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Written by Natasha Lawrence

You have ghosting, breadcrumbing, cat fishing, cuffing season…and on and on and on. We’d like to add one more term to your Urban Dictionary of Dating – A term many of you may know already, but one that was just learnt at TS HQ. Submarining: The act of when someone whom you’ve been romantic with, disappears (like ghosting), but then resurfaces with no apology or explanation of their disappearance. It’s like dating wasn’t hard enough.

I recently learned of submarining through a guy, Tom*, who claimed we were doing it to each other. You see, Tom and I went on 2 dates. There was mild interest on my part; the conversation was dull, but there was some underlying chemistry. After date number two, I filed him under “MISS” and moved on. A couple nights later, Tom messaged me, and being the polite Canadian I am, I responded. We texted late into the night, but once I fell asleep, I stopped replying. When I woke up in the morning, I simply didn’t feel like carrying on the conversation. Fast forward to drinks with friends a couple weeks later, when I drunk texted Tom. Amateur move on my part. Tom replied immediately, and then again, our conversation died off. The next time we texted a month or so later, it was Tom messaging to see what’s new. This continued, and honestly still continues today. It was soon after we developed our pattern of non-committal texting that Tom called our ‘relationship’ what it was: We were submarining each other.

After Tom brought the term to my attention, I thought about another relationship of mine that follows the pattern. This relationship is with a guy I met while traveling abroad. Yes, one of those cliche vacation romances. With no plans to return to Ian’s* home country, and with him not having plans to visit mine, we developed a texting relationship exactly like mine and Toms. We’d fall off the map, then spend a day or two of feverish texting, and then fall off again. Only, unlike Tom, Ian has yet to call us out on it, or give what we’re doing a name.

This whole act of submarining would normally make me feel icky, but what I don’t mind in both of these instances, is that both parties are doing it. It’s not one sided. I’m not being tortured by a boy who I hope will one day turn around and claim ‘he didn’t want a relationship then, but is ready for one now’. And, I feel like I haven’t been giving out any vibes that say that these relationships are more than what they are – conversations on lonely nights with someone who finds you attractive.


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