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Heart Dissection

Your guide to nuanced dating today

Modern love is a minefield. Charlie Teasdale helps you navigate it with his glossary to dating in the age of social media.


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charlie teasdale

BURO. dating guru


From constructing outfits to deconstructing DMs, few things are more burdensome for modern singles than stressing about the minutiae of dating. Meet Charlie Teasdale. BURO. columnist, Esquire style director and our source of sage advice. He’s had his fair share of real-life and Hinge-assisted connections, and is a bona fide authority on all things style-wise. Let us help make you click.

This time; dissecting dating terms.


In the world of social media, orbiting is what comes after ghosting. You had a thing, then the thing ended and direct contact stopped, but the person still looks at all your snaps and stories. I actually think this term is more of an indictment of society than the astronaut (as, if I get my way, orbiters will henceforth be known) in question.

They probably aren’t looking at your posts in particular; they’re just scrolling like a sloth through the endless reams of endorphin jerking content the apps supply. They saw your stuff because it was there and they still follow you. “But why do they still follow me?” you might ask. Because there’s nothing more heinous and needlessly petulant than unfollowing someone. In today’s dystopia, all your exes live forever in your phone and because we’re British and polite there’s nothing you can do about it.


See above (You know it makes sense…)

(Ariana) Grande-ing

This one is actually quite good. The gist is that you look on past loves and lovers simply as stops on life’s great journey. Stops that, in hindsight, actually benefitted you. Yes, even the one where he broke up with you over a McMuffin at Fleet Services was good for you in the grand scheme of the journey (if not that actual journey back from what turned out to be a terrible weekend in the New Forest).

Note that the #goodvibes should only flow one way. That’s to say: don’t apologise, only absolve. Forgiveness is righteous, but calling up someone you dumped to reiterate the dumping with a smug apology is not what that person needs. (They might appreciate a McMuffin though, because who wouldn’t?)


This is just plain douchey. Rather than ghosting someone like any rational, conscientious person would do, breadcrumbers sprinkle little bits of hope at random to keep the relationship in withered stasis. A DM here, an ‘Are you up?’ text there, but no actual conversation. Just crumbs. It’s casual gaslighting; you’re like ‘gasbuddies’, if you will. But even gasbuddies can’t live on crumbs alone: you need some actual bread. Get back out there and find someone who will walk to the bakery every morning to pick up baguettes and a croissant and some of that weird French jam that you think is fancy but is definitely stocked in Londis.



I haven’t seen the movie. What can I say? I don’t like dread or strangely prescient children. But the idea is the people who are in love can be metaphorically blindfolded (as Sandra Bullock’s character in 2018’s Netflix thriller, Birdbox is – so I’m told) as to how rotten their partner is. We all know someone who’s significant other is a plum. (If no one springs to mind, then unfortunately the plum is you. As yourself: are you a plum? You’ll thank me in the long run.)

Of course, it’s never good to tell someone the person they snog is uncool and/or not hot; they won’t like you saying it and they probably won’t like you either for a long time after you have. What you have to do is conjure a way for your pal to see the plum for themselves. Yes, it’s childish and long-winded and potentially damaging to lifelong friendships, but it could make for a fun project. Ha…ha?


Translation: the act of curating a post so that it appeals directly to the object of your desire. Know he likes a certain restaurant? Post some shots of you eating there. Know she’s into a particular wine? Live-tweet as you buy the vineyard. You know the drill.

I think Instagrandstanding shows real initiative and should be celebrated as an act of seizing dominion over social media and bending it to your will. Depending on how things play out, you might find yourself on iffy legal ground in terms of entrapment, but it worked for Catherine Zeta Jones and Sean Connery (kind of) in the 1999 movie of the same name, so I why wouldn’t it work for you?


“She’s so fun and hot but she lives in New Malden.” Mad to think that people give up on what might be the love of their life because they might have to take a train that isn’t the Tube or the Overground to see them. But that’s Londoners for you: cutthroat and lazy. Conversely, Geo-dumpers will also avoid people that live too close for fear of bumping into former lovers on the commute or at Morley’s at 2:46am. That would be bleak.

Rather like Earth’s own miraculous long-distance relationship with the sun, it would seem romantic life only begins in London when celestial postcodes align. Ideally within zones one-to-three and with a maximum of two Tube changes.        

Charlie is style director of Esquire Magazine


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