Getting 'haunted' is the worrying new dating trend that's probably already happened to you
Modern technology has arguably wrought havoc over our love lives. Once privy to grand romantic gestures, we now have to contend with the likes of Tinder and Bumble to satisfy our dating needs. I mean, can you remember the days when it was common to receive mix-tapes and interact over phone? Indeed, some still boast about the time when the object of their affections arrived unexpectedly outside their doorstep, boombox in tow, blasting some catchy 80's anthem to declare their love à la John Cusack in Say Anything.
However, nowadays we're more likely to receive a run-of-the-mill pickup line that has already made the rounds on all the dating apps. Or worse, an unsolicited d*ck pic.
And it doesn't just end there - our generation has seen the rise of some nasty dating trends, including the much-maligned ghosting, as well as cushioning, firedooring, and now... there's something called getting "haunted".
Yes, it certainly seems as if dating needs its own dictionary these days, what with all the terms floating around to describe everything from the heady first days of love to getting rejected - unexpectedly and over text.
Getting "haunted", however, refers to the period after a breakup - when your ex just won't stop hovering over your life. And it's not to be confused with getting "marleyed" - pertaining to when you get together with an old flame during the holidays.
Whether it's via social media stalking, or through real-life encounters, you're getting "haunted" if your old flame just won't let the relationship die, and keeps stoking the embers.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, sex expert Nikki Goldstein described the phenomenon, and explained how it's just a new term for an old, albeit well-known, problem. "Haunting comes out in two different ways, when an ex is purposefully popping up in your lives or they're looking at your social media," she stated.
"The downside of technology is you can haunt someone so easily. The introduction of a like or a click can really unnerve somebody."
Chances are that many of us have experienced this kind of unsolicited attention. However, as Goldstein says, with the advent of social media, it's now much easier to stalk and pry into the lives of our former lovers, making being "haunted" a more topical conundrum.
However, we have to be careful about what we consider to be "haunting". Goldstein asserts that there's a big difference between your ex being curious about what you're up to, and perhaps wanting to catch up over coffee, to being actively pursued by them in a toxic manner.
Certainly, if your former flame keeps "coincidentally" bumping into you, or tries to put you off a new partner by tactically liking and commenting on your posts online, then it's a good idea to block them, Goldstein says.
"We're empowered through social media. You do have a choice. If you don't want to be haunted you can block them," she continued.
While most of us have been "haunted" to some extent, it's evident that if left unchecked this sort of behaviour can become deeply destructive. Just let it go, folks.