What Is Benching In Dating? (Signs & Meaning Explained)

What is benching and is it something to worry about whilst dating?

If you’re interested in someone but they’re constantly leading you on with texts, calls, or small morsels of interest. It can really take its toll on you emotionally and make you wonder what you’re doing wrong.

You try to plan dates with them and always make the first move. But they’re constantly dodging plans, and sending you mixed signals.

When you realize they’re not ready to commit and they constantly cancel plans at the last minute. Does this mean they are benching you?

So what is benching in dating?

What Is Benching In Dating?

Benching in dating is when you keep someone as a backup in rotation with other people you might be interested in whilst dating. Similar to keeping someone on the bench in sports. Benching is when you keep them as a possibility for a potential relationship while you actively play the field.

What Is Benching In Dating

What Does Benching Someone Mean?

When someone is benching you, this usually means they still want to play the field or play out their dating options before committing to an exclusive relationship with you. Otherwise known as breadcrumbing. They will still seem interested, send you messages, and do just enough to keep you benched.

The true meaning behind why someone decides to start benching someone else depends entirely on their own reasons for doing it.

They might have a lot of opportunities when it comes to dating and actively keep a list of potential people they can date including you. Also, they could be trying to keep you on the hook until something better comes along.

While benching is not always a bad thing, especially if it’s done in a healthy or transparent way during dating. It’s often seen in a negative light due to how it’s commonly used to start leading on another person.

What Is The Purpose Of Benching Someone?

The purpose of benching is to keep someone on the hook whilst dating as a possible plan B. It’s a way of leading someone on when dating, knowingly or unknowingly. With the intent of comparing them with other potential romantic interests or to trade them in for something better.

One of the main purposes behind benching someone, especially when dating is to keep your options open. You’re not ready to settle or commit, and want to test out multiple potential partners before deciding where to focus your attention.

In dating, benching or bench-warming is an increasingly common tactic used in today’s modern dating culture. Especially among those who look for love and relationships using dating apps.

Dating apps make it very easy to arrange multiple first dates with different people and compare multiple potential partners against each other.

This then leads to benching in dating. As some of the people, you have been on first dates with or shown an interest in will become benched, whilst you focus your attentions elsewhere.

How Do You Tell If You Are Being Benched?

When someone is benching you, it will feel like their behavior and the attention they give you gets confusing. They might disappear, come back as if nothing happened, or start bread-crumbing you and leading you on with messages and calls. You essentially feel second best, or a plan B in their life.

Signs Someone Is Benching You

  1. You feel like their attention is always elsewhere and you’re never sure where you stand with them.
  2. Their behavior is confusing and feels off. Your heart is telling you they’re leading you on.
  3. They ghost you or disappear for periods of time, then act as if nothing happened.
  4. They begin bread-crumbing you by sending semi-frequent texts and showing you mixed signals with small morsels of interest.
  5. They cancel dates at the last minute and find it hard to make time for you.
  6. They’ve told you they’re dating other people, and you’re one of the many people they’re interested in.

What To Do If Someone Is Benching You?

What should you do if you suspect someone of benching you?

While it can be pretty hard to know what to do if you think you’re being benched while dating. There are still a few things you can do to tackle the issue and avoid someone benching you in your dating life.

Here’s what to do if someone is benching you.

1. Identify What Is Happening

Look at your messages from them and consider what they really mean. Have you been texting or calling each other on and off with no real intention from them of meeting up?

If they offer you excuses, and it constantly feels like they’re leading you on while they play the field. There’s a good chance you’re being benched by them.

Consider what their behavior is telling you. If it’s confusing, and all the facts lead you to believe they’re sending you mixed signals. You need to confront the reality that they are likely benching you and you’re their plan B.

2. Confront The Issue

So now you know there’s a good possibility they are benching you. It’s time to confront the issue head-on and re-evaluate what this really means for you.

There are two ways to address the issue of them benching you.

  1. Be direct and move past general chit-chat or flirting. If you are genuinely interested in them, let them know and also ask them what their intentions really are. You need a solid answer and want to avoid them leading you on further.
  2. Call it quits, and stop responding to their texts or small morsels of attention. You’ve waited for them long enough to make up their mind about you. It’s time to move on.

When you are confronting someone who is benching you, it’s important to be confident and know what you really want.

3. Consider Your Feelings

If you suspect someone of benching you and it’s beginning to take its toll on your emotions. You need to re-evaluate your feelings and consider whether or not it’s worth continuing to pursue this person.

