(Original story published on August 22, 2016, on Mode.)
Fear and uncertainty hover around every text, like, and emoji in the millennial dating scene as hopeful Tinder-ellas and -fellas put their selfies on the line to find a permanent Netflix-binging partner. They risk being the victim of catfishing and ghosting, and they’re frequently on the receiving end of an unsolicited eggplant pic or two. And now, the latest phenomenon: benching. This is the act of keeping someone on the sidelines in a dating roster—not in play but there just in case.