What is Roaching? The dating trend to be wary of, especially if you use online apps


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These days there is a label for everything, especially in the dating world. “Friends with benefits” is different from a “bang buddy”; and “seeing”, “dating” and “in a relationship” could all suggest different types of romances. The same goes with some of the nastier dating trends making the rounds, from “phubbing”, “stashing” and “ghosting” to “zombieing” and “breadcrumbing”.

Now, another label has just joined the list of dating behaviours that make us want to stay single — Roaching. According to Ask Men, the label describes a particular type of behaviour wherein the partner hides his or her “side” romances or hook-ups and attempts to downplay the problem when discovered.

It starts off with a couple who more often than not, met online. The two go on multiple dates, like each other, have sex and everything feels dreamy — it is that early stage in a relationship, so it is meant to! Then one of them lets slip that they are also dating other people, or maybe still perusing the isles of Tinder or Bumble.

The heart-shaped bubbles pop, the music comes to an end and the jarring white lights are switched on!

At this point, the person acts like it is no big deal… after all, the two never discussed if they were in an exclusive relationship — the other person simply “took it for granted”. By suggesting this, the “roach” makes the partner believe that it was their own fault because they read too much into the romantic behaviour.

This is what is being labelled as “roaching” and according to the trendsetters at Ask Men, the name is an appropriate one. “As the adage goes, when you see one cockroach, there are many more you don’t see. In this case, you may have seen just this person, but their hurtful behaviour was hiding a number of other confidantes, crushes, dates, flirtations, hook-ups and maybe even relationships from you. And like cockroaches, the behaviour’s very common, and kind of nasty,” the site explains.

For all purposes, roaching amounts to cheating and is deceitful behaviour which is more popular among people who use dating apps. With the choice of prospective partners at their fingertips, they find it easier to “keep their options” open.

How to deal with “roaches”?

Most victims of roaching would love to deal with their partners the same way one deals with cockroaches. Since they have yet to create a repellent to keep the bad ones away, psychotherapist and sex therapist David Ortmann believes that communication is the best bet.

“Most of the time in relationships we are trying, we try not to hurt somebody. Often, and particularly in poly relationships, you have got to risk hurt to be very clear in your communication. Silencing it in the name of not hurting someone is the most hurtful,” he explained.


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