From Faux-nogomy to Jekylling, the 2020 dating trends you need to know

a Group of friends enjoying some wine.
Dating trends: Make sure you're briefed on the newest romantic phenomenons. [Photo: Getty]

It’s official: the new decade has arrived, and with it brings a whole host of new dating trends.

For better or for worse (sadly, mostly the latter), the changing world of relationships, together with the increasing relevance of online dating platforms, has put rise to a number of cultural phenomenons.

Compiled by dating app, Happn, these include the likes of “flatlining” (when a conversation conducted virtually falls flat) and “deja eeew” (when you come across someone you’ve been previously romantically involved with on a dating app).

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But – hold on – is it even helpful putting a name to certain unsavoury dating phenomenons? Yes, according to Happn’s founder, Didier Rapport, who insists having a name for these phenomenons can help us find comic relief in the situations.

“If you’ve encountered dating disappointments or disasters, the way you describe the experience can sometimes help to make light of the situation,” he said.

Without further adieu, here’s what daters should be watching out for over the coming year.


We’re familiar with consensual non-monogamous relationships, such as polyamory and swinging, but faux-nogomy is where someone pretends to their romantic partner they are monogamous, but in reality does not act this way.

Usage: “I found out she was more into faux-nogomy – dating several guys at once!”


A homage to the ‘Frozen’ franchise, this is where someone goes cold or stops responding to your messages without explanation.

Usage: “It went from chatting every day to nothing, he totally Elsa’d me!”


First identified last October, dogfishing – a playful take on the more well-known “catfishing” phrase – is where a dating app user features an adorable animal in their profile pictures in order to attract dates.

Couple fighting at the breakfast table. They could be at home or in a restaurant. They are arguing and looking angry and upset
'Jekylling' is when a romantic partner turns nasty after you call things off. [Photo: Getty]

Usage: “He dogfished me, I swear I only agreed to a date because he has a cute dog”.


Inspired by the media’s incredulity surrounding Keanu Reeves’ girlfriend (a phenomenon which in itself exposed a lot of sexist double standards), Keanu-ing is a term for where someone dates someone you wouldn’t expect them to.

Usage: “He did a total Keanu, I wouldn’t have put them together at all”

Deja Eeew

When you experience repulsion after encountering someone you’ve previously been romantically involved with on a dating platform.

Usage: “I got total Deja Eew seeing his face again.”


Playing on the age-old ‘We were on a break’ joke from popular comedy, ‘Friends’, Rossing describes a situation when one party insists they’re justified in dating other people – insisting that there’s a mutually-agreed “break” in the relationship.

READ MORE: Man mocked after complaining he's still single despite getting '700 lbs of beef a year'

Usage: “We were so together, but he went all Ross on me insisting we were on a break!”


This is where someone asks a lot of personal questions during a first date.

Usage: “She went full Paxman on me – it was an interrogation not a date!”


When an online text or dating app conversation simply fizzles out.

Usage: “The conversation just went dead, totally flatlined – it was so awkward.”


Taking its name from gothic novella ‘The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde’, this is where someone completely switches in attitude following romantic rejection, turning from nice to nasty very quickly.

Usage: “He seemed sweet if a little persistent. When I told him I wasn’t interested in pursuing anything with him he turned and went full Jekyll on me – he was like a whole different person.”

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