Calling all singletons — “hardballing” is the new dating trend you need to be aware of and it’s pretty savage.
Made popular by Generation Z, ie those aged 24 or younger, the term involves a lot of – potentially hurtful – truth telling and early dumpings.
Hardballing is when a single person is very clear about their expectations from a relationship upfront.
And, if your life plans don’t match theirs, then it’s an instant goodbye.
It could be someone with a strict timescale for marriage and kids, or alternatively someone making it VERY clear it’s just a casual fling.
Sexpert Jana Hocking, who at 36 is learning about this belatedly like us, wrote about the trend for news.com.au, admitting it made her feel equal parts “very old” and “scared to give it a go”.
“How do you hardball someone without scaring them off?” she pondered, before deciding you should hit your date with the hard facts in your very first conversation.
Jana adds: “They may tell you that they are just looking for something casual, or they may tell you they are actually looking for their special someone as well.
“It’s straight to the point and will help avoid any tricky ‘what are we’ confusion later down the track.
“And if a conversation like that does scare them off, well then clearly, they weren’t for you anyway. Count it as a blessing.”
Having entered the dating scene in the early noughties, when playing games was all the rage, Jana thinks hardballing in a welcome change.
She says of her New Years dating resolution: “I’m going to step outside of my comfort zone and give this dating trend a red hot crack, because it sure beats playing games and using other slightly toxic methods to snag a fella.
“These woke Gen Z’s are really upping the ante when it comes to healthy dating, and I am very much here for it! Time to leave the ‘games’ in the ’90s where they belong.”
Think it all sounds a bit scary? Well it doesn’t have to be.
She says: “Date several people at once in the beginning so that you are confident that this person offers you what you are looking for.
“Have options; don’t just zero in one person and project your wants on them.”
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.