Benching: Emotional Manipulation To Hold A Person’s Interest

Benching: emotional manipulation to hold a person's interest

Social media has changed our relationship with others. Love at first sight is measured through the number of hearts we get on Instagram. A “like” from the right person on Facebook can save our whole day.  And concepts like “ghosting” and “benching” have now become part of our vocabulary.

But these new concepts are about habits that are extremely cowardly.

In a technology-dependent society, it is not surprising that many romances begin online. After a few messages back and forth, the next logical step is to drink a coffee or a beer together. Thus begins the modern story of love (or a broken heart.)

It seems simple, but often these situations become quite complicated. Maybe one person is no longer interested after a few dates. But they can not figure out how to say it. Sometimes embarrassment and selfishness lead to “ghosting”: the person disappears without explanation.

Ghosting is about one person not responding to messages or calls anymore. They block the person from their social media for no reason. The victim does not know what is happening and feels upset, angry and suspicious.

What is benching?

Like ghosting , benching is a way to get out of a relationship without actually saying it to the other person. The main difference is that benching involves keeping in touch with the other person for a period of time in order to use him / her.

Woman exercising benching

This concept comes from the term “being put on the bench” (as in sports). The concept is simple: You show interest in a person you do not want to have anything serious with, so you can use them as a backup.

Maybe it’s because there’s someone else you actually like, or because you do not want to be tied to anyone. In fact, benchmarking is becoming increasingly commonplace.

Living in insecurity all the time can actually be exciting and fun in the beginning. Not knowing what will happen, or whether the other person is really interested, gives butterflies in the stomach.

But it can also be quite stressful for the person who has been “put on the bench.”  Selfishness is not good for anyone.

How do you know it’s about benching?
They have several days to respond

It is true enough that when we like someone, we sometimes wait a while to respond. We do not want to ruin the magic. Nor do we want the other person to think we are too accessible. So it is normal to wait a bit while replying to a message that a particular person sent one.

What is not normal is to wait days or weeks to respond. If the person you are dating behaves this way, you need to take care of yourself.

Because if they really like one, they will not wait very long. Unless something has actually happened, they will not want to wait because they are afraid of losing interest.

They flatter you, but then ignore you

They will probably try to flatter a lot, both physically and emotionally. The other person says that one is special, unique, attractive and different. One’s self-esteem improves, but they do it for their own sake. They want to be needed and unable to live without them.

At the same time, they ignore one when they feel like it. It creates ambiguity that makes one feel lost and confused. At this point, victims of benching often become quite dependent on the other person.

Couples practice benching

They provide ambiguous answers to difficult questions

Perhaps you have already asked them several times how they think the relationship is developing. But they do not really want to talk about it. 

In fact, they avoid everything that has to do with the subject. They keep flattering, but they will not talk honestly about their feelings.

Their only intention is to keep one in a waiting position, to see if anything better emerges. They do not care what you feel or the harm they inflict on you.

Instead, their biggest concern is their own well-being. They are afraid of being alone. They are afraid of not having anyone to inflate their ego. Their fears make it impossible for them to see the bigger perspective.

Loving oneself protects against benching

In any relationship, it is important to set some boundaries for what one is willing to put oneself in. If the relationship has been clear and honest from the beginning, benching may not be the right term to use to describe the above events.

There are couples who decide to have an open relationship from the beginning. In the long run, some of them find that this arrangement does not work for them. They end up with more pain and suffering than benefits.

If so, then you are not a victim of benching. Then it is only about lack of communication with the other person. Entering into a relationship that one does not actually want is one’s own problem, not someone else’s.

If, on the other hand, you feel cheated, or if someone withholds information from you, then you need to be vigilant. One must love oneself enough to know that it is better to be alone than to be in bad company.

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