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Image / Self / Relationships

Pink flags and hesidating are the latest relationship buzzwords calling for a more considered approach to modern love


By Sarah Gill
08th Sep 2023
Pink flags and hesidating are the latest relationship buzzwords calling for a more considered approach to modern love

From gaslighting and ghosting to breadcrumbing and love bombing, the dating lexicon is evolving on the daily.

In 1983, Pat Benatar sang Love is a Battlefield, and almost 40 years later, the course is still laced with landmines.

Since the last lockdown came to an end, singletons have been dipping their toes into the dating pool of a whole new world, complete with a whole lot of new jargon.

The latest additions to the dating dictionary come in the form of hesidating and pink flags, both of which relate to the uncertainties we feel at the outset of a new relationship.

Allowing us to give ourselves a moment of self-reflection, this new terminology calls for a slower start to ensure a long lasting relationship. So, what the hell do they actually mean?

Pink flags

In the early days of a potential new relationship, every word said and gesture made are primed and ready for overanalysis. While we’re all too familiar with the dreaded red flag, aptly named pink flags are their less problematic counterpart.

While red flags are an unmistakable indicator that you should cut and run from a potential love interest, pink flags are much more subtle warning signs that have the capacity to become much more saturated over time, suffusing with colour until they take on that well-known cautionary hue.

Examples of pink flags include a lack of physicality, closeness with an ex, or very varied lifestyles. Was that vaguely sexist joke harmless, or a sign of underlying misogyny? Is he being cagey about his phone because he’s hiding something, or is he just not all that bothered with being online?

Not necessarily deal breakers, the extent to which these pink flags may impact a future relationship is up to you to gauge. Providing us with a welcome chance to sit back and assess whether a seemingly benign issue might swell into something more sinister overtime, spotting a pink flag early could allow for much more open communication from the jump.

No one expects perfection from their other half, and finding love involves a degree of compromise and acceptance of flaws on both sides. Feeling out your boundaries and allowing for give and take, analysing pink flags is essential before you can truly settle into the honeymoon phase.

Hesidating

Yet another hangover from the pandemic, a vast majority of the single population either feel indifferent about dating, or don’t know what they want from a relationship in the first place.

Aptly titled ‘hesidating’ by dating site Plenty of Fish, the term reflects universal feelings of uncertainty. From isolation to social distancing, physical and emotional closeness has become difficult to achieve, which has made dating feel utterly overwhelming.

Resident dating expert at Plenty of Fish, Kate MacLean, told InStyle that 70% of singles are unsure about their relationship status and whether they want something serious or more casual.

In a world where everything seems up in the air, commitment can seem like a tall order.

Whether you are the hesidator or the hesidatee, open and honest conversation is key to understanding your own personal needs, and the intentions of a potential partner.

Taking slow steps into a relationship with mindful caution is key for self-preservation. Allowing for greater levels of intimacy early on, a slow burn is better than a flash in the pan.

This article was originally published in May 2022.