The StayHipp Dating Slang Guide
The Brief: A recent study by the American Psychological Association (APA) on "Hook up Culture" found that kids as young as 13 view the culture as the norm for dating today. Here’s StayHipp's guide to some of the unique ways millennials and Gen Zers date, as well as the words they use to talk about it.
Between movies, music videos, YouTube, and social media, it’s no wonder that “hooking up” tends to dominate teens’ perceptions of the new culture of dating within their age groups. The term alone is somewhat difficult to understand, as everyone has their own varying definition for what it means to “hook up”. Google defines “Hook up Culture” as “one that accepts and encourages casual sexual encounters without necessarily including emotional bonding or long-term commitment.”
As almost every aspect of our lives has an online component, dating has been made as easily accessible as the swipe of a finger. Courtship has given way to direct messages, a thoughtful GIF has replaced a bouquet of roses, and mix-tapes are a thing of the past. Technology has enabled millennials and Gen Zers to experience a much more convenient, expendable, and personalized form of dating, so it should come as no surprise that they’ve created their own respective lingo, as well. Here’s StayHipp’s detailed guide to some of the unique ways millennials and Gen Zers date, as well as the words they use to talk about it.
Defining the Relationship
It’s difficult keeping up with dating-specific slang as it’s constantly evolving, as is the concept of dating, itself. While some dating terms are straightforward, involving acronyms invented as shorthand for texting, others need additional explanation. These are the terms used to categorize the different types of romantic relationships teens might be experiencing as well as the “pet names” one might use to describe their romantic partner.
Texting & Messaging
Dating-related communications increasingly take place online, via text, as well as through social media and messaging/chat apps, leading to unique phenomena and language. Although young people may have more tools to communicate with each other, technology sometimes provides room for people to miscommunicate – or avoid each other altogether. That, coupled with the fear of missing out (FOMO), can make for some awkward social encounters between young daters.
According to Pew Research Center, those between 18 and 24 make up the largest demographic of online/app daters in terms of age, so it’s safe to say that a large percentage of Millennial and Gen Z relationships begin on their devices. Some people use dating apps for casual relationships, while others use them to find a long-term partner. Different dating apps can cater to someone’s specific preferences of who they want to date and how they want apps to facilitate their first impressions.
Check out the StayHipp App Guide for a complete list of popular dating apps.