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Just when you’ve wrapped your mind around dating terms like “Netflix and Chill”, “DTF” and “ONS”, an entirely new slang word smacks you right in the face, rendering you confused. Phubbing? Stashing? Benching?

Who comes up with this stuff?

But it is what it is. With the emergence of social media and online dating apps, it comes as to no surprise that the dating landscape has changed as well. Things just aren’t the way they used to be, so here’s a list of modern dating terms to catch you right up to speed:

Phubbing

“Phubbing” is a combination of the words “phone” and “snubbing”. This term is basically used when the person you’re on a date with is on their phone, effectively snubbing you in the process. Of course, there are times when you may use your phone, such as if you are expecting an important call or… Well, that’s pretty much it. When you’re on a date with someone, you should keep your cellphone use to a minimum- or not use it at all.

Stashing

Stashing is what happens when you think you’re in a relationship with someone, but they’ve failed to introduce you to their family and friends. And if that wasn’t bad enough, they also don’t post about you on social media. Pictures, Facebook statuses, tweets… Not a single whiff of you. It is as though you don’t exist. The reason for this happening is simple: they wish to keep their options open.

Benching

If you’re on the verge of striking an exclusive relationship with someone, you may be at the risk of being “benched”. Benching is very much like what it sounds like. Like the sports term where players sit on the bench as reserves, you may be second choice as your special someone continues to date around. If they don’t manage to find someone better, they may fall back to you- their second choice.

Ghosting

Ghosting is one of those newer dating terms that more people are familiar with. Ghosting is essentially what happens when the person you’ve been dating suddenly disappears without so much as a “how do you do”. They don’t answer any of your calls and texts, just so they can avoid having a confrontation with you. Certainly not the bravest thing to do, but it is exceedingly common, especially in this day and age when we can simply Block someone with a click of a button.

Zombie-ing

When you’ve been ghosted, there is a chance that your dear ghost may reappear. This is what zombie-ing is. As the term implies, zombie-ing is when what was supposed to be dead and gone suddenly comes back to life. After weeks, months or even years of no contact, your zombie may send an innocuous “Hey” to your inbox, in hopes of reigniting that old spark. If they have you on other social media, they may try commenting on and liking your posts as well.

Haunting

Haunting is when someone you’ve stopped seeing continues to interact with you on social media. It is somewhat similar to zombie-ing, but in a much more passive sense. For instance, instead of commenting on your post or photograph, they may “Like” it instead. Needless to say, this sort of behaviour is enough to drive some people crazy. Do they want to get back together or not? Or are they just messing with you? What do they want?

Breadcrumbing

This is when a person strings you along with no intention of following up. They may send you lots of flirtatious texts, Snapchats and cute memes, anything that would imply that they are into you… except that they are not. You’ll know that you’re in this situation when you’ve been flirting with each other for a while, but the other person never makes any date plans nor do they ever agree to any. Annoying, but it happens.

Cushioning

Cushioning is what happens when the person you’re dating doesn’t think the relationship will end well. So just in case, they have other romantic prospects around to cushion the blow for when the breakup actually happens. Why they don’t initiate the breakup themselves is a question worth asking, but I think we all know the answer to that.

Slow fade

“Slow fade” is similar to ghosting, but not quite as dramatic. Rather than cutting ties abruptly, when a person slow fades on you, they will gradually respond to your texts less and less, won’t be as responsive to your calls, and may cancel plans and be unwilling to make new ones. They’ll keep doing this until finally- silence. Cowardly? Oh, most definitely.

Catfishing

Catfishing is another modern dating term that just about everyone is familiar with. It refers to when a person pretends to be someone else online in order to lure their target into a relationship. Catfishes usually use someone else’s profile picture and make up a persona to make themselves more believable. Creepy, and potentially dangerous.

Kittenfishing

Kittenfishing is much tamer than catfishing, but still aggravating enough to deserve a term of its own. This is when someone presents themselves in an overly positive manner online. For example, they may use a photograph of themselves from ten years ago, or lie about their age, hobbies or height. This sort of thing is a waste of time for both parties, because the lie(s) would immediately be obvious when it’s time to meet up.

