What is Online Dating Lingo? - dua.com - EN

What is Online Dating Lingo?

online dating lingo

Have you ever heard about online dating lingo? If you weren’t already wary of Gen Z language and acronyms, there are more out there for you to keep up with. But first things first, let’s set things straight with what online dating lingo is. Then, let us indulge you with some of the most known abbreviations and acronyms out there.

What is online dating lingo?

Online dating lingo refers to the specialized vocabulary and acronyms used in the world of online dating and dating apps. They range from the most obvious and common ones used to describe relationships to specific expressions created by users or communities that are primarily used in online conversations.

What do these acronyms mean?

You’ll encounter many of the same terms used in traditional dating – such as “single”, “dating”, and “relationship.” However, some terms are more specific to the world of online dating, such as “swipe right” or “swipe left”. These terms or dating slang as they are often called, refer to the action of swiping left or right on a person’s profile to indicate interest in or disinterest in the person.

The most used terms you need to know

Online Dating Lingo

Some of these acronyms have been so wildly used that they’re of the language as a cultural norm. So much so, that Tinder has trademarked the word “Swipe” as a word no other dating app should use.

  • SWIPE RIGHT/SWIPE LEFT: These terms are typically associated with dating apps like Tinder. Swiping right means you’re interested in a profile while swiping left indicates you’re not interested. Interesting fact: Swipe is a trademarked word by Tinder. 
  • BIO: Short for “biography,” it’s a section in dating profiles where people write a brief description about themselves, their interests, and what they’re looking for.
  • CATFISHING: This term refers to the act of creating a fake online persona to deceive others. Catfishers often use someone else’s photos and information to trick people.
  • GHOSTING: When someone abruptly stops responding to messages and cuts off all contact without explanation. This is considered rude and inconsiderate dating behavior.
  • DTR: Stands for “Define the Relationship.” It’s a conversation where two people discuss the status and expectations of their relationship.
  • NSA: “No Strings Attached” is used to indicate that someone is looking for a casual, physical relationship without a commitment.
  • FWB: Short for “Friends with Benefits,” this means two people are friends who also engage in a casual sexual relationship.
  • LTR: “Long-Term Relationship” is used to indicate that someone is looking for a serious, committed partnership.
  • LTRP:Long-Term Relationship Potential” suggests that someone is open to the possibility of a more serious relationship but not necessarily looking for it exclusively.
  • DTF: “Down to F***” is a more explicit way of expressing interest in a sexual encounter.
  • 420 Friendly: Indicates that someone is open to using or is looking for a partner who uses marijuana.
  • BBW: “Big Beautiful Woman” is used to describe a woman who is plus-sized and confident.
  • SAPIOSEXUAL: A term for someone who is attracted to intelligence in potential partners.
  • IRL: “In Real Life” is used when someone wants to meet in person, indicating a transition from online communication to a face-to-face meeting.
  • IRL Date: Refers to a real-life, in-person date.
  • ROFL: “Rolling on the Floor Laughing” is an acronym for when something is funny.
  • HMU: “Hit Me Up” is an invitation for someone to contact you.
  • LOL: “Laugh Out Loud” is a common abbreviation for expressing amusement.
  • BRB: “Be Right Back” is used when someone needs to step away from the conversation temporarily.
  • NRE: “New Relationship Energy” describes the excitement and passion in the early stages of a relationship.

These are just a few examples of online dating lingo. Keep in mind that dating terminology can vary and evolve, and different dating platforms may have their unique slang. It’s essential to communicate openly and honestly when using online dating platforms and to be aware of potential misunderstandings that can arise from the use of such terms.

Less-known acronyms but still used

Remember that the world of online dating is continually evolving, and new terms may emerge as technology and social dynamics change. It’s essential to be clear and respectful in your communication to ensure a positive dating experience. This respectful communication will come in handy, especially for landing your next match.

