One of the many mundane signs that you’ve reached adult transcendence is when you find yourself asking, “What on earth does that mean now?” Sure, the agreeable consensus is that new phrases keep popping up and they’re so hard to keep up with! But lots of these new “hip” lexicon additions have, unfortunately, been around for a while now — and that person who keeps dipping and then coming back to you has a label now! In case you’re wondering, “What is paperclipping?” We got you!

What’s Paperclipping and How Do I Know if They’re Doing That?

It’s not you, it’s…a whole glossary of reasons why they won’t commit in general — and, no, it’s still not you. Because about 75% of Gen Zs are single. However, that doesn’t mean that people (regardless of age, gender, or generation) won’t find ways to get their affection fix.

We think it’s agreeable when we say that it’s the golden age of technology. Therefore, many are relishing the internet’s convenience and easy access — at the cost of potential authentic connection. So much so, that building a digital relationship is preferred these days. But a person’s internet presence can be established as much as it can be wiped out. That’s when paperclipping comes in — think ghosting but a haunting that’s recurring!

The internet’s definition of paperclipping is someone who will be romantically or intimately present for a while but will bail on you without warning. They will then come back when it’s convenient for them to do so — because they (more often than not) need that ego boost once again. They need to feel wanted by someone — yet again. The cycle will go on until one of you gives up.

Is Anyone Still Willing to Date? Hook Up? Or Get Married?

There probably won’t ever be a surefire way to zero in on a demographic in terms of their willingness to commit. Because the short answer is: it depends on the person — not their age, generation, and not even their upbringing! However, statistically, Millennials do prefer settling down later in life (compared to the generations before them). As for Gen Zs, their generation hasn’t “peaked” yet so little research has been conducted regarding them — and many of these statistics are conflicting.

How to Deal With a Paperclipping Love Interest

We’re all taught to love unconditionally. But when it’s at the detriment of our (very own and well-deserving) self-respect and self-love, it’s probably best to walk away from that kind of situation. If you think you can muster up the courage to ask what really is going on between you and your significant other, you can do that — there’s usually nothing wrong with wanting to know where you stand in a relationship. It’s for your own good anyway!

While no other person — besides you — can determine how much time and attention you should allot to someone else, what matters is how much more of the love you give is still left for yourself and the non-paperclipping people around you — like family and close friends.

To Review…

We’re not Miley Cyrus. Even if we can actually afford to buy ourselves flowers, it’s still adorable when someone does it for us — but these days, relationships aren’t getting any easier to define. Especially when you have gaslighting, ghosting, and paperclipping types of “situationships” to worry about. If you find yourself asking “What is paperclipping and are they doing that to me?” then you should probably think about your next step — if you’re willing to stay in that kind of intimacy or if you should be the one walking away — permanently!

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