Catch and Release

“Catch and release” is when a person pursues you for the thrill of it. They try all they can to date you. They’ll put a lot of effort into flirting with you, impressing you- just to date you. Once they “catch” you, they’ll lose interest and move on to their next target. It’s a lot like when fishermen catch fish then release them back into the sea.

Cuffing Season

Cuffing season. This is when having a boyfriend or girlfriend seems a lot more appealing during certain times of year. A prime example of this would have to be Valentine’s Day. It is during times like these when a certain breed of people would be on the prowl for someone to be their temporary beau, just so they won’t be lonely during that time. They’ll go as far as to make compromises on their choice of partner too, only to breakup once the season is over. Fun!

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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In light of the ever-nearing approach of Earth Day, I thought it was well about time to draw up a list of things we could do to observe this event.

Not just for this event, however, but for the days and hopefully years to follow as well. It might be tough, but let’s do our part to save the environment. Thankfully enough, going green doesn’t have to be difficult! Here’re 20 things you can do without fuss immediately:

  1. Swap plastic for reusable shopping bags! This one ought to be obvious, but it is unfortunately a practice that has yet to properly penetrate our society. So the next time you’re planning to go shopping, remember to bring a couple of shopping bags with you. It might not seem like a lot, but you’ll be opting out of hundreds of plastic bags by just doing this.
  2. Try to limit your washing. Not only is it a waste of energy to do multiple loads in a week, it is a waste of water, detergent and time. Limit your laundry days to just once a week, and dry your clothes out under the sun instead of tossing it in the dryer to maximise on your energy-saving potential. Your electricity bill will thank you for it!
  3. Recycle. It has been said a thousand times, and I will say it again. One of the best ways to help our environment is to recycle. If you have any books, papers, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and the like that you don’t need, recycle them.
  4. Make use of leftovers. Just because there are some leftovers from lunch doesn’t mean you have to throw them away. If there is anything that can still be saved, save it for dinner or another day. You can do something similar for fruits as well. For example, a banana that has gotten black spots can still be eaten! You can bake it into banana bread.
  5. Use biodegradable detergents and washing powders when cleaning. Replace your chemical-heavy detergents and soaps with more biodegradable alternatives. It’s a good step towards helping the environment.
  6. Reject straws! Plastic is particularly nasty for the environment, but there are those that are even worse than some. Straws are one such example. Why? It’s simply because of how quickly they end up in our landfills and oceans after just one use. Talk about a waste.
  7. Use the train. In the ideal world, we’d only use trains to travel. Alas, this isn’t possible for the majority of us just yet, especially if we don’t live in KL. But what we can do is use the train as much as possible. Honestly speaking, it’s a lot cheaper than using a car, and you don’t have to worry about traffic, tolls or parking!
  8. Turn off the electricity when not in use. Another obvious one, but sadly neglected. The next time you’re heading out of the room or have no need for something that you were using, turn off the electricity. You’ll be surprised by how much money you can save from this in just a month.
  9. Store water and use it to wash the dishes. Instead of washing the dishes under running water, you could store water in a small basin and dip the dishes in it. This will greatly reduce water wastage without much effort at all.
  10. Store rainwater and use it to wash your car. This is not something that can be done all the time, but it is worth trying out. Store rainwater in buckets so you could use it to give your automobile a much-needed wash!
  11. Get yourself a Kindle. I know, I love the feeling of a real, physical book in my hands too. But that is the price one has to pay if they’d like to go green. Plus, think about all of the space you’d have by not having a ton of books! And if owning a Kindle doesn’t tickle your fancy, there is always the library.
  12. Donate your old clothes. Is there anything in your closet that you’ve not worn in over half a year? Or God forbid, years? Then it’s about time to give them away. You’ll not only make room for new clothes, there’ll be others who’ll benefit from your old ones! Win-win.
  13. Ditch disposable nappies. It’s bad enough that disposable nappies are costly in the long run, they’re also filling up our landfills! Both of which are huge no-no’s on any environmentally-conscious mind.
  14. Take shorter showers. There’s no denying how tempting it is to take long, comfortable showers after a long day, but truth to be told, this is simply a waste of water. Cut down on your shower time, and if you find that difficult to do, use cold water to shower. You’ll find yourself out of there in no time!
  15. Bring your own bottle of water. It might seem innocent, but it really isn’t. Rather than buying bottled water, invest in a bottle of your own and bring water from home. It’s a step towards preventing hundreds and thousands of plastic bottles ending up in landfills.
  16. Start a compost pile. If there really is food waste – fruits and vegetables, specifically – that you can’t save, then it might be about time to start your own compost pile. It could be a great source of nutrients for your plants.  
  17. Carpool. If you’re going out with a group of friends, carpool whenever possible. You’d be doing your wallets, gas tanks and environment a kindness.
  18. Use cold water only. Yes, most of us avoid taking cold showers if we can help it, but the amount of money and energy you’d save from this is surprising. Try to get used to showering in cold water. It’ll comfort you to know that it is also more physically beneficial for you in the long run as well.
  19. Opt for green toilet paper. Stay eco-friendly and reduce your environmental footprint with green toilet paper. These are readily available, so there’s no excuse to miss out on them.
  20. Airdry your hair instead of blow-drying it. It is not exactly ideal to walk around with wet hair, but it would be good for it to not be blow-dried after every wash. Not so fun fact: blow-dry your hair too much, and it’ll end up brittle. Save it for special occasions if you must blow-dry.

