It seems like every time a new month rolls around, another new dating trend falls right into the lap of those swiping left and right on their love-finding app of choice. Ghosting, Benching and Zombieing, were so 2017, but as we gear up for the summer season, a new dating trend called “orbiting” is on the tongues of so many people who are fed up that they are experiencing it more often they’d they like to admit.
So what is orbiting? Well it’s similar to ghosting, in the sense that one person in the relationship goes completely MIA. But this time, the person doesn’t completely disappear to the point where you wonder if you should file a missing person report for them, they just ghost you and then occasionally pop back into your life, via social media.
If you're actively dating, chances are it’s happened to you too — someone you went on a few dates with or dated for a few months, stops returning your texts or entering your DM’s, but instead, likes your status update on Facebook or views your story on Instagram.
What makes orbiting the worst and most frustrating thing ever, is that the orbiter keeps you close, at a distance, letting you know by creeping on your social media that they are still interested, but not interested enough to see you, ever again, IRL. It’s a behavior that will make you want to scream or just block them from every single one of your social media channels.
It’s complicated because it seems like the reason this person is silently trolling your social media accounts is because they want to catch your attention, but the truth is, they might not even realize you see that they are seeing your Instagram story or what you post on Snapchat. The question “can someone see that I viewed their Instagram story if we are not friends” yields tens of millions of results on Google. Which means that some people don’t even realize they are being caught orbiting.
While that doesn’t make it OK or even a good enough excuse for why a person would do that to someone they’ve ignored countless times and haven’t made any effort to see again for another date or just a conversation, it might also be a technique that they are trying to use to mess with the person’s mind, keeping them in their life only when they want to check up on them.
Either way, when the tables turn and you find yourself wanting to end things with someone you’ve been dating, skip ghosting them and just be upfront. Better yet, make a personal commitment to yourself that when you ditch them IRL, you also ditch checking up on their social media profiles too.
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