Signs you're dating a time-wasting love loiterer
If you’ve been on the dating scene for a while, you’ll have encountered the love loiterer.
This time-wasting type loves to leave you in love limbo, enjoying all the early stages of dating but never actually offering up any form of commitment.
Dealing with love loiterers is incredibly frustrating, because after months of enjoyable flirting and plenty of dates, you’ll suddenly come to and realise that you’ve been led on – this is a person who has never had any intention of taking things further, and you’ve dedicated loads of time and effort to someone who just didn’t deserve it.
The best course of action? Spotting the early signs of a love loiterer and stopping the quasi-relationship before your time and energy is wasted.
So, what signs can you look out for?
According to a survey of 1,700 people by Plenty Of Fish, some top signs that you’re dealing with a love loiterer include them putting minimal effort into arranging dates, taking over 24 hours to respond to messages, and cancelling plans last minute.
Other love loiterer habits include failing to remember basic facts about you, checking their phone while on a date, and not deleting their dating apps.
Common signs you’re dating a love loiterer
- They barely put any effort into arranging dates
- They take over 24 hours to reply to your messages
- They don’t put in the effort to keep a conversation going
- They cancel plans last minute
- They keep claiming their phone battery has died
- They fail to remember basic facts about you
- They don’t ask you many questions about yourself
- They check their phone regularly while on a date
- They don’t delete their dating apps
- They always have a rubbish excuse
According to the survey, 66% of Brits have fallen victim to love loiterers, and the average singleton spends close to eight and a half months of their love lives in limbo.
The effects of dating a love loiterer go beyond irritation.
47% of those who had dated a love loiterer said they felt less confident, 44% said this had made them suspicious of people they date, and 14% had given up on dating as a result of love loiterers.
On a more positive note, almost half (44%) of singletons believe that dating a time waster has made them realise what they want from a relationship, while over a third (35%) have become more serious about finding a good relationship since leaving a love loiterer.
Some of the strangest excuses people have given for cancelling a date
- My ex-wife is stuck on the motorway
- My tractor broke down so I had to sleep in a field last night
- I had a really bad blister and I lost my bank card
- I couldn’t work out how to answer your call on my phone
- My car set on fire on the way tomeet you
- I’ve moved to another country for work
- I couldn’t get a dog-sitter
- I’ve just had my wisdom teeth out
- My cat has died
- My dog ate my homework
- I had to wash my hair
- It was raining too much
- My mates need me at the pub so they’re not drinking alone
- I’m toilet bound and worried I’ll have an accident if I leave the loo
- My goldfish died
Relationship expert Alix Fox says: ‘Sometimes we wilfully ignore whole bunting strings of red flags when it comes to the people we fancy, so paying proper attention to early warnings can save you from a lot of heartache in the long run.
‘It’s worth performing the simple litmus test of asking “Is the way my match is behaving respectful, and enjoyable?”
‘Things like cancelling arrangements last-minute without good reason, dilly-dallying on getting dates in the diary, and spending more time checking their messages than actually connecting with you during a rendezvous are inconsiderate, inconvenient and uninspiring… so they’re good clues that someone’s not for you.
‘As the research from Plenty of Fish shows, too, we can be better at clocking substandard treatment when it’s happening to a pal, so asking yourself what you’d advise a friend to do if they were in your situation can be a useful exercise as well.’
Dating terms and trends, defined
Blue-stalling: When two people are dating and acting like a couple, but one person in the partnership states they’re unready for any sort of label or commitment (despite acting in a different manner).
Breadcrumbing: Leaving ‘breadcrumbs’ of interest – random noncommittal messages and notifications that seem to lead on forever, but don’t actually end up taking you anywhere worthwhile Breadcrumbing is all about piquing someone’s interest without the payoff of a date or a relationship.
Caspering: Being a friendly ghost – meaning yes, you ghost, but you offer an explanation beforehand. Caspering is all about being a nice human being with common decency. A novel idea.
Catfish: Someone who uses a fake identity to lure dates online.
