Most often, the prospects of a relationship with a person are evident after a few first dates. However, there are situations when relationships get stuck in one phase. The partner doesn't seem to ignore you, but the connection between you is not developing either. This phenomenon, like everything that happens between people today, has its definition — benchmarking.
What's benching in dating, and does it mean a person is mistreating you? We will examine this concept in more detail and find out how to behave to avoid this standstill on the way to a serious relationship.
Definition of benching in a relationship
The term came from virtual communication and means to literally "send someone to the bench of reserved" as in professional sport. Yes, the meaning is not the most pleasant. For someone, such actions are harmful and offensive. This manipulation has always existed, yet people have recently named it in a new way. The term itself appeared a long time ago but started to be actively used at any ladies dating site. If you are a web user who browses dating services, you are most likely part of the benchmarking. You do not communicate with one person, but with several at once, liking others more, preferring others less, but you still hold them at your imaginary bench. You keep an eye on several options, perhaps as most of the web users do.
What is the benched definition in real life? Of course, you can run across this phenomenon in the real-life as well. Undoubtedly, many girls and guys faced a situation when they like someone, and this is mutual, but two people are in no hurry to develop a relationship. They smile to each other, say beautiful things, but continue communicating with a few other "backup options" at this time not to lose sight of a more exciting candidate.
Is benching good or bad? It is difficult to answer this question, but it is, was and will be. After all, people are such creatures who always try to have a fallback in relationships, so that in the end they will not be left alone if someone is not better.
Reasons why people sometimes bench each other
Both men and women can apply this practice intentionally or subconsciously to their partners. It doesn't mean they are aggressive manipulators wanting to hurt your feelings. Many people do not even suspect they bench others. We further investigate what is benching in dating through the reasons for such behavior.
Some people want to get a "full package": their partner immediately possesses all conceivable advantages, even though all these beautiful qualities often contradict each other. This person will date several people at once and choose the one candidate closest to the image they have in their head. After some time, it turns out that the new passion also did not live up to expectations, but to a much greater extent.
Fear of loneliness
Another reason for benching in dating is the unwillingness of a person to deal with their insecurities and child traumas on their own. They desire someone to always be near them, be able to listen, hug, help in something, or keep the company in the cinema. It does not depend on gender. Such people always have someone who would brighten up the routine of life. However, they often do not realize that their partner considers such interaction as a relationship.
Being not ready for more
People may not fully part with you but still do not proceed further because they are afraid of a serious relationship. A bencher can sincerely love their partner and wish to be with them, but it is difficult for them to endure emotional closeness. They have an avoiding type of attachment. "Avoiding" people look self-sufficient, independent, and in every possible way, reject attempts to get closer. This person feels comfortable when they adjust the degree of proximity and can move away at any time.
This mode is suitable for the person
A bencher knows that someone has a crush on them, that there is one person who is always waiting for them, no matter what. Therefore, the return to their “reserved option” when they feel bored and generally do not hope for more. Like a father’s house, this person is their quiet haven. Until the thirst for adventure again calls them somewhere, they stay with you but then leave again.
Unstable life situation
Even though the benching dating term is applied to a situation when the person intentionally doesn’t move further in a relationship because they need time for consideration, the life circumstances do not always depend on us. Moving to another country, a promotion at work, or entering a university mean a person doesn’t know where they will be tomorrow.
Another point in the list
Toxic people collect the sympathies of others like trophies. Some benchers will date you for a few days to add another tick to their list because this maintains their high ego and hides insecurities. Of course, a mentally healthy person would never act this way.
A person truly needs more time to think
Maybe it is your behavior that pushes away the person? Try to look for the root of benching dating in yourself. Does your mood change dozens of times a day, and deeds do not always coincide with words? This will surely scare a person, and they may hold back on you. A bencher will date others but surely come back if you change. What does benching mean? Now that you know the answer, examine your behavior.
