The Gen Z Dating Scene: Vocabs to Use | The Gen Z Dating Scene: Vocabs to Use

The Gen Z Dating Scene: Vocabs to Use

/ 11:01 AM June 15, 2023

Welcome to the ever-evolving Gen Z dating scene, where the advent of TikTok and various match-making platforms have ushered in a new wave of terminology and practices.

To navigate this realm, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the unique vocabulary employed by this generation. Let’s explore some key terms shaping Gen Z’s dating lexicon.

Gen Z Vocab in the Dating Scene

Gen Z Vocab in the Dating Scene

The first step in getting into the Gen Z dating scene is finding someone with rizz or have rizz yourself.

Coined by YouTuber and Twitch streamer Kai Cenat in 2021, rizz refers to a person’s flirting ability and charisma. When someone possesses rizz, it means that they are smooth and engaging, making them an attractive romantic interest.

Since having rizz is pretty subjective, there are no specific standards for someone to hold. It’s only a matter of attitude and confidence.


Should I do more of these? #ucla #rizz

♬ original sound – Chris Stocks

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On the other hand, when you are turned off by someone, you get the ick. Colloquially, ick is used to express disgust. In this context, ick refers to behavior, action, appearance, or personality that no longer makes someone attractive to you.

The term was first used in the TV show Ally McBeal to describe the cringe or repulsion you feel towards your romantic interest. Once you get the ick, you no longer want to be romantically involved with that person or find it hard to overlook those qualities.

Overall, getting an ick on someone is detrimental to the relationship. Yet, some people list the icks of the person they are infatuated with to get over them. Do what you will with that information.


♬ original sound – OSHU


Gen Z’s call successfully enamoring someone as pulling. Literally, pull means exerting effort to drag something closer to you. In the same manner, when you can pull, it suggests that you can attract or seduce viable romantic partners.


wut #SmellLikeIrishSpring #UnsealTheMeal #savethesoil



Another Gen Z word that’s currently making rounds on the Internet is the word delulu. Delulu is short for delusional.

This word applies to different scenarios and not just dating. In this case, delulu is often used to describe a situation you completely misread. For instance, when you think you are dating that person, even if evidence suggests you are not.


Delulu 4L#fyp #relatable #relationship #love

♬ original sound – clodagh¹⁶


Ever been in a confusing situation where you can’t publicly claim you dated this person, but there was flirting and the occasional romantic or sexual relationship? Gen Z calls it a situationship.

Instead of labeling it as a relationship or dating, Gen Z’s are settling with situationship to describe informal or undefined relations. Because at the end of the day, you are in a situation where you happen to be involved with another person, whatever that means.


Musicad | *checks phone 50,000 times a day only to get THAT text at 4:00am* 🙄😴 #relatable #situationship #forthegirls #fortheboys #thingsgirlsdo #chloetayloruk

♬ You Only Love Me – Rita Ora

Soft Launch

Soft launching is the art of dropping Easter eggs on social media about a potential relationship. Gen Z uses this technique to give off mysterious and subtle vibes about the person they spend their time with.

It’s also done to check who among your social media followers is paying attention to your life and gauge whether this person will be positively accepted into your circle.

This can be done by showing off two coffee cups without the person’s face, cinema tickets, or just showing their shoes or hands. Any form of gimmicks or creative ways is always encouraged.

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A post shared by Kourtney Kardashian Barker (@kourtneykardash)

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When a potential partner is stringing you along by engaging with you occasionally, but it goes nowhere, it’s called breadcrumbing. Breadcrumbing is the act of giving someone the right amount of attention to keep them interested in you. However, you have no intentions of forming a deeper relationship with them.

Literally, you give someone crumbs of attention so they keep hooked on you instead of just breaking it off with them. This behavior is considered manipulative and misleading.


Breadcrumbing explained. Leave a comment below if you’ve ever been breadcrumbed. #Dating #DatingAdvice #Relationships #RelationshipAdvice #DatingTips #Love #Podcast

♬ original sound – Love Uncensored Podcast


Many people might be guilty of this, and no, this doesn’t involve falling in love with a hot priest. Fleabagging is repeatedly dating someone wrong for you.

This term is derived from Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s titular TV show, Fleabag. To summarize, the character continuously develops an unhealthy relationship with the wrong people. The Internet, in turn, co-opted this behavior and calls it Fleabagging.

Love Bombing

Gen Zs are infamous for incorporating psychological terms into their vocabulary. One of those terms is love bombing. Generally, it refers to a manipulative tactic used by individuals or groups to gain control over someone.

They do it by overwhelming their target with excessive attention, affection, and compliments. Sadly, this only creates a false sense of intimacy and dependency, often leading to emotional manipulation and abuse.

Gen Zs quickly spot this behavior and call it out when dating. However, please be guided when using this term and check out other resources.


Another psychological term that has been making rounds on the Internet is gaslighting. The term originates from the 1938 play “Gas Light.” In this play, a husband deliberately manipulates his wife, causing her to doubt her own sanity. One of the ways he does this is by sabotaging the gas lamps in their home and convincing his wife that nothing changed.

In the dating scene, gaslighting undermines another person’s perception of reality. This may be done by denying any cheating allegations or arguing that something is not real. Sometimes, this involves changing the narrative to transfer the blame.

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A dating or social media practice everyone should be wary about is wokefishing. This happens when an individual pretends to hold progressive or socially conscious beliefs to attract potential partners. They may falsely portray themselves as socially aware, inclusive, or aligned with certain values for personal gain or to manipulate others’ perceptions.

This phenomenon is happening because Gen Zs are more progressive and are likely involved in social change. To appeal to this, a number of individuals pretend to have the same set of progressive or liberal beliefs to attract partners.


As soon as he hears you make more money, his tone immediately changes #cringey #creep #malefeminist #foryou

♬ original sound – Jack Ryan

Hot Girl Summer

If you decide that a serious relationship or the dating scene is not for you right now, a hot girl summer is what you need. Inspired by Megan Thee Stallion, a hot girl summer refers to being carefree and confident in your body.

What is nice about this is you get to decide and embrace what is good for you. This term is not only for women but for everyone who adopts a nonchalant mindset.

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One thing about the Gen Z vocab is that it is ever-changing, and one word can be used in multiple ways. These terms shape the Gen Z dating lexicon and provide insights into their experiences and perspectives.

From rizz and ick to pull and delulu, each term captures distinct aspects of modern dating dynamics. Whether it’s navigating undefined relations in a situationship or dropping subtle hints through a soft launch, Gen Z has developed their own language to communicate the nuances of their romantic interactions.

However, amidst the new trends, it’s crucial to remain aware of manipulative behaviors like breadcrumbing, love bombing, and gaslighting, as well as the deceptive practice of wokefishing.

Ultimately, if a serious relationship isn’t your current focus, embracing a carefree and confident mindset, often referred to as a hot girl summer, allows you to prioritize your own happiness and well-being. Gen Z’s dating scene is complex, and understanding their vocabulary gives us a glimpse into their experiences and the evolving landscape of modern relationships.

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TAGS: dating, Generation Z, interesting topics
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