There’re loads more that can be added to this list, but for the now, these will do. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed compiling it!

Good luck on your journey towards a greener you!

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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We’ve all heard it at least once or twice in our lives: that it’s not good to read all the time. Which, admittedly, does hold some truth to it, but in comparison to the TV-watching counterparts of bookworms, there is a surprising benefit (along with many others) that reading has over it.

What is that, precisely?

Apparently, better social skills. Surprising? Certainly!

Where’s the proof?

In a 2017 study conducted by Kingston University London, 123 volunteers were questioned regarding their entertainment preferences- both in terms of their preferred medium and genre. Do they prefer films, books, TV shows or plays? Do they prefer romance, action/adventure, comedy, fantasy, etc?

After this series of questions, they were then tested on their interpersonal skills, with a focus on their behaviour and respect towards others.

The result of their experiment? It was found that the volunteers who preferred reading novels were more likely to showcase positive social behaviour and a better ability to empathise with others. Those who preferred watching TV had the direct opposite result.

According to cognitive scientist Keith Oatley, “When we read about other people, we can imagine ourselves into their position and we can imagine it’s like being that person. That enables us to better understand people, better cooperate with them.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, it’s much easier to be sympathetic/kinder to others when we can understand what they’re going through.

PS: Those who love fiction had the highest ranking in social skills.

All the more reason to pick up a book, don’t you think? ;)

But wait! There has to be more, right?

Of course. There was a reason why the volunteers were asked regarding their genre preferences. Because as it turns out, your genre preferences are often associated with certain traits. Weird!

For example, those who love comedy are able to relate well to others, and those who love romance and drama showcase the most empathy.

How curious. Well, the more you know, hm? Might be time to keep mum on your entertainment preferences if you want to maintain an air of mystery around yourself.

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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In light of International Women’s Day (it was weeks ago, I know, but still), let’s discuss something that occupies the mind of many a modern woman: whether to start a family first or to prioritise their career.

While more and more Malaysian women are opting to postpone marriage, and of course, having children in order to advance their careers, we often hear the same-old criticism for their decision to do so: that it’s not good to have children so late.

Certainly, there are concerns about having children at an older age, but what about the positives? We don’t hear about those too often, so let’s dive into this topic for a bit.

You’re more financially stable

When you’re older, you’ve had more time to accumulate wealth. In many ways, this can mean many good things for you and your little one. You’ll be able to buy better food, clothes and toys for your child- and best of all, you’ll be able to afford a better home for you and your new family. These are all things that will contribute to the quality of life you can give to your child.

Here’s another thing about being more financially stable: you won’t have to worry too much about making ends meet every month.

Your children will do well academically

Since older moms tend to be career-driven and or invested in their education, it stands to reason that their children would reap the benefits of such a foundation. These older mothers, through sheer example and their own belief to prioritise education, can set the perfect environment that would help nurture their academic studies. Heck, the fact that these older moms are likely to have an extended vocabulary will do wonders in aiding their children’s language skills as well.

