The Mating Grounds

10 Signs You’re Being Benched in Dating & How to Handle It

Are you tired of experiencing the hot-and-cold behavior of your potential partner? Do you find yourself questioning their intentions, whether they actually like you or if you’re just an option?

If you’re constantly feeling uncertain and confused about where you stand with them, then there’s a chance that you’ve been benched. In this article, we’ll tackle what benching is, how to recognize signs of it, and most importantly, how to handle being benched.

What is benching? To put it simply, benching is when someone strings you along by keeping you on the sidelines, all the while entertaining the idea of potentially dating you.

Think of it like being a substitute player – you’re there if they ever need you, but you’re not their first choice. The term bread-crumbing is also sometimes used interchangeably with benching.

It’s called that way because they throw you little “breadcrumbs” of attention every now and then, keeping you invested but never really committing to anything. How does benching happen?

Benching typically happens through digital communication, such as texting and social media. Online dating has made it even easier for people to have multiple options, leading to benching behavior.

They might have other people they’re talking to or seeing, which leads them to keep you on the back burner. With seemingly endless choices, they may just be indecisive or afraid of missing out on something better.

Whatever the reason, it’s a frustrating experience that leaves you feeling used and unimportant.

Signs of being benched

Here are some common red flags that you’re being benched:

1. They’re hot and cold

One day, they’re super interested in you, sending flirty and affectionate messages.

The next, they’re completely MIA, not even responding to your texts. The inconsistency can make you question whether they’re really interested in you or if you’re just an afterthought.

2. You see minimal effort

While you’re putting in the time and effort to communicate with them and set up dates, they seem to be putting in the bare minimum.

This could mean barely responding to texts or taking forever to make plans with you. If someone is making you feel like you’re always the one putting in the effort, and they’re not reciprocating, it’s a sign that they’re not as invested as you are.

3. All talk, no action

They may make big promises to hang out or go on a date, but somehow it never seems to happen.

They might be full of excuses, saying they’re busy or that something came up, leaving you feeling disappointed and let down. 4.

You can’t get through

Even though they’re always online or active on social media, they’re not responding to your messages. You might even see them commenting on someone else’s posts or stories.

This inconsistency in communication indicates that they’re not prioritizing your relationship. 5.

You’re being blanked online

This is similar to the previous point, but instead of not responding, they’re not even acknowledging your existence online. They’re not liking your posts or responding to your online presence.

This could mean they’re not interested in getting to know you or that they’re simply distracted by other options. 6.

The classic excuse

They constantly use the “I’m busy” or “I have a lot going on” as excuses for not seeing you. While it’s possible that they really are busy, it’s also a classic benching tactic to avoid committing to anything.

7. It’s all a magician’s act

They might send flirty texts and act interested in you, but then they disappear without a trace.

You’re left feeling confused and unsure of what’s happening. If they’re playing these mind games, it’s a good sign that they’re not serious about a relationship with you.

8. Test it for yourself

Sometimes, the best way to confirm whether someone is really benching you is to invite them on a casual coffee date.

If they’re hesitant or noncommittal, it’s a sign that they’re not truly interested in getting to know you. 9.

The flirtatious chemistry is gone

You may have started off with a lot of flirty banter and chemistry, but now your conversations are more platonic. They might see you as a friend or they’ve simply lost interest.

10. They’re full of it

They’re always making excuses for why they can’t hang out or see you.

They might say they’re busy, but their actions speak louder than their words. They’re not making an effort to prioritize your relationship.

How to handle being benched

First of all, recognize that being benched is not your fault. It’s common in the dating world, and it’s not a reflection of your worth as a person.

However, it’s important to set boundaries and not tolerate behavior that makes you feel undervalued. 1.

Communicate your needs

If you’re feeling neglected or like you’re always the one putting in the effort, let them know how you feel. Be clear about your expectations and what you need from the relationship.

2. Walk away

If they’re not willing to meet your needs or make an effort, it might be time to walk away.

Don’t waste your time and energy on someone who’s not invested in you. 3.

Test the waters

As mentioned earlier, a coffee date can confirm whether they’re really interested in getting to know you. Take this as an opportunity to see if there’s potential for something more.

4. Focus on yourself

While it’s important to find a partner who respects and values you, it’s equally important to prioritize your own happiness.

Take the time to do things you enjoy and surround yourself with people who uplift you. 5.

Don’t settle for less

Never allow someone to make you feel like you’re not good enough. You deserve someone who’s fully invested in you and willing to make an effort to build a meaningful relationship.


Being benched can be frustrating, but it’s not an uncommon experience in the modern dating world. Recognizing the signs and setting boundaries is key to handling this behavior.

Remember, you deserve someone who’s fully invested in you and willing to build a healthy and meaningful relationship. Don’t settle for less, and focus on your own happiness.

In conclusion, benching is a common dating behavior that can leave you feeling uncertain and undervalued. Those experiencing benching should be aware of the signs, including hot-and-cold behavior and minimal effort.

Additionally, it’s important to communicate your needs and set boundaries to ensure that your partner is investing in the relationship. While it is not always easy to handle being benched, focusing on personal happiness and not settling for less will ultimately lead to a healthier and more fulfilling relationship.

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