Clearing: Clearing season happens in January. It’s when we’re so miserable thanks to Christmas being over, the cold weather, and general seasonal dreariness, that we will hook up with anyone just so we don’t feel completely unattractive. You might bang an ex, or give that creepy guy who you don’t really fancy a chance, or put up with truly awful sex just so you can feel human touch. It’s a tough time. Stay strong.
Cloutlighting: Cloutlighting is the combo of gaslighting and chasing social media clout. Someone will bait the person they’re dating on camera with the intention of getting them upset or angry, or making them look stupid, then share the video for everyone to laugh at.
Cockfishing: Also known as catcocking. When someone sending dick pics uses photo editing software or other methods to change the look of their penis, usually making it look bigger than it really is.
Cuffing season: The chilly autumn and winter months when you are struck by a desire to be coupled up, or cuffed.
Firedooring: Being firedoored is when the access is entirely on one side, so you’re always waiting for them to call or text and your efforts are shot down.
Fishing: When someone will send out messages to a bunch of people to see who’d be interested in hooking up, wait to see who responds, then take their pick of who they want to get with. It’s called fishing because the fisher loads up on bait, waits for one fish to bite, then ignores all the others.
Flashpanner: Someone who’s addicted to that warm, fuzzy, and exciting start bit of a relationship, but can’t handle the hard bits that might come after – such as having to make a firm commitment, or meeting their parents, or posting an Instagram photo with them captioned as ‘this one’.
Freckling: Freckling is when someone pops into your dating life when the weather’s nice… and then vanishes once it’s a little chillier.
Gatsbying: To post a video, picture or selfie to public social media purely for a love interest to see it.
Ghosting: Cutting off all communication without explanation.
Grande-ing: Being grateful, rather than resentful, for your exes, just like Ariana Grande.
Hatfishing: When someone who looks better when wearing a hat has pics on their dating profile that exclusively show them wearing hats.
Kittenfishing: Using images that are of you, but are flattering to a point that it might be deceptive. So using really old or heavily edited photos, for example. Kittenfishes can also wildly exaggerate their height, age, interests, or accomplishments.
Lovebombing: Showering someone with attention, gifts, gestures of affection, and promises for your future relationship, only to distract them from your not-so-great bits. In extreme cases this can form the basis for an abusive relationship.
Microcheating: Cheating without physically crossing the line. So stuff like emotional cheating, sexting, confiding in someone other than your partner, that sort of thing.
Mountaineering: Reaching for people who might be out of your league, or reaching for the absolute top of the mountain.
Obligaswiping: The act of endlessly swiping on dating apps and flirt-chatting away with no legitimate intention of meeting up, so you can tell yourself you’re doing *something* to put yourself out there.
Orbiting: The act of watching someone’s Instagram stories or liking their tweets or generally staying in their ‘orbit’ after a breakup.
Paperclipping: When someone sporadically pops up to remind you of their existence, to prevent you from ever fully moving on.
Preating: Pre-cheating – laying the groundwork and putting out feelers for cheating, by sending flirty messages or getting closer to a work crush.
Prowling: Going hot and cold when it comes to expressing romantic interest.
R-bombing: Not responding to your messages but reading them all, so you see the ‘delivered’ and ‘read’ signs and feel like throwing your phone across the room.
Scroogeing: Dumping someone right before Christmas so you don’t have to buy them a present.
Shadowing: Posing with a hot friend in all your dating app photos, knowing people will assume you’re the attractive one and will be too polite to ask.
Shaveducking: Feeling deeply confused over whether you’re really attracted to a person or if they just have great facial hair.
Sneating:When you go on dates just for a free meal.
Stashing: The act of hiding someone you’re dating from your friends, family, and social media.
Submarineing: When someone ghosts, then suddenly returns and acts like nothing happened.
V-lationshipping:When someone you used to date reappears just around Valentine’s Day, usually out of loneliness and desperation.
You-turning: Falling head over heels for someone, only to suddenly change your mind and dip.
Zombieing: Ghosting then returning from the dead. Different from submarineing because at least a zombie will acknowledge their distance.
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