Additionally, highly educated mothers likely have friends and family with high levels of education as well. This too can supplement an already academically inclined environment for your child as they’ll be more exposed to highly educated role models.

More time and attention to give

Now that you’re more established in your career and therefore have more money to spend, you don’t need to work overtime just to make ends meet. This is a major plus about postponing having children of your own; you get to provide them with much needed love and attention during their growing-up years.

You’ll be less stressed out by work too, which will bring great emotional benefits to your child. A mother who is calm will be able to raise her child with patience, after all.

More life experience and wisdom

Something that would have freaked you out ten years ago wouldn’t quite have the same effect if it had happened ten years later instead. With more life experience and wisdom to draw upon, older mothers possess a well of knowledge that can help them navigate through motherhood more smoothly.

That said, motherhood still wouldn’t be without its challenges, but you’ll at least meet them with a more level head.

Older mothers live longer

Good news for older mothers: according to a study done on older mothers’ life expectancy, older moms who had their last child after 33 are likely to live to 95. The same findings apply to women who have babies after the age of 40. Hurrah!

While this doesn’t mean you should postpone having children just for the chance of maybe living longer, this is quite a reassuring tidbit to know. As many modern women know, the pressure of having to choose between starting a family or prioritising their career is a daunting one.

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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We all have deal breakers, essentially a list of traits that we won’t tolerate in a partner. But then there are some of us who take that list a bit too far, and end up with one that is a mile-long. Yikes!

Not only will this severely cut down on your chances of finding someone who might actually be right for you, you will scare off potential candidates as well. Honestly, who would want to deal with someone who seems so demanding and disagreeable?

For a better dating life, here’s a list of things that shouldn’t matter when you like someone:

  1. Their looks. So the person you like doesn’t look like a movie star. Ask yourself, “Does this really matter in the long run?” No matter how you look at it, it doesn’t. Looks fade with time, and if you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone, it might as well be with someone whose company you enjoy. At the end of the day, you’re dating a person, personality and everything, not their face.
  2. Their body. Do you really need a beau with a six-pack? One can definitely see the appeal, but if you’re going to forgo someone just because they’re a bit chubby and don’t have a six-pack, you’re not going to have a good time.
  3. Their height. It’s perfectly normal to have a height preference, but their lack of (or excess of) height shouldn’t be a deal breaker. The man of your dreams might just be an inch shorter than you’d expect, or Mrs. Right might just be slightly taller than you. Don’t dismiss chemistry just because of their height.
  4. Their sense of style. Find their sense of style embarrassing? Some people just prefer to dress comfortably rather than to blow it all on clothes, and… Let’s just agree that all these superficial things don’t matter at the end of the day, okay? (Besides, if things start getting serious, you can always buy them something they’d look good in… Or throw away their ratty old polo shirt when they’re not looking. You didn’t hear this from me.)
  5. Race. If the only factor that is holding you back from being with someone is their race, then you’re missing out. There is nothing wrong with interracial relationships. If anything, it can be an opportunity to learn something new by sharing each other’s cultures. FACT: It is because of this quality that interracial couples tend to be more open-minded, mindful and have greater depth of views of people in society.
  6. How much money they make. Money would be nice, but just because your beau doesn’t make as much money as so-and-so, doesn’t mean they can’t make you happy. A life of luxury isn’t going to make you happy if you’re married to a douchebag.
  7. If they still live with their parents. A lot of millennials are still living with their parents. Unless they’re making absolutely no effort to save money and are just leeching off the latter, this shouldn’t be a problem. It just goes to show that they are being fiscally responsible. There isn’t anything wrong with saving for a better future now, is there?
  8. What your friends and family think. Who is dating that person, you or your parents? You are. While it would be great if your friends and family love your new beau, it is your opinion that matters the most in this situation. Now, unless they start expressing concern that the person you’re seeing might be abusive, you needn’t pay attention to what they have to say.  
  9. If they’re well-traveled. Not everyone gets the opportunity to travel abroad, and think of it this way, this is a chance for you to explore the world together. The thought of which makes it even more exciting, doesn’t it?
  10. If they’re awkward. Some degree of awkwardness is part of the parcel of the initial stages of dating. And if they’re just naturally awkward, well… It’s just part of their charm, isn’t it? Nobody is perfect, and you aren’t either. Lighten up a little.
Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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Online dating- that’s where desperate people who can’t get a date to save their own lives go to, right? Home of the socially awkward, creepy and the weird. Wrong. Online dating is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to find love, so it’s well about time to shake that outdated thinking!

