There’s nothing straightforward about dating these days. No longer do all love stories have the same boy-meets-girl-and-sparks-fly narrative. Even locking eyes across the bar is happening less frequently. So much of our love lives are now conducted online, which has given rise to all sorts of weird and infuriating trends. These include ghosting, breadcrumbing and a new, equally annoying one: Paperclipping.
Gone, But Not Forgotten
What is paperclipping, exactly? It’s not unlike breadcrumbing: It’s when someone ghosts you and then, after days, weeks or months, you get a casual ‘hey, what’s up?’ message from them. Sound familiar? Of course, it does. Because pretty much anyone who has done any dating over the last few years has probably experienced this at least once. Maybe more. It’s rough out there, guys.
But where did the term come from? It was coined by Instagram artist Samantha Rothenberg, who is clearly as irritated by the millennial dating scene as we are. She compares people who disappear and reappear to Clippy, the digital assistant from Microsoft Office from back in the D. The comparison is genius because he would also pop up at random, whether you wanted him to or not.
This illustration has had over 16 000 likes and over 400 comments, mostly from women who find the post relatable. So, just in case you thought it was just you, know that there are at least 400 other people out there who know the struggle. But definitely more.
Popping up unsolicited to offer greetings just so that you remember their existence is the hallmark of a paperclipper. And if you take the bait and decide to join in the convo, rest assured they will probably disappear for another few months. This is one modus operandi we’ve got no time for.
Have you ever been paperclipped? Tweet us @CosmopolitanSA using #COSMOSex to let us know.
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