Seniors try to decode millennial dating slang

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - I recently saw something online saying "cuffing season" is around the corner. I had no idea what it meant. It apparently has something to do with dating and is one of the terms some young people use nowadays to talk about their relationships.

Let’s face it. Dating isn’t what it used to be. “When I was a junior in high school, I had to be home at 9 o’clock,” Dell Segler told me. “I was late one time and mama was sitting on the front porch waiting for me. She came and jerked me out of the car cause I rode home with Tommy Payne. Tommy Payne never came back to my house again.” We both laughed.

Times have changed. When it comes to dating and relationships for millennials, they speak a different language. When I asked Bill Shouse if he knew the meaning of “bread crumbing,” he smiled and said, “It’s news to me Jerry.”

Some of us who have been around a while have no idea what they’re talking about. When asked about the meaning of “ghosting,” Dell Segler responded, “I don’t know what that is. And it may be for good reason. Maylyn Harris said with a laugh, “They don’t want their parents to know.”

Young people are using terms like ghosting. “Sneaking up on somebody and going Boo,” Maylyn said. What about cuffing season? “I have no idea what that means,” Bill said. Hoyt Harris had no idea what “love bombing” is all about but added, “I’ve bombed out a couple of times.” Haven’t we all?

Hoyt and Marlyn Harris dated about two years before saying I do. “66 years in February,” Hoyt said. “We married on groundhog day. I got him while he had his neck out,” Marlyn added with a laugh.

The folks I talked with at Brookdale at Jones Farm in Huntsville had never heard of “cuffing season.” But when I told them it was like cuddling. “I know what cuddling means,” Hoyt said proudly. When asked if he and his wife had done that before, “A little bit. A little bit, yeah,” he said laughing.

Bill asked, “Any kin to smooching? I grew up with smooching!” Cuffing season was his smooching season. “I guess so,” he said with a big smile.

Some of the other terms millennials are using include “love bombing” which is going above and beyond to catch the one you want. “Oh, stalking ‘em I guess,” Marlyn added. And then there’s “stashing.” “I would assume that would mean you are hiding something,” Bill Said. And that would be a pretty good guess. Stashing is when an unmarried person is in a relationship but they’re keeping it hidden for whatever reason. And here’s another one for you, bread crumbing. That’s where you lead a person on.

The way we describe our relationships may change from generation to generation but things like cuddling stay the same. “Well, I didn’t do much of that until I got grown, out on my own,” Dell said laughing. “And mama didn’t know it.”

As the dating game changes with apps and online sites, so will the way we talk about dating and love. The words may be different but the language of love is still the same.