Picture this: it’s Saturday afternoon, and you’re sitting opposite your Hinge date sipping an oat milk flat white at one of Melb’s hottest cafes.
It’s going well. The convo is fire and the spark is there.
Time to cut to the chase – or as director of relationship science at Hinge Logan Ury refers to it, time to hardball your date.
“Hardballing is a new dating term that means someone is being clear about their expectations of a relationship, whether you want a serious long-term partnership or a casual fling,” she said.
“A lot of what hardballing is is being upfront about what you want, and then asking the other person what they want, and hoping that you want the same thing… when two people actually say what they need to say it’s so much more powerful than making assumptions.”
Putting it simply, hardballing can take the BS out of dating and create a healthier dating culture where games, ghosting and gaslighting have stressed out previous generations.
“Hardballing could also help you avoid situationships — undefined romantic relationships that can cause a lot of anxiety and uncertainty between partners — because it encourages you to be direct about what you’re looking for,” Ury explains.
“The best way to avoid a situationship is to be clear and honest from the beginning about what you’re looking for. You don’t want to be six months into dating someone only to find out you’re not on the same page.”
So what kind of questions are Gen Zs asking?
First off, they’re taking the time to reflect on what they really want out of dating – and what they want in return.
Then, they’re communicating that by asking their dates what they’re looking for out of the exchange – whether that’s something casual or a little more serious.
But perhaps most importantly, it’s done with respect and tact.
“It’s not a demand that they want the same things you do… it’s [more] about how you present yourself and how you present the question.”
Sounds like the dating trend we’ve all been waiting for.