Dan Taft

Did You Just Swipe Right on a “Roach”?

Here's how to defend yourself from the disturbing online hookup trend known only as "Roaching"...

Did You Just Swipe Right on a “Roach”?

You know how the story goes… You smash that Tinder button on your home screen, swipe left a few times, then right, and YES! It’s a match! Some flirty text messages are exchanged, and you’re surprised to find you’re really connecting with this guy or gal. You set up a time for a video call to get to know each other a little better, and, when that goes surprisingly well, you set up an actual real live date!

Question is, are you the only one your new love interest is doing this with, or are you more like one out of ten? You might wanna take a seat, a deep breath, and a number.

We all know dating is tough. Sometimes a first date goes swimmingly, other times it sinks like a stone. But, if you’re lucky enough to find some real chemistry, you might start seeing each other on a more regular basis. Problem is, you might not be the only one they’re seeing.

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Background Checks Could Protect You

Finding out you’re in a non-exclusive relationship you didn’t sign up for is no fun at all. Finding out this phenomenon is so common it has earned itself an official nickname… that ain’t exactly making it better.

If thinking about this possibility makes your skin crawl, you’re not alone. In fact, dating and relationship experts have coined a creepy term just for it: "Roaching". But in this case, you can’t just call an exterminator to fix the problem… but you can execute a background check!

PeopleWhiz is one such background check provider, and what’s cool about their service is you can find secret, hidden social media profiles and accounts, photos, and more highly sensitive personal info that may expose a dating “roach” before you fall prey to their creepy ways.

Shining the Light on These Cockroaches

The thing about roaches is they hide, and they multiply. Exponentially. If a little screech of horror just escaped you, you’re not alone. Roaching got it’s creepy crawly name based on these countless online daters keeping multiple, secret sexual partners.

Susan Trombetti, founder and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, was quoted as saying: "Roaching is a dating term that refers to someone that is sleeping around with many." So if it comes to light that your new Prince or Princess Charming has a sidepiece, well… they may actually have sidepieces, plural.

As Trombetti puts it, the term Roaching “comes from the ickiness of seeing one of these nasty little bugs but knowing when you turn the lights on, there are lots of them." Time to run that background check!

Here Are the Biggest Red Flags

Aside from running background checks on everyone you date (which, honestly, isn’t the worst idea), there are some other methods to utilize to safeguard yourself from being roached. Your new love interest avoids serious talks? Red flag. But that ain’t the only one. Here’s a brief breakdown of some behaviors that should set off your roach alarm bells:

  • They cancel plans: The dating world’s Roaches love two things: multiple secret partners and plan queues. What are “plan queues” you might ask? Short answer: Roaches might make plans with you, but really, they’re just waiting to see if better plans come along. Better plans with another one of their roach victims…
  • They avoid “The Talk”: You want to know where this relationship is going. They want to do everything in their power to keep you in the dark. Red flag! If they have no interest in discussing exclusivity, you might have a roach problem on your hands. Could they fall for you over time? Sure. But how much time are we talkin’ here? Don’t get stuck in the Roach Zone; get some Raid!
  • You’ve been siloed: Is your Prince/Princess Charming keeping you at arm’s length? Where’s their friends? Or their parents? Hello, Carrie and Big from Sex & The City anyone? If you feel like you’ve been siloed off, guess what… you have! Your Roach might really like you, but they might really like their other 15 secret lovers as well!
  • They wanna “keep it casual”: To be fair, this is the most minor offense. A misdemeanor at worst, if you will. At least your Roach is being upfront about it here! That said, relationships don’t stall without a reason. In the Roach’s case, this reason might be all the other secret little roaches they’re roachin’ around with. Time to fog the apartment!

The Exterminator’s Plan of Action

Remember that deep breath we suggested you take up top? Well, go ahead and take another, because getting roached is not an uncommon experience. Really, it’s okay… you’re gonna be okay. Heck, you don’t even need to dump your roach! If you two haven’t sat down and had “the talk” to define the relationship, then they’re not necessarily deceiving you at all.

As our favorite dating world CEO Susan Trombetti puts it: "In the beginning of a relationship, daters always run the risk of being roached. There is this gray period where it's too new to be exclusive and your new love interest may be seeing others. It's almost to be expected."

In the early days of the relationship, this is standard practice. Six to eight weeks in? Not so much. If you’re in search of something serious, it might be time to move on. On the other hand, if you’re keeping your roach around, it’s important to have an open discussion around sexual health and history. When Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science, Logan Ury was asked about this topic, he said "If either of you is sleeping with someone else, the other one deserves to know. That's especially true with COVID thrown in as an additional complicating factor."

Even if you’re not yet exclusive, it’s still important to be transparent about expectations and relationship goals. According to Ury, "Even if you're not concerned with putting a label on it yet, it's important to talk early on about where you are and where you're headed. If someone doesn't take you seriously as a potential partner, and that's what you're looking for, wouldn't you rather know that sooner than later?"

If you’re concerned you might be getting roached, you might want to take some time to self reflect about what you truly want, and set boundaries around what you deserve. As Ury puts it, "In order to make the right choice for yourself, you need the right information. And that starts with having a real conversation about what's going on."

At the end of the day, you’re gonna kiss a few roaches on your way to Mr. or Ms. Right. In those first days of dating a new partner, it’s damn near inevitable. Best advice we can give: play it smart, safe, and always run a background check on any partner you might suspect is a roach!

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