Gen Z’s most popular dating slang explained

Woman on a dating app. (Getty Images)
Gen Z's dating slang terms are hard do decipher. (Getty Images)

The digital world has had a huge impact on dating. From the way you meet a special someone to how you communicate with them.

It's little wonder, therefore, the way people speak in relation to their love lives has changed too, particularly among the younger daters amongst us.

"Gen Z has developed its own unique dating lingo that reflects the ever-evolving landscape of dating, relationships and social media," explains Jakub Dubec from Localazy.

"Whilst dating can be scary, staying up-to-date with the latest dating lingo enables individuals to stay informed about the current dating trends and norms, which can empower them to make better decisions on their own dating experiences.

"By fully understanding the latest dating language, people can enter the dating world with more confidence and enhance their overall dating experience."

So if you're struggling to comprehend what it means to be benched or why everyone is suddenly referring to their significant other as 'babygirl', we've got a breakdown of the dating lingo you need to know about.


According to Urban Dictionary, a person is likely to say this about a man when he is "extremely sexually attractive with a good personality (literally and figuratively)".

It cites an example:

Person 1: Goddamn look at that man

Person 2: Right?? He's so babygirl

A further definition details: "A person (typically female) will say this about another person (typically male) when he is looking extremely attractive but in a softer more lighthearted way."

Jacob Elordi recently discussed the term on Saturday Night Live after being described as a 'babygirl' by Mean Girls' actor Renee Rapp. "Me? I'm babygirl?" he asked.

Jacob Elordi at the GQ Men of the Year Party 2023. (Getty Images)
Jacob Elordi recently discussed the term 'babygirl'. (Getty Images)


According to Dubec, Pookie is a nickname you would use to describe your best friend or someone you really love.

"TikTok videos tagged with #pookie often include users referring to friends, partners, celebrities, or objects in an affectionate tone," he adds.

Beige flag

You've heard of red flags and even green flags, but beige flag is the newest slang on the Gen Z dating block.

"It’s described as something that's neither good nor bad but makes a person pause for a minute when it’s noticed and is usually something odd but wholesome," Dubec explains. "There are currently 30,700 posts on TikTok including the hashtag #beigeflag."


Rizz is defined as how successful someone is at attracting or flirting with a potential date due to their charismatic personality or silent charm.

"The term is widely used across TikTok with #rizz being used in 1,300,000 posts globally," Dubec adds.

Couple dating. (Getty Images)
Gen Z have developed their own form of dating slang. (Getty Images)

Hard launch

A sudden and purposeful announcement of a romantic relationship, usually announced on social media with a post of their partner.

"Selena Gomez hard launched her relationship with Benny Blanco when she decided to make the relationship Instagram official by sharing an Instagram carousel of favourite moments in December, including a picture of her kissing Blanco," Dubec explains.

More recently White Lotus star Meghann Fahy is believed to have "hard launched" her relationship with One Day star Leo Woodall after apparently sharing an image of the couple on Instagram.

The White Lotus co-stars, who have been rumoured to be dating since last year, finally took their romance to social media when Fahy shared a sweet image of the pair walking around Boston. She tagged Woodall in the photo and captioned the apparent "hard launch" with a smiley face emoji, pizza emoji, and a blue heart emoji.

Couple kissing. (Getty Images)
'This would make a great image for our hard launch'. (Getty Images)

Soft launch

More of a tease than its hard launch cousin, a soft launch is a subtle inclusion of the person you're dating into your online presence without fully revealing who it is. Examples include a picture of a leg or arm in a photo of a restaurant.

It seems the soft launch is totally a thing, with TikTok videos with the hashtag #softlaunch often including couple photo ideas for a soft launch and how to take them.


Benching is when someone is liked enough to keep seeing them but not enough to be in a serious relationship with them. Effectively, they are kept as a backup option while the 'dater' keeps their options open.

Being in a situationship isn't for everyone. (Getty Images)
Being in a situationship isn't for everyone. (Getty Images)


A situationship is an undefined relationship, an intimate and/or sexual relationship where two people aren't single but are not necessarily dating either.

The term is defined as a relationship which crosses the line of friendship into romance but lacks clear definitions and commitments.

#situationship has gained 375,600 posts on TikTok, with videos including how to spot signs you’re in a situationship and how to know when to end one.

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