Los Angeles dating coach Daliya Karnofsky has one client that is caught in a romantic trap. She has been dating a love interest for several months but has only seen him a handful of times. Sure, the two text all the time but he rebuffs her when she tries to get together with him with a “soon,” “I’m so busy,” or “I’m sick.”
Karnofsky reminds her client that you can’t get to truly know someone until you actually physically spend time together. The dating pro guesses this client’s love interest is likely “curving” her.
The dating trend of “curving” is the annoying distant cousin of “ghosting.” As Brittany Cox writes in Thought Catalog, “When someone “ghosts” you, they just suddenly stop responding with no explanation or goodbye. When someone “curves” you, they keep responding, but they bat away any questions regarding commitment or any attempts to define your relationship.” And forget about meeting up IRL.
“When someone ‘curves’ you, they keep responding, but they bat away any questions regarding commitment or any attempts to define your relationship.” And forget about meeting up IRL.”
Why do people curve? Like ghosting, curving is one cowardly way to avoid the break-up or I’m-not-interested-in-you talk. It’s also a way that daters can avoid their own feelings. Karnofsky says we have all been guilty of stringing someone along because we have thought, well, this person would be good for me and I should go out with them again.
But, in the end, we don’t make the time for them because our feelings aren’t that strong. “It can come from wanting to be nice and not knowing that it’s actually nicer to be honest to that person,” Karnofsky says. “It’s definitely a real thing.” Worse, it can come from a desire to keep someone warm—knowing you always have the option to meet up, if nothing better comes along.
The dating trend has likely been going on for centuries but it’s just now been christened with a buzzword (add to it to the list of other dating terms like zombieing, benching, and bread crumbing). Karnofsky agrees. “There’s no doubt in my mind that in the 80s, 70s, 60s ghosting [and things like curving] also happened… People love to say that with technology it’s so easy to move on and forget about a person, but without technology I bet it was even easier.”
She acknowledges that it doesn’t make dating any less tedious that we now have the language to describe these behaviors, but at end of the day, she says, dating is hard—no matter the era or location. “It’s a numbers game.”
If you’re the one being curved dating psychologist Madeleine Mason has a helpful—albeit harsh—tactic. She told The Independent:
“The person who keeps texting and accepting poor quality responses is at fault.” She advises to have a zero tolerance policy towards anyone who isn’t communicative and as psyched about you as you are about them, and be direct if you want the relationship to go deeper.
In other words, rather than texting back-and-forth forever and ever—save the curving for a bike ride.