From orbiting to cookie-jarring, 2019's dating terms explained

Dating in the modern age comes with its own unique terminology. [Photo: Getty]
Dating in the modern age comes with its own unique terminology. [Photo: Getty]

Modern dating is a tricky landscape to navigate. While the rise of romance apps and social media makes it easier than ever to meet and get to know prospective partners, it also brings new hurdles.

For instance, the question of ‘what are we, romantically?’ is infinitely more complicated than once before, thanks to dating apps like Hinge, Bumble and Tinder making it easy to date multiple people at once.

What’s more, the days of waiting for a landline phone call are a thing of the past – but the quick, easy means of connecting with a special someone via Facebook Messenger, or even just by watching their Instagram story, means it’s difficult to know how to interpret such a gesture.

So if you are feeling out of the loop, and confused by the behaviour of would-be partners, Yahoo Style UK asked Eugénie Legendre, a representative for dating app Happn, to give us the low-down on all the latest dating trends for 2019.


Possibly a reference to the phrase ‘He/she has got you in their pocket’, the act of pocketing is hiding someone you are dating away from the public eye. How to tell if it’s happening to you? “If you aren’t being introduced to his or her friends and family within months of spending time together, then it might be time to open your eyes because you have been pocketed,” explains Legendre.

Cookie jarring

Ever been in the position of dating someone for a while, but feeling insecure about where it’s going? Cookie jarring is the somewhat insidious practice of keeping a ‘back-up’ partner – the rationale being that, if it doesn’t work out with your more longstanding partner, you have a fall-back option.

However, Legendre warns against doing this.

He advises: “Give yourself time to get to know someone without the influence of anyone else and if things just don’t work out, then that’s okay – try to understand why and learn from it could give you valuable insight into what you are looking for in the next potential candidate for your affection.


This is classic ‘hot and cold’ behaviour. Someone who you are dating regularly and getting to know on a deeper level seems to fall off the face of the planet, avoiding calls and in-real-life contact, before re-emerging just as you think you are over them and acting as if nothing has happen.

Legendre says: “This right here is what we call a prowler, toying around with people’s emotions, so keen to hunt you down one minute but then there’s no trace of them the next. The prowler is always more hassle and hurt than they are worth.”


The act of ‘orbiting’ is made ever-easier by the subtleties of social media interactions. You may have had a romantic relationship with them which fizzled out, but they regularly ‘like’ your posts or watch your Instagram story – so it is hard to get them out of your mind.

“If someone is not quite in your life and not quite entirely removed, then it is likely you are being orbited,” explains Legendre.

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