Culture

Dating advice : What is ‘orbiting’ and is it worse than ‘ghosting’?

They’ve gone, but you can still very much feel their presence…

In the annals of dating advice for the millenial, orbiting is the newly-named phenomenon that lies somewhere between ghosting and bread-crumbing and even if you aren't familiar with the term yet, it's probably already happened to you. Before we explain, let’s have a quick recap of some of the latest relationship lingo. 

'Ghosting' — probably the most widely known term recently applied to social interrelations — is used when someone, either in a friendship or a romantic relationship, decides to slip out the back door (metaphorically), without pausing to say goodbye. What this means in real terms, is that they don't call you to give their break-up speech, they don't text you to tell you why it doesn't work for them to see you anymore and they don't even email you to pretend they're moving to Tulsa. They just simply stop replying, slipping out of your life with zero fanfare.

girl texting

'Bread-crumbing' is the act of getting attention via methods likened to when Hansel and Gretel laid a trail of breadcrumbs through the forest in Grimms' fairytale. Essentially, a new term for leading someone on, bread-crumbing is the sending of intermittent, non-committal messages, the liking of posts and the occasional emoji comment, just enough to keep someone interested, but without any genuine intention to be with them.

Dating advice : learn the lingo 

Which leads us on to 'orbiting.' This is a new term, coined by Man Repeller writer Anna Lovine. 

The word is being used to describe the feeling when a relationship breaks down between you and a romantic partner and you all-but-remove yourselves from each other's lives; yet somehow their presence remains conspicuously in your social media orbit.  

Whilst you are no longer speaking, texting or seeing each other, this person may sometimes favourite your tweets, like your instagram posts or, worst of all, not like anything at all, but maintain a lurking presence by watching every single one of your Instagram stories. 

There’s always that person who stays conspicuously high on your Insta-story list, despite the fact they never like your posts and you haven’t interacted for years.

Texting

Though Instagram has attempted to withhold the ability for users to see who most frequently visits your personal feed, some Redditors claim to have figured out that it's the ones who most frequently head over to your Insta mainfeed, who then appear highest up in the list of people who have watched your stories.

The orbiter neither fully ghosts you, nor contacts you enough to be bread-crumbing you, they are simply there, in your gravitational pull, like a pesky moon you just can’t shake. 

But what does this orbiting activity mean? Well, potentially not a lot. They either might not know that you can see who looks at your stories, or they don't care. Maybe they simply like your photos because you do look pretty, the dog is cute, the sunset was nice and so forth.

Or, something else is going on, perhaps they are hate-stalking you (we've all done it) or maybe your sexy gravitational pull is just too damn strong for their weak-ass willpower. Either way, what you need to decide is how much it bothers you. 

If this person means nothing more than a fart in the wind to you, then let them see your fabulousness. Let it be a gift from you to them.

However, if seeing their name pop up every time you repost a kitten meme makes your heart sink, then block them pronto. Social media is a confusing place, you don't need the extra hassle.

From: ELLE USA