What Is 'Roaching' And How To Recognize It

Here we go again. There's another dating term that's going to make you either flip your desk or grab your stomach as your gag reflex kicks in — maybe even both. It's time to learn about "roaching." And, yes, the term is derived from cockroaches and their behavior, having been coined by AskMen.

The theory behind it is that even though you only see one cockroach, there are still others that you can't see (via HealthShots). In other words, you may think your current partner is sleeping with just you, but nope! Instead, they're roaching you.

So, while you may have thought you were in a monogamous relationship, the fact is that you actually weren't. Well, you were, but your partner wasn't. And to make matters worse, you usually discover this when you attempt to talk about the status of your relationship and the roach reveals that you're, in fact, not the only one they've been seeing (via Marie Claire UK). Then they'll come up with some line like, "Oh, I thought this was casual," while your brain tries to understand how six months together is casual. Just like all the other negative dating trends out there, roaching sucks.

How to know you're being roached

At first, it might not be obvious that you're being roached. Especially if things are going really well. "Love is blind" may be the old adage, but the reality is, scientifically and figuratively speaking, love does blind us. According to the BBC, a study by University College London found that when feelings of love were present, activity in the parts of the brain that control critical thought was suppressed. Without the ability to think critically, realizing that you're being roached won't be easy. You'll need to really hone in on the signs.

"You can tell if you're being roached if you feel like the person is not really available or present for you, and [is] very private about certain details," OkCupid dating coach Damona Hoffman tells New York Post. According to Hoffman, a roacher will keep their phone away from you whenever possible. "[They won't] keep it connected to their car or [will] have their notifications turned off so there's no chance you'll see them pop up on the screen."

Although this might sound like being in a relationship with a person who simply likes to keep part of their life private, there should come a point in a monogamous relationship when there should be no more attempts to keep things hidden. Relationships should progress to include more sharing and disclosing, and less keeping their phone in a place you can't find it.

What to do if you realize you're being roached

Well, first ask yourself what you want. Are you cool with being one of many or do you want commitment in a relationship that involves just two people? In the past several years, polyamory, also known as ethical non-monogamy, has been on the rise (via NPR). This way of thinking and viewing relationships — polyamory literally means "many loves" in Latin — could explain why someone who's roaching you doesn't see their behavior as something that is necessarily bad.

Finding out you've been roached can make you feel hurt and humiliated, and the trust you had in your partner may be out the window. However, if you and your roacher can find yourselves on the same page in regard to a relationship that works for both of you, whether that be monogamy or ethical non-monogamy, there may be room to forgive and trust again.

But if the roacher either can't or doesn't want to be on the same page as you and give you the relationship you desire, then let them go. There are still honest people in this world and it's better to go for the decent and honest ones, than to settle for someone who can only give you a fraction of what you want and deserve.