DID YOU JUST GET BENCHED?
After ghosting, benching is one of the latest additions to the modern dating dictionary
Anew word makes it way into the modern day dating dictionary now and then. After ghosting, where your potential partner vanishes without informing you, benching is the new dating term which everyone is talking about, as it is affecting a growing number of relationships. You ‘bench’ someone when you start dating a person and you realise that probably he/she isn’t the one for you. But instead of breaking up, you keep the person as a backup option, and keep giving false hope.
“Unlike ghosting, people don’t vanish in benching but they only message when things are not working out with their partner or when they hit a rocky patch in their relationship,” says Pulkit Sharma, psychologist. The idea behind benching is that if things don’t work out with option A, then there is always an option B.
Time and convenience also play a part in benching. “Youngsters don’t have the time and patience for commitment that a serious relationship requires. Benchers view relationships as an extension of social media friendship and chats, wherein you chat with multiple friends and meet them as per convenience,” says Shivani Misri Sadhoo, relationship expert.
IS IT THE FEAR OF BEING SINGLE?
People often bench or put up with benching because they are scared of being alone. “At times, people also want to present an image of themselves that they are desirable, that they always have someone with them,” adds Sharma. “Some of the people who get benched have a low self esteem and have a tendency to undervalue themselves,” he explains.
People allow themselves to get benched because ‘it’s short, hassle free and convenient’. “To an extent, benching dates are better than ghosting dates where one partner vanishes once their desires and social needs are fulfilled,” says Sadhoo.
Sometimes, people who get benched aren’t even aware of it. “I had no clue that I was getting benched. It hurt a lot when I realised my role and importance in the life of the person I was seeing. You should not be with someone just for the sake of it, so I called off the relationship,” says Arjun Shankar, 26, advertising professional.
Some believe that there is no harm in testing the waters before taking the plunge. “It’s fair if both parties are honest about it. They should know what they are getting into,” says Mihir Misra, 26, businessman.
However, benching can lead to a tricky situation. “You
might end up feeling used and being treated unfairly. Moving on can be tough for certain people,” says Sharma.