Online Dating Lingo
  • G2G: “Got to Go” is used when someone needs to end the conversation or sign off.
  • TBT: “Throwback Thursday” is often used to share old photos or memories, but it can also be used in dating contexts to reminisce about past experiences.
  • ISO: “In Search Of” is used to indicate what someone is looking for in their online dating profile. For example, “ISO a partner who loves hiking.”
  • FOMO: “Fear of Missing Out” is the anxiety that something more exciting might be happening elsewhere, and it can be used in dating to describe a fear of missing out on potential opportunities.
  • LMK: “Let Me Know” is an invitation for the other person to inform you of their plans or intentions.
  • TBD: “To Be Determined” suggests that plans or decisions are not finalized yet, commonly used when discussing future dates or activities.
  • SWM: “Single White Male” is a demographic term to describe the gender and marital status of the person in their profile.
  • SWS: “Single White Female” is the female counterpart of SWM.
  • LTRM: “Long-Term Relationship Material” is used to describe someone who seems like they have the potential for a serious relationship.
  • IRLWTF: “In Real Life, What The F***” is an expression of surprise or confusion when meeting someone in person doesn’t match their online persona.
  • SBF/MBM: “Single Black Female” and “Married Black Male” are demographic terms to describe the race and marital status of the person in their profile.
  • LDR: “Long-distance relationship” refers to a romantic relationship where the partners are geographically separated.
  • THOT: “That Ho Over There” is a derogatory term used to criticize someone for being promiscuous.
  • LTRN: “Long-Term Relationship Now” indicates someone who is actively seeking a serious, committed relationship.
  • R-Bombing: Similar to ghosting, this is when someone reads your messages but doesn’t respond. It stands for “Read Bombing.”
  • Zombieing: When someone who previously ghosted you suddenly reappears in your life, it’s called “zombieing.”
  • Breadcrumbing: When someone sends occasional, flirtatious messages to keep someone interested without any intention of commitment.
  • Thirst Trap: A provocative photo or message intended to attract attention and compliments.
  • Submarining: Similar to ghosting, this is when someone reappears after an extended period of silence.
  • IRL Hype: The anticipation and excitement leading up to an in-person meeting.

Why has online dating lingo expanded this much in the written language?

Online dating lingo has expanded significantly in written language for several reasons which we have listed below:

Online Dating Lingo
  1. Efficiency: In the fast-paced world of online dating, brevity and efficiency are key. Using acronyms and shorthand can save time and space, making it easier to communicate quickly and effectively.
  2. Privacy and Discretion: Online dating can be a sensitive and private endeavor. Using lingo and abbreviations allows people to communicate without revealing too much personal information until they feel comfortable doing so.
  3. Inclusivity: Online dating brings together people from various backgrounds, cultures, and age groups. Having a shared lingo can help bridge language and generational gaps, making communication easier.
  4. Community and Identity: People often use specialized lingo to signal that they are part of a specific online dating community. It can create a sense of belonging and identity among users.
  5. Humor and Playfulness: Some lingo and abbreviations are used humorously, creating a playful and lighthearted atmosphere in dating conversations.
  6. Rapid Technological Change: As online dating platforms and technology evolve, so does the language associated with them. New features and functions often bring new terminology.
  7. Emojis and Visual Language: Emojis and emoticons have become an integral part of online dating communication, allowing for the expression of emotions and intentions through visual symbols.
  8. Memes and Pop Culture: Online dating lingo often incorporates memes and references to popular culture, reflecting the influence of internet culture on modern dating.
  9. Efforts to Stand Out: In a sea of online profiles and messages, using unique or trendy lingo can help individuals stand out and make a memorable impression.
  10. Slang Evolution: Slang, in general, is ever-changing, and online dating lingo is no exception. It reflects the evolving language and communication trends of society.

It’s important to note that not everyone is familiar with or comfortable using online dating lingo, and miscommunication can occur if both parties do not share a common understanding of the terms being used. Clarity and effective communication are still essential for building genuine connections in the online dating world.


In the world of modern romance, where online dating has become a dominant force, a new language has emerged. Online dating lingo, a lexicon of acronyms and phrases, has evolved to meet the demands of a rapidly changing dating landscape. It reflects the need for efficiency, privacy, inclusivity, and a sense of community in a world where connections are made with a swipe and a message.

From the simplicity of “SWIPE RIGHT” and “SWIPE LEFT” to the intricacies of “LTRP” and “SAPIOSEXUAL,” this language not only streamlines communication but also adds layers of nuance to our dating interactions. It accommodates humor and playfulness while keeping pace with the rapid advancements in technology, the rise of visual language through emojis, and the ever-evolving landscape of internet culture.

Yet, amidst the abbreviations and acronyms, it’s important to remember that the heart of online dating remains the desire for genuine human connection. In the midst of this linguistic evolution, clarity and respect remain the cornerstones of forging meaningful relationships.

As online dating lingo continues to grow and adapt, let us not forget that beneath the digital shorthand lies the timeless pursuit of love, companionship, and understanding.



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