27 Dating Abbreviations You Need to Know

Dating Abbreviations

In the world of online dating and text messaging, communication has become more concise and fast-paced. To keep up with the evolving language of modern romance, it’s crucial to be familiar with dating abbreviations. 

These shorthand terms are commonly used in dating profiles, chat conversations, and text messages to convey specific meanings or sentiments. 

Whether you’re new to the dating scene or simply want to brush up on your knowledge, here are 27 dating abbreviations you need to know.

27 Dating Abbreviations You Need to Know

As the dating world continues to evolve, new abbreviations may emerge. Staying informed and open to learning these terms will help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of modern romance.

In this section, we will look at the 27 most common dating abbreviations you will often see on online dating platforms.

1. FWB – Friends with Benefits:

Friends with Benefits (FWB) refers to a relationship where two people are friends and engage in casual sexual activity without a committed romantic attachment. It is a modern approach to intimacy that focuses primarily on the physical aspect of the connection rather than emotional involvement or long-term commitment. In an FWB relationship, individuals enjoy the benefits of sexual activity while maintaining the freedom and flexibility of their friendship.

2. NSA – No Strings Attached:

No Strings Attached (NSA) is similar to FWB and indicates a relationship without emotional involvement or commitment. It signifies a connection based solely on the desire for physical intimacy without the expectations or responsibilities typically associated with a romantic partnership. In an NSA relationship, individuals seek sexual gratification without the need for emotional bonding or further commitment beyond the physical aspect. This arrangement allows for a more carefree and unattached experience, where the emphasis is on the enjoyment of sexual activities without any emotional entanglements.

3. DTF – Down to F***:

DTF, an abbreviation for “Down to F***,” suggests that someone is interested in engaging in sexual activity without any pretense or further expectations. It is a direct and explicit expression used to convey immediate sexual interest and availability. When someone states they are DTF, they are expressing a desire to participate in sexual activities without the need for additional emotional or romantic connection. It is important to remember that clear communication and enthusiastic consent are crucial in any sexual encounter to ensure that all parties involved are comfortable and on the same page regarding their desires and boundaries.

4. ONS – One Night Stand:

One Night Stand (ONS) refers to a sexual encounter that lasts only one night without any expectation of a continuing relationship. It involves engaging in intimate activities with another person with the understanding that the connection is temporary and not intended to develop into a long-term partnership. One night stands are typically driven by physical attraction or a desire for sexual gratification and often occur between strangers or acquaintances. It’s important to approach one night stands with caution and respect, ensuring that all parties involved have clear communication and consent, as well as practicing safe and consensual behavior.

5. DTR – Define the Relationship:

Define the Relationship (DTR) is an acronym that indicates the need to have a conversation about establishing the status and expectations of a romantic partnership. It is an important milestone in a relationship when both individuals discuss and clarify their mutual understanding of their connection. The DTR conversation can cover various topics, such as exclusivity, future goals, commitment level, and emotional expectations. It serves as a way to define the boundaries and trajectory of the relationship, allowing both parties to align their expectations and move forward with clarity.

6. LTR – Long-Term Relationship:

Long-Term Relationship (LTR) implies seeking a committed romantic partnership that lasts for a significant duration. It signifies the desire for a stable and enduring connection with a romantic partner. In an LTR, individuals are committed to building a future together, often characterized by shared goals, emotional intimacy, and mutual support. LTRs involve a higher level of commitment, trust, and long-term planning compared to more casual relationships. They require open communication, compromise, and the willingness to work through challenges that may arise.

7. Ghosting:

Ghosting is a term used to describe the sudden act of cutting off all communication with someone without any explanation or further contact. It typically happens in dating or romantic relationships when one person abruptly ceases all communication, including texts, calls, and social media interactions, without providing any reason or closure. Ghosting can leave the person who has been ghosted feeling confused, hurt, and rejected, as there is no opportunity for dialogue or understanding. While there may be various reasons why someone chooses to ghost, it is generally considered a disrespectful and emotionally damaging behavior.

