Dating can be hard. It takes work and effort and time—not to mention trust. But when you meet someone great, it can be worthwhile. Though many of us will work up to the “exclusive or not exclusive?” talk, this often happens slowly. And while we always try to be honest with our partners, the favor isn’t always returned. This can be seen in the dating trend called “roaching,” a term coined by AskMen.
Roaching occurs when a new partner hides the fact that they’re dating around. And when they’re confronted about it, they respond that there was no implication of monogamy to begin with. The thing is, there’s nothing explicitly wrong with dating around. But it’s when there’s a veil of dishonesty that things can get tricky (not to mention disrespectful).
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The name “roaching” comes from the idea that when you see one cockroach, there are many more you don’t see. So while you were seeing this person, they were also hiding a bunch of other crushes, lovers, matches, and dates. In other words: OUCH.
While you never had the exclusive talk, you still never had the “I’m dating other people talk” talk either, which is why roaching isn’t okay. It’s not what they were doing as much as how they were doing it. The person doing the roaching doesn’t take responsibility for their actions, saying something like “we never talked about being exclusive,” or “I had no idea, I assumed we weren’t serious,” affectively gaslighting you when they were never honest about their intentions.
The worst part about this trend is that it could be solved so easily. With some communication, a good conversation, and honesty, we could avoid this whole mess. If you want to see other people, that’s totally cool. Just let your partner know instead of hiding your intentions. That way, no one will get hurt.