When the Sydney Morning Herald wags its tongue at dating, you know something’s afoot. Enter: 2019, a year so desperate in love it has spawned a new hook-up trend (and bizarre buzzword) a week. Not content with ‘ghosting’ ‘paperclipping‘ and ‘houseplanting‘ modern amor-seekers have sought ever more nuanced ways to torture each other.
To that end: 4.5 million Australians date online, according to statistics from Relationships Australia, with dating apps now comprising “the second most preferred way to meet a new partner” behind introductions through family and friends.
“This is ahead of other traditional channels including interest-based clubs, holidays, pubs or bars, work and social networking sites,” Relationships Australia says, adding that “reduced stigma has promoted increases in online dating [and the associated new phenomenons that come with it] at all ages.”
It’s not just millennial publishers like Junkee and Vice that have lost their marbles over this: in 2019 everyone from The Washington Post to the New York Times and (as we mentioned) The Sydney Morning Herald has tried to unravel the mysteries of modern dating.
To that end: The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday published an article entitled “Eight New Dating Trends For 2020 (Don’t get Kanye’d).” Although they are all an exercise in patience at best, and infuriating at worst, one of the trends, ‘dial toning,’ caught our particular attention.
So, what is dial toning? We’ll allow the Sydney Morning Herald to take it from here: “Don’t get it twisted – this is not ghosting. Instead, dial-toning is the act of giving people your phone number and ignoring them when they reach out.”
“Sixty per cent of singles have experienced this, while 35 per cent of singles admit to doing this to someone.”
These figures come from the dating app Plenty of Fish, which recently came out with its annual dating trends survey, polling more than 1000 US-based Plenty of Fish users (ages 18-50) in November.
To get further insight into this trend, D’Marge spoke to couples counseller Heidi Gee. “Yeah, this happens a lot,” Heidi told us. Why? “Messaging on an app is quite different to speaking in real life [or on the phone].”
“It becomes real.”
The upshot? They bail, and, according to Heidi, this happens either because they were never 100% sold in the initial conversation or simply because they have found other people to talk to.
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So, what do you do if this keeps happening to you? Other than just talking to more people yourself, Heidi says the other solution to decrease the chances of being ‘dial toned’ is not to message for so long the conversation runs dry: call them sooner rather than later, and strike while the iron is hot.