Your heart might be telling you that it’s worthwhile because you like them or want to date this person. But your head and your gut feeling are telling you that they might be leading you on.

So if all the signs are there that this person you are trying to date is benching you. You need to address and consider your feelings before committing emotionally to the situation.

The last thing you would want is to be pursuing this person and getting all the right signals back from them. Only to find out later they are now committing their attention and time to someone else.

4. Move On From Them

When you’ve tried everything you can to move things forward with them. If nothing works, and it still fully feels like they are benching you, or avoiding meeting up. It’s time to move on from them.

You can’t continue being benched by someone who is only willing to send you occasional texts, infrequent phone calls, and who leads you on without making any kind of arrangements.

It’s time to find someone who sends you all the right signals but is also willing to back this up with time and attention aimed towards you.

If you’re single, but suspect someone of benching you. If you’re not prepared to wait for them, you should move on and play the field.

How Do I Stop Being Benched?

To stop someone from benching you whilst dating. You need to be prepared to play the field and not focus too much of your time, energy, or attention on someone who’s just leading you on. You need to take control and notice the signs you’re being benched by someone who sees you as their plan B.

You effectively have to become more effective at spotting the mixed signals someone sends you when they are benching you.

When you notice the texts and calls never move past general chit-chat or flirting, and they avoid or make excuses not to meet up. This is usually a good indication it’s time to focus your attention elsewhere.

To stop yourself from being benched. You need to take control of the situation and be more confident in showing them what your time or affections are really worth.

How Do You Tell If A Guy Is Benching You?

When a guy is benching you. He will usually send you mixed signals and make you feel like you’re second best to something or someone else. It’ll feel great when you are together, but when you’re not it’ll be hard to communicate with him or arrange further dates.

While the signs a guy is benching a girl may differ greatly from guy to guy. They normally always follow a similar pattern which can be easy to stop if you know what you’re looking for.

Some of the ways to tell if a guy is benching you are:

  1. He will send you mixed signals constantly.
  2. He cancels plans or makes excuses at the last minute.
  3. He’s hard to get ahold of, and it feels like he’s ghosting you.
  4. He never fully commits when you invite him out.
  5. You always make the first move or text him first.
  6. He only wants to hang out if his friends can come.
  7. He dodges questions about other people he might be seeing.
  8. He never returns a compliment.
  9. You never feel like you have his full attention.
  10. Your friends keep telling you to move on.
  11. He leaves your texts on read and ignores your calls.
  12. You feel stressed by pursuing him constantly.
  13. Your gut is telling you there is something off about him.

When a guy you are trying to date is sending you mixed signals, or blowing hot and cold. There’s a good chance he could be putting you on the bench while he continues to play the field.

If you are seriously interested in him and want to continue to date. It’s important to be direct, confident, and let him know you want things to progress further.

He needs to commit to seeing you, spending time with you, and back up his words with action. Or you need to move on and find another guy who will.

Is Benching Worse Than Ghosting?

Benching can be worse than ghosting in many ways. Simply because when someone ghosts you they normally stop communicating, or texting you back. Whereas with benching or being benched. You are continually being lead on or given mixed signals by the person benching you.

So in a few ways, someone benching you is a lot crueler overall than someone ghosting you.

Being on someone’s bench prolongs the confusion or heartache you may feel whilst trying to pursue them. As opposed to someone ghosting you where they cut off all communication and stop replying to your texts or calls.

The indications someone is ghosting you are a lot easier to understand than someone benching you. Mainly because you are still engaged in active communication with the person who’s putting you on the bench.

Whilst benching you they will still give you just enough attention to keep you interested, even though they might not actually have any intention of being with you.

This makes benching in many situations, a lot worse than ghosting due to the way they are continually trying to lead you on.

Is Benching The Same As BreadCrumbing?

Benching and Breadcrumbing essentially mean the same thing in dating. In both instances, the person doing it will lead someone on with non-committal text messages and flirting to lure a potential partner. They will leave you ‘breadcrumbs’ or put you on the bench because they see you as a plan B.

The main difference between benching and breadcrumbing is that more often than not. The person who’s benching you will be actively engaged in dating other people.

Whereas with breadcrumbing, they might simply be leading you on but still have no intention to currently date other people.

Even though both dating terms can apply correctly in each scenario. Benching usually has a more negative reputation when compared to breadcrumbing. Simply because it’s more commonly associated with someone leading you on whilst seeing other people.

Whilst breadcrumbing is more likely a better-known dating term than benching. They can both apply in a situation when someone is leading you on with small morsels of interest, but never follow through.