Skip to content
‘Hardballing’ is the first dating trend we’ve heard lately that doesn’t suck

Singles have been under a lot of strain over the past few years: First they were ghosted, then they were mainstream. (With mosting, your romantic interest takes center stage, more or less convincing you that you’re The One, then ghost you.)

Some have been submerged. Unlike a Ghost, a Submariner will reappear months later, “much like an old-time sailor who set out, dove under the sea and then returned triumphant from his mission,” as Metro described him.

Others have been put into orbit. Orbiter is no longer making meaningful contact, but they are watching your every Instagram story.

Sure, all of these dating terms sound a bit silly, but they capture an underlying reality of modern dating: Millennials and Gen Z have a certain ineptitude when it comes to making their intentions known, is why the situations are now extremely common. But finally, there’s a newly coined dating term that actually sounds positive for the singles among us: hardballing.

As defined by Logan Ury, director of relationship science at Hinge, “Hardballing is a new dating term that means someone is clear about their expectations of a relationship, whether you want a serious, long-term partnership or a casual adventure.”

Some have called it “going out like a CEO”. It’s your love life; why not decide what you expect and want from the experience? But if you don’t like cute dating terms, you can just call it dating with intention.

“When I’m dating someone, even if it’s as simple as ‘I’m just looking for sex’ or ‘I want someone to go on fun dates’, I like to know what the someone else wants.”

– Katie Ussery, spiritual practitioner in Chicago

Kimmy Seltzer, a Los Angeles-based dating strategist and host of the “Charisma Quotient” podcast, said she’s seen more and more clients take this attitude. She sees it as a backlash to all of the aforementioned no-commitment dating models.

“I call it the ‘pendulum effect,'” she told HuffPost. “We were seeing a lot of transactional dating patterns — things like breadcrumbs and ghosting — but one trend can become too much.”

Now the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction: No-nonsense, no surprises, transparent dating. Dating wisely and with an eye to the prize, Seltzer said.

“People are looking for and demanding more security, especially
during a time of uncertainty that the pandemic brings,” she explained. “So in essence, I think hardballing is a way to recalibrate what singles had grown accustomed to: the ghost era.”

“I really believe that COVID has highlighted what it’s like to be truly alone and has taken all the distractions out of dating,” said Julia Bekker, matchmaker and dating coach.

Danielle Kepler, a therapist in Chicago, thinks the pandemic might also have something to do with more serious dating.

“The pandemic has taught us all that life is short and if you know what you’re looking for in a partner, why not say so outright so you can move on if the other person doesn’t line up on your list” without compromise”.

Julia Bekker, matchmaker and dating coach, agrees.

“I really believe that COVID has highlighted what it’s like to be truly alone and has taken all the distractions out of dating,” she said. “When all options and socializing with friends are taken out of the equation, people are forced to really sit down with themselves and begin to value connection more, eventually developing a deeper desire for love and of company.”

The trend coincides with the rise of “slow dating”. As The New York Times noted in an article last summer, people are dating far more wisely these days, either out of concern for their health and safety or because they genuinely want to build a bond. with stickiness.

In a survey published in 2021, 63% of users said they spent more time getting to know potential partners than before. Match users also said they were more honest with people (69%), focused less on physical attractiveness (61% Gen Z, 49% Gen Y), and considered a wider range of people as potential partners (59%).

‘Hardballing’ is the first dating trend we’ve heard lately that doesn’t suck

Tim Scott via Getty Images

Since the pandemic, dating coaches say singles are dating with more discernment and an eye for prize.

The dating style may have a new name, but it’s not really new.

“Hardballing” may be the shiny new dating term, but obviously there’s nothing new about dating with intention. DeMarcus George, an account executive in New York who is single, said he was always upfront about his dating goals when he met women he was interested in.

“It saved me a lot of headaches,” he told HuffPost. “If a woman doesn’t want what I’m looking for or vice versa, we move on.”

Katie Ussery, a spiritual practitioner in Chicago, approaches her whole life this way, not just in dating.

“I make everyone in my life hardball,” she told HuffPost. “I want to know what people expect of me and I want them to know the same ― friends, partners and even in a work environment.”

She continued: “When I go out with someone, even if it’s as simple as ‘I’m just looking for sex’ or ‘I want someone to go on fun dates’, I like to know what the other person wants before I over- or under-invest myself.

The advantages, according to Ussery? Little or no confusion. And for the most part, people appreciate honesty. Even when the dates don’t respond too kindly to Ussery’s frankness ― or when they express very contrasting intentions ― the approach works in his favor.

“I might see negative responses as an inconvenience, but on the contrary, poor responses or responses that don’t match my own expectations actually help me dodge undesirable situations and people, which is always positive to my eyes,” she said.

‘Hardballing’ is the first dating trend we’ve heard lately that doesn’t suck

Willie B. Thomas via Getty Images

A hardballer with the most game will find a way to indicate what he is looking for romantically in his online dating profile.

Here’s how to play hardball with finesse.

We know what you’re thinking: how do you play hardball without appearing aggressive or overconfident in the other person’s best interests? It can be helpful to save the tactic for later on your first date, says Samantha Burns, millennial dating coach and author of “Done with Dating” and “Breaking up and Bouncing Back.”

“I think hardballing can feel too rigid when done before a first date, where there’s no time to really find out about a potential partner and understand their point of view and what he’s willing to compromise,” she said.

A hardballer with the most game will find a way to indicate what he’s looking for romantically in his online dating profile, Burns said.

“Taking the time to create a thoughtful profile and fill out all the information is an essential first step that can provide some of the same perspective shared at a hardball convo,” she said.

As for how to broach the subject with a potential partner, aim for a casual and playful approach, Bekker said.

“I recommend asking a few questions casually and playfully that will expose some of the answers you’re looking for,” she said. “Just make sure it doesn’t look like an interview.”

This means you don’t ask questions like, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” You want to ask just enough to give you the information you need to determine if you even want to see this person again, Bekker said.

“Say something like, ‘So how has your single life treated you?
Are you done yet or are you still having fun? Even a simple “How long have you been on Hinge?” can lead to an informative response.

Eventually, you’ll want to disclose your dating or personal goals, says Bekker, who recommends saying “something like, ‘I’ve had my fair share of dating, I’m ready for something real’ to get into the conversation.”

Also discuss your non-negotiables, Kepler said.

“If one of your non-negotiables wants to move to the West Coast in a few years, you can say, ‘Being an only child, my parents are a very important part of my life. It’s one of my goals to move to the west coast in three years to be closer to them. I am really looking for someone who would be willing to make this gesture.

Whatever tactic you adopt, don’t feel uncomfortable asserting yourself, Kepler said. You have free will and, naturally, certain requirements as to how you would like your life to unfold. Your date should too. Ideally, they are also hard from the start.

“Whether you choose to go hardball before, during, or after the first date, I wouldn’t be too long talking about your relationship goals,” Kepler said. “Otherwise, you might find yourself dating someone who ultimately isn’t aligned with what you want in a partner or your future.”

The Huffington Gt

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.