It’s not new but it’s now official: the devious dating trend that has existed for millennia now has a name: ‘eclipsing.’ And even though your parents would disapprove of your Instagram nude sharing and your Elizabethan ancestors would be scandalised by your grandparent’s knee touching, ‘eclipsing’ is the one flirting technique that has remained constant through the ages.
But what the heck is it?
Essentially, ‘eclipsing’ is adopting the interests of someone you’re dating and pretending you like those activities. According to the Sydney Morning Herald (who got its data from online dating app surveys) “48 per cent have dated someone who did this, while 45 per cent of singles admit to having done it.”
Heidi Gee, a couples counsellor and dating coach, echoed this sentiment, telling D’Marge “I think we’ve all done this [eclipsing].”
While ‘eclipsing’ is a technique as old as time, it’s still a tough tightrope to walk. Go too far and you’ll look like a creep (see: the Netflix special, You). But think yourself entirely above ‘eclipsing’ and you may come off as abrasive and boring, and your first Tinder date may not lead to a second.
To counteract this, Heidi says you ought to do your research before ‘eclipsing’ “so you don’t look like an idiot” and understand the limits to what you can pretend to enjoy being into (you’re unlikely to be able to pick up skydiving or surfing in a couple of days, for instance, and you might regret pretending to be into heavy metal when bae books you into a three-day festival).
Heidi also tells us that it’s not really necessary to pick up your newfound love interest’s hobbies yourself, often it’s enough (even preferable, and more honest) to just show genuine interest and “ask them questions on the topic” instead.
So unless you’re a certified polymath, don’t claim to be a chess grandmaster or fluent in French.