8. Benching:

Benching refers to keepingsomeone on the backburner without committing to a serious relationship, but occasionally reaching out. It is a term often used in the context of dating, where one person keeps another person “on the bench” as a potential romantic option while exploring other possibilities. Those who practice benching may periodically initiate contact or go on casual dates with the benched individual, but they do not show consistent or substantial interest in pursuing a committed relationship.

Benching can be a frustrating experience for the person who is being benched, as it can lead to feelings of uncertainty, insecurity, and being strung along. It often stems from a fear of commitment or a desire to keep one’s options open. People who engage in benching may enjoy the attention and validation they receive from keeping multiple potential partners in their orbit without fully investing in any one person.

It is important to note that benching is not a healthy or respectful approach to dating. It lacks transparency, honesty, and consideration for the emotions of the person who is being benched. Open and honest communication is crucial in any relationship, and both parties should have clear expectations and understanding of where they stand. If you find yourself being benched, it is essential to prioritize your own emotional well-being and consider whether this kind of relationship aligns with your own desires and needs.

9. Catfishing:

Catfishing refers to the act of creating a false online persona or identity to deceive others, usually for romantic or emotional gain. It involves using fake photos, information, or personalities to establish a fabricated online presence. Catfishers often create elaborate stories and manipulate their targets into forming emotional connections based on false pretenses.

Catfishing can occur on social media, dating platforms, or online forums. The motivations behind catfishing can vary, ranging from seeking attention or validation to engaging in fraudulent activities. It is important to be cautious when interacting with individuals online and to be aware of the signs that may indicate someone is catfishing, such as inconsistencies in their stories, reluctance to meet in person, or refusal to video chat.

Being catfished can have profound emotional consequences, as the victim may develop strong feelings for a person who does not exist or may feel betrayed and manipulated upon discovering the deception. It is crucial to approach online relationships with skepticism and take steps to verify the authenticity of the individuals you interact with, such as conducting reverse image searches or video chatting. If you suspect someone may be catfishing you, it is important to protect yourself and disengage from the relationship to avoid further emotional harm.

10. FWBNSA – Friends with Benefits, No Strings Attached:

FWBNSA combines the concepts of Friends with Benefits (FWB) and No Strings Attached (NSA), indicating a casual sexual relationship without emotional attachment. This term highlights the absence of emotional involvement or commitment, similar to NSA, while acknowledging the friendship aspect that is characteristic of FWB relationships. It signifies an arrangement where two individuals engage in physical intimacy without the expectation of a romantic partnership or emotional connection. The emphasis is solely on the enjoyment of sexual activities in a casual and non-committal manner. Clear communication and understanding of boundaries remain crucial to ensure that both parties are on the same page and that the arrangement remains consensual and respectful.

11. IRL – In Real Life:

IRL, an abbreviation for “In Real Life,” denotes the transition of a relationship or connection from the virtual realm to meeting in person. It signifies the desire to move beyond online interactions and engage in face-to-face meetings or activities. In the context of online dating or social media relationships, IRL emphasizes the importance of building a tangible, physical connection with someone. It acknowledges that true understanding and connection often require direct, real-life interactions rather than solely relying on virtual communication. Moving from online interactions to an IRL meeting can bring a new level of depth and authenticity to a relationship, allowing individuals to fully experience each other’s presence and form a more comprehensive understanding of compatibility.

12. BBW – Big Beautiful Woman:

BBW stands for “Big Beautiful Woman” and is a term used to describe a woman who is plus-sized and embraces her body. It is a body-positive term that celebrates diversity and challenges societal beauty standards. BBW recognizes that beauty comes in various shapes and sizes, and it promotes acceptance and appreciation of larger body types. This term is often used within the context of attraction and dating preferences to express admiration for curvier individuals. It highlights the importance of body positivity, self-confidence, and celebrating all forms of beauty.

