair) who reveals the trials and tribulations of being a single woman dating in 2019.
She recently posted an image of three paperclips, reminiscent of the passive aggressive Word tool.
One said in a speech bubble: “Sometimes I pop up for no reason at all. Like now.”
A second said: “See, the truth is, I’m damaged, flaky and not, and not particularly interested in you.”
The third added: “But I don’t want you to forget I exist.”
Rothenberg captioned the tongue-in-cheek image: “Who remembers clippy? Well he’s here to make sure you don’t forget him.”
Her post has already received more than 14k ‘likes’ and 300 comments, suggesting it has struck a cord.
In short, that paperclipping guy is likely to be after an ego-boost or a booty call, so try not to spend hours over-analysing their reappearance in your inbox or give them a reaction that indicates you’d still give them the time of day.