'Curving' is the latest dating trend that everyone should be aware of
It doesn't feel like it was that long ago that online dating was something done by a small number of people. It was associated mostly with divorcees and others who were hitting their 50s and were sick of the dating scene, preferring to find someone with similar interests with whom they could settle down for good.
Now, it's pretty common for people to use various dating apps and websites to find their next date, whether it's for a temporary fling, a string of casual nights out, or even a long-term partner. It's not unusual for people to find their soulmate on the likes of Tinder or Bumble - something which was unheard of even five years back.
Online dating has definitely made it a lot smoother for people to find like-minded companions, but it does come with its own share of pitfalls. If you're speaking to someone by instant message, only knowing them from the photos they've decided to share, there are plenty of specific ways they can do you wrong - and these come up so often that we've created words for them.
Most people will be familiar with ghosting, which is when someone breaks off all contact without any warning or justification, leaving you wondering what on earth is going on. Then there are more obscure ones like freckling, benching, micro-cheating, and gatsbying. But now there's a new addition to the list, known as 'curving' - and some of you will definitely recognise it.
Basically, curving is when someone rejects you - but in such a way that it's difficult to recognise it as a rejection at all. For many, this is a way for them to let someone down without actually having to tell them they're not interested and can be done through a variety of different methods.
A common form is for them to take long periods of time to respond to texts (when, let's face it, it doesn't take long to reply), following this up with an apology and a standard excuse (work/family) for why they haven't stayed in touch lately. Everyone is bound to do this once in a while, but when it becomes habitual, it can leave you in a confusing spot - waiting for their reply but knowing it probably won't come.
Another form of curving is for someone to convince you that they really want to see you, and even make concrete plans, before they cancel at the last minute. The issue with this is that, while they may think that they're letting you down easy, it's pretty cowardly and can mess with people's heads.
Speaking to the Independent, dating coach James Preece explained:
“Curving is certainly a major problem that many of my dating coaching clients experience.
“Deep down, they know that the other person isn't that interested but they still hold out hope. They convince themselves that they are just having a bad day/week/month. If they can say the right thing they'll magically become keen again.”
Preece goes on to say that this is usually a way for people to slow things down to a halt, without explicitly saying so.
“They don't want to talk to them but they don't know how to end it. It's easier to have short, boring interactions rather than directly state they don't want to see them. This is a lack of respect and only leaves the other person feeling sad and confused.”
While it's hard to let someone down easy, and no one wants to ghost anyone else, curving isn't much better. At the end of the day, it's better to be more honest about how you feel, so you don't waste anyone's time.