13. DDF – Drug and Disease-Free:

DDF is an abbreviation for “Drug and Disease-Free,” indicating that an individual is free from drug use and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is a commonly used term in dating profiles or conversations to assert one’s health status and prioritize safe and responsible sexual practices. DDF implies that the person is committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and engaging in sexual activities without the risk of transmitting or acquiring STIs. Open and honest communication regarding sexual health is crucial in building trust and ensuring the well-being of all parties involved.

14. Sub – Submissive:

Submissive refers to someone who enjoys taking on a more passive or obedient role in a romantic or sexual dynamic. It is a term often used within the context of BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, and Masochism) to describe a person’s preferences and desires in power dynamics. A submissive individual derives pleasure or fulfillment from relinquishing control and allowing their partner to take charge. It involves consensual power exchange and can encompass various activities and dynamics depending on the preferences and boundaries established by the individuals involved.

15. Dom – Dominant:

Dom stands for “Dominant” and indicates someone who takes on a controlling or authoritative role in a romantic or sexual dynamic. It is commonly used in the context of BDSM to describe an individual who enjoys assuming a position of power and control over their partner. A dominant person derives pleasure or satisfaction from being in charge and guiding the submissive partner. This power dynamic is based on mutual consent and the establishment of clear boundaries and safe practices to ensure the well-being and comfort of both individuals involved.

16. PDA – Public Display of Affection:

PDA, an abbreviation for “Public Display of Affection,” describes the act of showing physical affection, such as kissing, hugging, or holding hands, in public. It signifiesthe willingness to express romantic or sexual affection openly, regardless of the presence of others. Engaging in PDA can serve as a way to display affection and strengthen the bond between partners. It can be a way to express love, attraction, or emotional connection in a public setting. The extent of PDA can vary depending on cultural norms, personal comfort levels, and the preferences of the individuals involved. While some people feel comfortable with more overt displays of affection, others may prefer more subtle or private expressions. It’s important to consider the comfort of both parties and respect the boundaries of the specific social context in which PDA is displayed.

17. WYD – What You Doing:

WYD is an acronym for “What You Doing” and is a casual question used in text conversations to inquire about someone’s current activities or whereabouts. It is often used as an icebreaker or to initiate a casual conversation. WYD serves as a way to express interest in the other person’s daily life or to start a lighthearted conversation. It can be an open-ended question that allows for various responses, ranging from sharing immediate activities to discussing future plans or interests.

18. LDR – Long-Distance Relationship:

LDR stands for “Long-Distance Relationship” and refers to a romantic relationship where the partners live in different geographical locations, making physical proximity challenging. LDRs require a significant level of commitment, trust, and communication, as the partners often face the obstacles of distance and limited face-to-face interaction. Maintaining an LDR involves finding creative ways to connect and nurture the emotional bond, such as regular communication through video calls, texting, and planning visits. It requires patience, understanding, and the ability to effectively communicate and support each other’s needs despite the physical separation.

19. Poly – Polyamorous:

Polyamorous indicates a person who is open to or actively involved in multiple simultaneous romantic relationships. It is an identity that challenges the societal expectation of monogamy and recognizes the potential for loving and maintaining relationships with multiple partners simultaneously. Polyamory is built on principles of open communication, honesty, and consent among all parties involved. Poly individuals seek to establish meaningful connections and emotional bonds with multiple partners, with each relationship being consensual and based on mutual agreements and boundaries.

20. OTP – One True Pairing:

OTP stands for “One True Pairing” and refers to the ideal or favorite romantic couple that fans ship or support. It is often used in the context of fictional characters in books, movies, TV shows, or other media. OTP signifies the strong emotional investment that fans have in a particular fictional romantic pairing, expressing their desire for those characters to be together and rooting for their relationship. The term highlights the enthusiasm and emotional attachment that fans develop towards their preferred fictional couples and their hopes for their love story to unfold in a satisfying way.

