Benching: The Modern Trend In The Dating World

what is benching in dating?

Dating is the act of getting to know someone romantically with the possibility of developing a committed relationship. It often involves going on dates, spending time together, and exploring mutual interests.

However, the world of dating isn’t always smooth sailing. While some connections blossom into lasting relationships, others may not pan out. This is where the concept of “benching” comes in.

What is benching in dating?

Benching, in the context of dating, refers to the act of keeping someone you’re interested in as a backup option.

It’s like being placed on the substitutes’ bench in a sports game – you’re not actively involved in the main action, but you’re still technically part of the team, available to be called upon if needed.

Why do People Bench others?

But why do people bench others? Here are some possible reasons:

They are afraid of commitment.

Some people may have a fear of commitment, either because they have been hurt in the past, or because they value their freedom and independence. They may not want to settle down with one person, or they may not be ready for a serious relationship. Benching allows them to keep their options open and avoid making a decision.

They are unsure of their feelings.

Some people may not be sure how they feel about the person they are benching, or they may have mixed feelings. They may like them, but not enough to commit. Benching allows them to keep the person around until they figure out their feelings, or until they find someone better.

They are bored.

Some people may bench others because they are bored and looking for some excitement. They may not be interested in the person, but they like the thrill of flirting and keeping them hooked. They may also use the person as a backup plan, in case they don’t find anyone else. Benching allows them to spice up their life and avoid loneliness.

Ego validation.

In some cases, benching can be a way for individuals to boost their ego and self-esteem. The attention they receive from other partners can provide a sense of validation, even if they don’t intend to pursue any serious relationships.

Attachment issues.

Individuals with attachment issues might struggle with forming healthy and committed relationships. They may use benching as a way to maintain control over the level of intimacy they experience while avoiding the potential for deeper emotional connection.

Casual dating preference.

Some individuals might simply prefer a casual dating style and enjoy the excitement of exploring multiple options without the pressure of commitment.

They are afraid of being alone.

Some people bench others overthinking that if their partner leaves them they will be all alone. So, they keep other partners as a backup.

How to Know If You’re Being Benched

how to know you are benched?

“Benching” is a dating trend where someone keeps a potential partner as a backup option. Here are some signs that someone may be benching you:

Inconsistent Communication.

They text you one day, then disappear for a week. They say they want to see you, then cancel at the last minute. They act hot and cold, sometimes showing interest, sometimes ignoring you.

They are vague.

They don’t define the relationship or tell you how they feel about you. They avoid labels or specificity. They don’t introduce you either to their friends or family.

They don’t share personal details or open up to you. They keep things casual.

They don’t spend time with you.

They don’t spend time with you or prioritize you. They always have an excuse for why they can’t meet up or talk to you.

They don’t answer your calls or texts promptly. They don’t initiate contact or make plans with you. They are always busy or distracted.

They are secretive.

They don’t post anything about you on social media or let anyone know that they are seeing you. They hide their phone or laptop from you.

They don’t tell you where they are going or who they are with. They lie or omit information about their activities or whereabouts.

They are selfish.

They only contact you when they need something from you, such as attention, sex, or money. They don’t care about your feelings, needs, or preferences.

They don’t respect your boundaries or wishes. They don’t support you or celebrate your achievements. They only think about themselves.


The person who is benching you will make the relationship feel one-sided. You are doing all the work and giving all the attention, while they are doing none of it and receiving all of it. You will feel like you are on the outside of their life, looking in, while they are on the inside of yours, taking up space.

You May Also Like: Ethical non-monogamy Relationships(ENM): Definition, Types

What to Do If Someone Is Benching You

Here are some tips to help you prevent or escape:

Recognize the signs.

If someone is constantly making excuses, canceling plans, or avoiding commitment, they are probably benching you.

If they only contact you when they are bored or lonely, they are not serious about you. If they never ask about your life, your feelings, or your goals, they are not interested in getting to know you.

Know your worth.

The second thing you should do is know your worth and value yourself as a person and as a partner. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than or undeserving of love and respect.

Don’t base your self-esteem on someone else’s opinion or behavior. Remember, you are not a benchwarmer, you are a star player, and you deserve to be treated like one.

Be selective.

The third thing you should do is be selective about who you date and whom you give your attention and affection to.

Don’t date someone just because they show interest in you, or because you’re afraid of being alone. Date someone who genuinely likes you, who shares your values and goals, and who makes you happy.


The fourth thing you should do is communicate with the person you’re dating. Express your feelings clearly and honestly.

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and need from the relationship. If you’re unsure about where you stand with the person, ask them directly and listen to their answer.

Set boundaries.

The fifth thing you should do is set boundaries with the person you’re dating. They should know what you are comfortable with and what you are not.

Don’t let them treat you like an option, and don’t let them take advantage of your kindness. Don’t accept their excuses or apologies, and don’t let them manipulate your emotions. Stand up for yourself and your needs.

Trust your intuition.

Focus on your gut feelings and red flags. If something feels off, don’t ignore it. A healthy relationship should feel balanced and fulfilling, not confusing or one-sided.

Move on.

The seventh thing you should do is move on from the person if they don’t change their behavior or show any signs of commitment or respect.

Don’t waste your time or energy on someone who doesn’t respect you. You deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you, who treats you well, and who makes you feel good about yourself. Don’t settle for anything less.

You May Also Like; Open Relationship: Meaning, Types and Benefits

Is Benching same as Ghosting?

Benching vs. Ghosting

Ghosting is when someone cuts off all contact with you without any explanation or warning. It can be hurtful, confusing, and frustrating to deal with ghosting, especially if you have a strong connection with the person.

But what if the person doesn’t completely vanish, but instead keeps you on the back burner, sending you occasional texts or messages, but never committing to anything serious? This is called benching, and it’s a different form of dating behavior that can also cause a lot of emotional distress.

So, is benching the same as ghosting? Well, not exactly.

Here are some ways they are similar:

  1. Both are ways of playing with someone’s feelings, without being honest or respectful.
  2. Both are signs of poor communication skills. They both leave the other person hanging, without any closure or clarity.
  3. Both are common in online dating. With so many options and opportunities to meet new people, some people may feel overwhelmed or indecisive. They may think that ghosting or benching is easier or less harmful than breaking up with someone face-to-face.

However, there are also some differences between ghosting and benching:

  1. Ghosting is more final than benching. When someone ghosts you, they disappear completely from your life. You don’t hear from them again unless they decide to reappear (which is called zombie-ing).
  2. Ghosting is more clear than benching. You may not know why they ghosted you, but you know that they are gone. When someone benches you, you are left wondering what their intentions are. You may not know if they are still interested in you, or if they are seeing other people.
  3. Ghosting is more rude than benching. When someone ghosts you, they show a complete disregard for your feelings and dignity. When someone benches you, they may still show some courtesy and kindness towards you.

The Bottom Line

While dating is normal, the act of benching is manipulative and disrespectful behavior. It creates feelings of worthlessness for the person being benched.

If you suspect you’re being benched, prioritize your self-worth, and address the situation with honest communication. Move forward towards finding a relationship built on mutual respect and genuine connection.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top