Ghosting, Caspering, Grandeing, and now Houseplanting?! Listen, we might as well stop bitching about how there are way too many dating trends and terminologies to keep up with and just embrace it. We’re millennials and Gen Z’s: we simultaneously love and hate labels, that’s how it is. At least you’re not the one who has to write about it! Think about me, THINK ABOUT ME!!!
But for real guys this shit legit happens in our dating lives every damn day, and it’s kind of nice to be able to put a label on what the eff is happening ’cause lord knows I sit in my room overthinking literally everything. So, when a new trend/term comes out, it’s like a warm hug from the universe letting me know that it’s not just me and this happens to literally everyone.
Now onto the term: houseplanting.
Where did houseplanting come from?
The term was started by hella popular Instagram illustrator Samantha Rothenberg when she posted this to her feed:
It basically went viral with people realizing how relatable this situation is. It can’t really be described as totally being ghosted, but it’s a dating phenomenon that is spreading, and spreading HARD.
So, what does houseplanting mean?
You know when you’re out grocery shopping and you decide to try becoming a plant mom and buy an orchid because it was on sale? And then you excitedly get home and decide this is the one!! You know, the one you’re going to make grow and bloom and give it all the love, water, sunlight and attention it needs? But then as the weeks go on you slowly start neglecting it? Yeah, well, it’s that but doing it to people who have real feelings and emotions (so a thousand times shittier).
Psychologist and author of Dating from the Inside Out, Dr. Paulette Sherman, describes it as “neglecting the person that you are dating and not giving them nurturance and attention so the relationship can grow.” She continues to say that “relationships do require effort and work so if it’s just a jump in the hay you want, you won’t need to water and care for it! A plant is higher maintenance,” just like a serious relationship. “It’s why singles often joke that they will give a potential date a plant or ‘love fern’ to see if they are ready for a long-term relationship,” she says. “If the plant dies, so will the relationship.”
What does this mean then in the grand scheme of dating?
Well, it just means be aware of it.
If someone gives you attention one week or day but that attention seems infrequent and only happens at their convenience then you’re probably being houseplanted.
Call the person out, let them know you’re not interested in this situationship they’ve created that seems to only satisfy one person’s needs (theirs). Or, if the relationship hasn’t been deemed exclusive, then simply play the field as well! Don’t put all your eggs in one basket since they clearly aren’t either!
Remember to always ask for what you need and ask for what you want. If they’re not willing to give that to you, make like a plant and leave! Because unlike an actual houseplant, you don’t have roots! Plus, have you seen the cuties on Clover? Just sayin’.