Orbiting: The New Dating Trend Impacting Relationships

A new dating trend called “orbiting” is on the rise, affecting not only romantic relationships but also friendships and family dynamics. The term, coined by journalist Anna Lovine in 2018, refers to the act of staying connected on social media while avoiding direct communication in real life.

With over 262,000 followers on TikTok and more than 100,000 on Instagram, Benjamin Camras, known online as the “flirting coach,” describes orbiting as a situation where an ex-partner or romantic interest remains connected through social media but does not engage in direct interaction.

The phenomenon involves actions such as not responding to messages but occasionally liking posts or reacting to photos and videos. This can lead the recipient to misinterpret the signals as a rekindling of interest when it may just be a casual interaction.

Psychologist Sol Buscio classifies orbiting as a form of ghosting, where someone is present yet absent, creating a sense of uncertainty and fantasy. This behavior can have detrimental effects on both the person orbiting and the recipient, triggering feelings of anxiety and depression.

To escape orbiting, Buscio suggests recognizing what is real and concrete in relationships. She emphasizes the importance of clear communication and taking responsibility for one’s actions to avoid causing harm to others.

The reasons behind orbiting can vary, with ego gratification and lack of consideration for the other person cited as common factors. Taking accountability for one’s decisions and intentions is crucial in preventing orbiting and maintaining healthy relationships.

Understanding the impact of orbiting on individuals’ mental health and well-being is essential in navigating modern dating dynamics and fostering genuine connections. By recognizing the signs of orbiting and prioritizing clear communication and respect, individuals can avoid falling into the trap of emotional manipulation and uncertainty.