Dating terms on social media continue to fascinate and irritate - though mostly the latter.
In the golden age of MSN and Bebo, it was all about LOLs and TTYLs; now, we find ourselves immersed in a sea of baes, WCWs and FMLs.
However, whether they’re used semi-ironically or not, nonsensical acronyms are the least of a word nerd’s worries: introducing “this one”.
Typically used by someone to refer to their boyfriend/girlfriend/not-so-secret lover on the ‘gram, “doing x with this one” is a caption favourite for those intricately filtered “candid” shots (think sunset strolls or avo toast in bed #couplegoals).
But, is ‘this one’ just another quippy expression for jargon-obsessed millennials and smug couples, or could there be a deeper meaning behind it?
According to celebrity dating coach and author James Preece, it could actually be a sign that your relationship is in hot water (and not the kind you can blur out with a Valencia filter).
When used sparingly “this one” could seem like any other term of endearment, he explains, because the user is simply drawing attention to the other person instead of themselves.
However, when the phrase is used frequently i.e. your last few posts have been plagued by “this one”, Preece explains it could be a sign that the user is trying to distance themselves from the relationship.
“If they were truly happy then they wouldn't have a problem referring to them as their boyfriend/girlfriend/partner etc,” he told The Independent.
In other words, it could be an indication that the Ben to your Jerry is afraid of commitment.
Although, such a meaning may depend on where you’re at in terms of your relationship, Preece adds.
“It could just be that it's in the early stages and they aren't sure where they stand,” he explains. “So to avoid any problems they keep things light to start with.”
Equally, it could also be a control tactic, he adds, so use with caution and don't be afraid to refer to the lover in your life by name, that is, if you know what it is.
“If they aren't ready to put a label on their relationship, they could be trying to control them by keeping them at arm's length.
“It's almost as if they are saying they aren't together, but nobody else had better come near.”
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