With millions of online daters across the globe, online dating really isn’t all that bizarre. It’s part of the modern, digital age and honestly a great way to meet new people.

So if you think you’d like to give it a try, take a look at this list for a better dating experience.

Make sure you’re ready

This might not be immediately obvious, so it needs to be said. Before you venture into the world of online dating, make sure that you’re ready for it. Whether you’re looking for a genuine relationship or have just left one, be open to meeting someone new. All of your emotional baggage from past relationships ought to be where they belong- in the past. Your potential love interest will thank you for it.

Take the time to write your own profile

This is a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how this gets messed up a lot. I’ll make it clear right here: the best way to attract like-minded, worthwhile people is by writing a decent profile. List out your interests, sound positive (bombarding everyone with a list of pet peeves and curse words will drive them away) and keep your profile as brief as possible. In an era of social media, it’s best to keep it short to grab attention.

Tip: Avoid describing your personality as this can be very subjective. Exp: You might think you’re funny, but other people might not.

Read other people’s profiles

Another no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many skip this step, especially when it comes to image-focused apps like Tinder. Certainly, it might feel troublesome to take a few seconds to read someone’s profile, but you’re saving yourself a lot of time in the long run! Just think of the number of time-wasters you’re filtering by just doing this. And really, you might just miss a great match by simply swiping left without reading that sacred biography.

Put photos of yourself

That’s “photos”. Plural. One photograph isn’t enough to determine what someone really looks like, and honestly speaking, it can look suspicious if you only have one picture. Be prepared to provide a good selection of photos, preferably those where you’re looking your best and doing what you love- and please make sure that they’re not from 30 wrinkles, years or kilograms ago. You don’t want to oversell yourself.

Be open-minded

Ditch that wish list of yours and be open-minded. It’s not wrong to have a set of traits you’re looking for and absolutely will not compromise on, but be reasonable. Shave that list from 15 to maybe 3, and you might just have a better dating experience. Who knows, the man or woman of your dreams might be an inch shorter than your expectations, or they might live just a kilometer away from your preferred distance. Cast a wider net- you could discover a preference that you hadn’t thought of if you had stuck to your old list.

Stay safe

Don’t lull yourself into a false sense of security just because you’re sitting behind a screen. This is the internet, and just like the real world, there are weirdos out there. Think very carefully before giving out personal details like your phone number or address to total strangers. And never, ever accept a ride from them; you’d be leaving yourself at the mercy of a total stranger.

Meet quickly

While it might seem like a good idea to chat for ages before finally meeting, this can lead to having unrealistic fantasies about your match. And when you finally do meet, you may end up disappointed, or find that the chemistry isn’t there. Exchanging a few messages before deciding on whether to go on a date is enough; there’s no need to drag things out for weeks or worse, months on end.

Don’t fall in lust with a photo

It’s easy to fall in lust love with a photo, but remember that while it would be great to have a good-looking partner, looks is something that should be placed in the “would be nice” category, instead of the “absolute must”. At the end of the day, the one you’re going to date is a person, not a photograph.

Don’t expect too much

Bear in mind that the person you’re meeting is a stranger, and that they’re human too. So forgive the little mistakes they might make during the first date (it’s only natural to be nervous!), or the fact they might have a pimple or two or that they might have a bit of a tummy. In the case of the last two points, we all put our best face forward when it comes to profile photos, and your date might not be having the best day when you meet.

That said, if your date is 20 years older in real life or looks nothing like their photo, run.

Don’t lose motivation

It’s easy to fall in the trap of losing hope in online dating, but just like other forms of dating, it takes up a lot of time, money and energy. So be patient. It’s exceedingly rare to meet the perfect match within the first few, let alone first try, which is why it’s best to approach the matter with a level head. Get to know the person in front of you, and if it doesn’t work out, take it as a learning experience and move on to the next. You’ll meet your Mr. or Mrs. Right soon enough.

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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