Runging: The Ego-Boosting Dating Trend You Should Be Wary Of

Do you deliberately go for those below you on the dating ladder?

Dodgier than a late night DM, and just as validating, runging is the ego-boosting dating trend we have all fallen for. And the worst thing is, it’s self-inflicted. How? Runging is when you date people just lame enough your friends think ‘ew,’ but just cool enough they don’t say anything to your face.

Now. There’s nothing wrong with seeking a hookup partner who ~appreciates~. Likewise: it’s nice to be the courted, not the courter. But if you’re sacrificing your standards to avoid ‘feels’ (or because you want to be the one setting the booty call agenda), don’t be surprised when your mates start asking why you’re so obsessed with ladders.

This is different to ‘punching up’ or dating someone ‘out of your league,’ according to Metro, who coined the term, because rungers are conscious of their attractiveness: “As long as you understand that your partner loves you for you – regardless of whatever you may perceive the outside world thinks – then it shouldn’t be a problem,” Metro says. “Rungers, however, are acutely aware of this invisible ladder, and purposely punch below their weight off the back of it.”

“Perhaps when swiping on dating apps you specifically avoid people you deem to be ‘too’ attractive, and enjoy feeling like you have the upper hand in a subconscious way? Maybe you find yourself continually dating people who aren’t intellectually stimulating to you, but instead of looking for someone you feel is more equal or helping your partner learn, you like this unbalanced status quo? If these things ring true for you, you may be a runger, heading down that ladder so you’re always the one up a level.”

Head of Trends at happn Marine Ravinet told Metro, “Who we are attracted to is often down to our subconscious and we all have a different type which is what makes finding a partner so exciting – beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder. However, if some people are deliberately going after a partner who they deem ‘less attractive’ or ‘less successful’ they may need to question why this is.”

Marine also told Metro, “It may make them feel better in the short term, perhaps getting extra attention or thinking their partner is less likely to stray if they are ‘punching above their weight’. However, it doesn’t provide the basis of a healthy relationship as equals, and they should not be thought of as a competition.”

To make things simple, dating website Bolde has come up with 11 signs you may be runging.

  • Your friends know you do it
  • You’re put off by attractive people on dating apps
  • You’re overly competitive
  • You’re settling
  • Your self esteem has taken a hit
  • You’re loving your ego
  • You’re cheating your partner out of happiness
  • You’re terrified of getting hurt
  • You’re choosing out of fear of rejection
  • You’re desperate to be loved

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