You’ve heard of sidebarring. Of submarining. Of phubbing and breadcrumbing, of breezing and micro-cheating. Certainly, you are no stranger to the term “ghosting” (apparently, “passive ghosting” is also a thing!) Maybe you’ve even been unlucky enough to experience haunting!
Just when you thought modern dating couldn’t be any more complicated and demonstrative of the phrase “millennial garbage,” along comes orbiting. Coined by Man Repeller writer Ann Iovine, orbiting is when a person, rather than completely disappearing from you life à la ghosting, continues to remain in your digital orbit.
“Orbiting is the new ghosting,” writes Iovine, “and it’s probably happening to you.”
Never in direct contact, but ever-present on the fringes of your various social medias, the orbiter watches your Instagram stories. They throw your photos and tweets likes. They have the audacity to comment on your posts. It’s a blend of back-burnering and ghosting, which sounds contradictory but which in fact is completely possible in the diaspora of modern Internet-tainted dating.
“Close enough to see each other; far enough to never talk,” writes Iovine of this trash phenom.
She recounts a recent dating experience to demonstrate what she means.
“I started dating a man — let’s call him Tyler — a few months ago. We met on Tinder, naturally, and after our first date, we added each other on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.”
“After our second date, he stopped answering my texts. I soon gathered it was over, but in the ensuing days, I noticed he was watching every single one of my Instagram and Snapchat stories — and was often one of the first people to do so.”
“A couple of weeks later, after still no correspondence, I decided to unfollow/unfriend Tyler from all three social platforms. On Facebook and Snapchat, that meant we could no longer see each other’s content, but on Instagram, no such luck.
“It’s now been over two months since we’ve spoken, and Tyler not only still follows me on Instagram, he looks at every single one of my stories. This is not ghosting. This is orbiting.”
Iovine concludes that orbiting is one of three things: A power play, a manifestation of regret, or shallow behavior employed by idiots. Whatever the case, how about singles around the world collectively agree to stop playing games and follow the golden rule of dating? (Commit! Or don’t!)