There's a worrying dating trend known as 'roaching' that everyone should know about

There's a worrying dating trend known as 'roaching' that everyone should know about

As if there wasn't already enough to be worrying about in 2017, the powers that be have just thrown another "dating trend" at us - and it's a nasty one.

While most of us are now pretty familiar with what "ghosting" is, we're still getting adjusted to "phubbing" (i.e. phone snubbing - or ignoring your partner for the sake of checking your Insta/trawling through Twitter), "cushioning" (having a backup person in case your relationship turns sour), and "love bombing" (showering someone in affection before turning round and acting like a total jerk).

And, if all of that wasn't already enough to put you off dating for life, there's another new kid on the block: "roaching".

cockroach dead on its back white background Credit: Getty

Roaching usually happens early on in the dating phase of a potential relationship - the bit where you're not quite sure if you're just hooking up, or preparing to make it something more serious. You text them all the time, you hang out a few times a week, and, for all intents and purposes, you seem to be pretty exclusive.

But then you notice that they're still active on Tinder, and always seem to be DM'ing someone else while in your presence. So you mention it - only tentatively, of course, because you don't want to come on too strong - but the response you get is not at all what you wanted:

"I thought this was just a casual thing."

Credit: Getty

Coined by AskMen, the trend gets its name from douchebags who show cockroach-like tendencies when it comes to concealing parts of their lives. As the article explains:

"Roaching is the name we're giving to this dating trend — because, as the adage goes, when you see one cockroach, there are many more you don't see. In this case, you may have seen just this person, but their hurtful behavior was hiding a number of other confidants, crushes, dates, flirtations, hookups and maybe even relationships from you. And like cockroaches, the behavior's very common, and kind of nasty."

The trend seems to be more common among people who have met on dating sites or apps, as the ambiguity the platforms provide makes it easy for somebody to claim: "Oh, I just thought you wanted a Netflix and Chill sort of thing".

couple unhappy in bed Credit: Getty

Those who engage in roaching will often try to play the blame game, too. Rather than take accountability for their dishonesty, they'll put the onus on you, saying that you should have stipulated what sort of thing you were looking for earlier on, or even that you should have avoided using something like Tinder or Bumble if you were really after something serious.

If you've been roached, don't feel like it's your fault at all. The kinds of people who engage in such manipulative behavior will always try to turn the situation on its head, and make it seem as if you were the one who messed up - but don't buy into it.

Ultimately, the only way to avoid "roaching" is to be totally open about what you're looking for fairly on in the "getting together" stage. If you want something with no strings, that's cool, but let the other person know about it. Likewise, if you're hoping to find the love of your life online, make it clear from the offset.