11 People Reveal Their Thoughts On The Modern Day Dating Ritual Known As ‘Benching’

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At any given time, many single people (as well as those in relationships) are texting multiple people over days or weeks. It all may seem very innocent, but it can actually be subtly sinister. When it comes to dating, there are always people who we are unsure of but that we are not ready to let go of – the ones who we put on the back burner but sporadically text with a ‘hey’ just to make sure we can still have them if we want them. 

Welcome to the twilight zone of textual limbo, where you have no idea when the next text will arrive, but you know it will at SOME point. That is called benching. So here are 11 people who will share their unfiltered views on benching:

1. 

“I am dating two guys. I started texting Bill and Steve around the same time and I have met with both of them. I had started to like Bill more so I saw him more so Steve was on the bench, but I would still send him a text every couple of days. Then, I decided I didn’t like Bill so Steve moved up – so Bill is on the bench now.”

–Bella, 32


2. 

“Sometimes you think you like one person more and you chill with them, and then the fascination fades. You always have to have another backup, otherwise it gets boring. I am ‘hanging out’ with only one girl but I am not completely sure about her – who ever is? So once in a while, I send a heyyy text to some other chicks – who are on the bench, lol – because you don’t want them to think you have forgotten them.”

–Jason, 28


3. 

“Basically benching is leading someone on and stringing them along for your unsure ride. We hate it done to us, but we all do it to others. It sucks to be ‘benched’ but we put people on the bench way too often. That’s reality.”

–Mark, 24


4. 

“I have been happily dating this guy for two months now, but I have a benchee, whom I have had for years. Whenever a relationship ends, he moves up on the bench – temporarily. I don’t ever want to date date him, but I am also not ready to kick him out of my bench as long as he is along for the ride. Wink.”

–Serena, 31


5. 

“A benchee always knows, they are a benchee. It seems cruel to do that to another person but deep down they know they are not the priority. Any moron knows that no one is THAT busy to not be able to text for several days at a time. If that is the case, you are the benchee and it’s your choice to stay that way. If I like a chick, I text her – it takes 10 seconds.”

–Brian, 30


6. 

“Would benching even be considered dating? But it seems like it has become the next big thing, it is a more horrible form of ghosting – at least with ghosting you let people go. Here you just drag them along.”

–Steve, 28


7. 

“Benching is about keeping your options open, in case your number one choice does not work out. In many dating scenarios, there is mutual benching. The couple may be benching each other. Have you been on a date where s/he says yes I am also dating three other people and I text them within similar time frames? No one wants to know that.”

–Brandon, 22


8. 

“It is a twisted power play, that we hate to be played with but we love to play with others. So are you a bencher or a benchee? Honestly, benching is just leading someone on without the actual intention of having something serious with them, at least not for right now – perhaps in the future without having to fully let go. If you wanted to date someone, you would; you would not put them on a bench.”

–Ben, 24


9. 

“It is like watching a movie and pushing pause every second for a number of days. Sometimes the pause lasts a long ass time. People bench to make themselves feel better too because if you connect once in a while you do not exactly come across as an asshole because you ‘kept in touch.’ But in reality, you are being an asshole.”

–Anna, 26


10. 

“It is taking time to test the waters. Seems logical but is very menacing to the other person. Honestly, no healthy relationship will ever result from benching because you are stringing people along and the only reason you choose to settle with your benchee is because you did not find anyone better.”

–Cody, 31


11. 

“In the end, have I benched people in the past? Yes. Have I been benched before? Of course. But as I have grown older, and hopefully smarter, I do not believe in benching. If I like someone, I make it known without the fear that they will run because if they do, they do. If I do not like someone, I make it clear so I can set them free. I do not like to put people on the bench and I do not want to be benched either.”

–Alyssa, 25 TC mark

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