21. IRL Date – In Real Life Date:

IRL Date, an abbreviation for “In Real Life Date,” indicates the intention to meet someone in person for a romantic encounter or outing. It signifies a transition from online or virtual interactions to a physical meeting. When individuals plan an IRL date, it demonstrates their readiness to take the relationship to the next level by spending time together face-to-face. It can involve activities such as going out for a meal, engaging in shared interests, or simply spending time getting to know each other in a more intimate and personal setting.

22. ROFL – Rolling On the Floor Laughing:

ROFL is an acronym used to express extreme amusement or laughter in text conversations. It stands for “Rolling On the Floor Laughing.” It is a lighthearted and playful way to convey that something is extremely funny. It is often used in response to humorous messages, jokes, or situations. ROFL emphasizes the degree of amusement and can contribute to afun and light atmosphere in online conversations.

23. STI – Sexually Transmitted Infection:

STI stands for “Sexually Transmitted Infection” and refers to an infection that is transmitted through sexual contact. STIs can include a range of infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, HIV, and many others. The term highlights the importance of sexual health and the potential risks involved in sexual activity. Practicing safe sex, including the use of barrier methods like condoms, regular testing, and open communication about sexual health, are essential in preventing the transmission and spread of STIs.

24. ISO – In Search Of:

ISO, an abbreviation for “In Search Of,” indicates that a person is actively looking for a specific type of relationship or connection. It is often used in online dating platforms or personal ads to express one’s current dating or relationship goals. By stating “ISO,” individuals make it clear that they are actively seeking a particular kind of connection, whether it be a romantic relationship, friendship, casual encounter, or specific qualities in a partner. ISO serves as a way to convey one’s intentions and attract potential matches who align with their desired relationship dynamic.

25. Cuffing Season:

Cuffing Season refers to the period during the colder months when individuals seek out romantic relationships or companionship. It typically occurs in autumn and winter and is associated with the desire for emotional and physical warmth during the colder seasons. During Cuffing Season, people may be more inclined to pursue romantic partnerships or to “couple up” for companionship and the comforts of a relationship. It is often characterized by a focus on indoor activities, holiday celebrations, and a desire for intimacy and connection during the holiday season.

26. PNP – Party and Play:

PNP stands for “Party and Play” and suggests the combination of drug use, typically stimulants, and sexual activity. It refers to a subculture or specific type of encounter where individuals engage in both recreational drug use and sexual experiences. PNP encounters are characterized by the use of substances to enhance sexual experiences or to create a more uninhibited and euphoric atmosphere. It is important to note that engaging in PNP activities carries potential risks, including impaired judgment, increased vulnerability, and negative health consequences. It is crucial for individuals to prioritize their safety, well-being, and informed consent in any sexual activity.

27. GGG – Good, Giving, Game:

GGG refers to someone who is open-minded, willing to try new things, and generous in the bedroom. The term was popularized by sex advice columnist Dan Savage and emphasizes the importance of sexual exploration, communication, and mutual satisfaction. Being GGG means being receptive to various sexual desires and interests, showing a willingness to experiment, and prioritizing the pleasure and comfort of one’s partner. It signifies a positive and enthusiastic attitude toward sexual experiences and a commitment to fostering a fulfilling and satisfying sexual connection.


From FWB to LTR, each abbreviation represents different desires, expectations, and boundaries that individuals seek in their romantic lives. However, it’s important to remember that behind these acronyms lie real people with unique needs, emotions, and experiences.

In the end, it’s not about the abbreviations we use, but the genuine connections we forge and the meaningful relationships we build. So, whether you’re seeking an FWB, navigating an LDR, or simply looking for love IRL, let kindness, compassion, and mutual understanding guide your journey. May we all find the love, connection, and happiness we deserve, as we continue to explore the vast and beautiful world of relationships.