How to avoid benching before it appears
The first thing to understand is that virtual relationships are not real. Do not fall in love with the interlocutor, no matter how romantic they are, do not hope for a continuation of the relationship. What does benching a girl mean in online dating? If, after 2-3 days of correspondence, you are not invited to a date, you have been sent to the reserved stock. You should never put yourself in a position when other people think they can use you. Write back rarely and do not reveal personal details. Love yourself. This is the most important rule. Always love yourself more than your partner. People who value themselves are not looking for someone to perform this role and compensate for their lack of confidence. Be a self- sufficient person, capable of self-development, have hobbies besides work and study—the chances of benching decrease when you begin to transform and become the best version of yourself. Do not be a "backup option," be the best option possible so that no other variant will be needed.
Of course, if we are talking about benchmarking in reality, pay attention to its signs, which we describe below. Have the confidence and enough love for yourself to leave your head held high if you notice that the person doesn't treat you the way you wish. Raise a conversation about it and see how the person explains their actions — if you believe their words, this is on your responsibility.
Ways to recognize benching in a relationship
Now let’s talk about how to recognize if you’re benched. There are many signs:
No naming your relationship in any way
When meeting friends, your partner does not say: "This is my boyfriend/girlfriend," but simply represents you by name. And to the question of what's between you, they answer like this: "I feel good with you, what else do you need?" This is a normal answer for the first two weeks of a relationship. If this tendency continues while the person constantly keeps contact with a few other single people — you can be sure that you are another one of the several options.
No long-term plans
For example, you invite them to your birthday, which will take place in a month, and in response, you hear: "I will see, if everything is ok I will try to make it to your celebration." You may think that this person is spontaneous or doesn’t build plans in a future perspective at all. But do not lie to yourself. Ask the partner what will they do in a few years, whom they dream to become, or what career achievements they wish to reach. If their answer about this is clear, then they are benching you because their life project doesn’t even include you.
Flirting with others
The evident sign of a benching relationship is not paying attention to your jealousy. When the partner continues to flirt with others, they look for more possible candidates. Reading their conversations or guessing the phone password (why would they even conceal it from you?) is not even needed — everything is evident.
Meeting friends without you
You have fun separately, and the partner is ready to spend time with you only in private. Of course, their friends know about all their love affairs but they do not have to follow the development of all the relationships at once. A bencher doesn’t want their friends to let loose and call you by another name or confuse the personal details you have once told them.
They are an ex-cheater
Of course, you know that there are no ex-cheaters. If they left another person for you, they would do another thing for the second time. Your antidote to such a scenario is to follow their circle of communication. When you notice that they are absent for long and party with people you barely know, there is no sense in jealousy. Just leave before they leave you for someone they met on yesterday’s party.
Long conversations on the web
Of course, do not forget about the "relationship" on the Internet. If you have not seen in reality, the interlocutor is in no hurry to go on a real date. They are 100% benchmarking you. Most people who use dating apps prefer them for broader possibilities and less strict moral connotations. You can flirt with as many people as you wish and then choose the best possible option, this is normal.
Acting like a daffodil
Some benchers are actually just daffodils. They have no intention of building a relationship, but they will keep them because they love attention. Daffodils have a manipulative, playful style of love. Their self-esteem increases when they hold the attention of several potential partners. You never know who the bencher will turn out to be: a guy who wants a relationship but can't decide yet, or a daffodil who just collects fans without the intention of moving on to something more.
You determine for yourself what are the limits of your "to be benched" meaning
Follow the way you treat others and trace manipulations you would not tolerate in a relationship with you. You must be attentive to others and be aware that benchmarking harms a person. You can hide behind good motives: a desire to preserve a partner's feelings or an attempt not to rush. At the heart of this behavior is your selfishness. Be frank. The partner will certainly appreciate this and understand that now is not the right time to enter into a relationship with you.
For you not to get benched, keep a balance in life. When work, friends, family, and self-improvement fil your life with meaning, this is the best guarantee that you will not allow toxic relationships. If the balance is shaken, you run the risk of getting hung up on a potential partner.