Orbiting – the new dating phenomenon you need to know about

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It’s the latest dating trend breaking the internet and a story that is sadly all too familiar for today’s average online dater. You know the one – you meet online, have a few amazing dates, and next thing you know they have stopped responding to your messages and calls with no explanation at all. Meanwhile they’re actively watching your Snapchat stories and are the first to like your new Instagram pics.

Yep, welcome to 2018’s dating conundrum:

“Orbiting – when someone you’re dating ceases contact without any explanation, but stays in your ‘social orbit’ online.”

Why do people orbit?

It can be an incredibly frustrating experience to fall victim to orbiting. While similar to ‘ghosting’ – when someone you’re dating decides to simply disappear without any explanation – it is often much worse as you can never truly get closure from the relationship while they’re lingering in your orbit. So why do people do it?

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The popular explanation is that it’s a way of ‘keeping tabs’ on a person and leaving the option open for a future relationship. While they might not necessarily be ready to commit to a relationship now, they’re worried that if they shut off all contact with you they might miss the opportunity to reconnect with you should circumstances change in the future. The orbiting tactic generally allows the person to sustain a commitment-free connection while offering a window of entry back into your life.

What should you do if you’re being orbited?

It really depends on the nature of the relationship and ultimately the decision lies with you, but in my opinion, if someone doesn’t give you the respect to cut things off with you properly then they don’t deserve the privilege of being a part of your life in any capacity. If you can think of yourself as the sun in your own solar system, you only have so much energy to sustain a small number of planets (i.e. relationships) in your orbit. So you’re best to leave those precious spots for the mighty Venuses and Neptunes in your life, rather than have your orbit cluttered with meteors.

Orbiters tend to have the false belief that relationships can be based on likes without actually having to engage in meaningful interactions. These people add little if any value to your life, so you’re better off to delete them so that you can leave those channels open for people who actually want to get to know you and engage with you meaningfully both online and offline.

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