Dating is more tedious now than it has ever been. With trends such as stealthing and ghosting on the rise, it’s enough to make you want to give it up altogether. Wait, it gets worse. Not only do you have to worry about deceitfulness in the bedroom or never hearing from the person you thought it was going well with, but now there’s a new trend you should be worrying about: roaching.
“Roaching”, a term originated by Askmen, describes the phenomenon of someone not being honest about the fact that they are seeing multiple people. The term gets its name from the theory that if you see one roach, there are plenty more that you don’t see. While the act itself is not new, it now can be labeled and help bring awareness to the dating world.
First of all, let’s be fair. If you are single, you SHOULD be dating multiple people. After all, the point of dating is to test your options and date around until you discover what you like and don’t like in a partner until you eventually find someone for you. The problem occurs when you’ve found someone for you but that someone also has someone (or a few someones).
Thanks to social media and a multitude of dating apps, singles now have countless potential partners at their fingertips; the options are endless. This could partly explain the rise of infidelity in relationships and sexual promiscuity because there will now always be the notion that the grass may be greener on the other side. With so many options, it’s no wonder that people have multiple partners.
But who does roaching impact?
Sadly, there’s an unspoken idea that whoever cares the least in a relationship holds the most power. As your feelings develop more and more for a person you also run the risk of becoming more attached and consequently more vulnerable. When you start to feel like you care more than the other person, it may not necessarily mean that you are clingy or needy, but that person may care less simply because you are not the only one. You will never have all of their attention and affection.
How do you protect yourself from roaching?
Many people, particularly men, operate with the don’t-ask-don’t-tell mentality. As long as you don’t ask the essential dating/relationship questions, men won’t tell their intentions, which is perfectly fine. Men are naturally more shallow and inclined to explore their options sexually. It’s literally in our DNA. We are hunters by nature and we will sleep with a woman at the drop of a dime and not think twice. This brings me to my next point and should help answer the question mentioned above.
Roaching really becomes an issue when sex is involved. Ladies, it is your responsibility to ensure that you know what you are getting into before having sex with a man. Unless you are only looking for casual hookups it is your responsibility to have the define-the-relationship (DTR) conversation. Before having sex, you are the one who should be asking, “What are your intentions? Where is this going?” Sure, you run the risk of coming off too emotional or attached, you should be. Sex for women should not be taken lightly; it’s more of an emotional experience for women whereas it’s primarily just physical for men. Never assume that the act of having sex automatically means you are in a relationship. This is a surefire way to get your heart broken when you eventually hear those tragic words “I never knew we were exclusive!”
Of course a man could lie and be sleeping around anyway but that’s something you cannot control and it speaks to the man’s lack of character. Getting played is a risk that comes with dating, and when it comes to protecting yourself, you need to be a superb judge of character. Of course the most practical solution for roaching is for the Roach to be open and communicate that they are dating or sleeping with multiple people but you can’t expect this type of integrity from people nowadays. Having the DTR conversation is your best chance to protect yourself from roaching. This goes both ways, because women can be Roaches too.
Heartbreak is a natural part of the dating process. You cannot expect to get through life without getting played or used at some point of time, that is naive. People are more deceitful now than they have ever been and it’s difficult navigating a dating world where people have such low morals. As you date around, be aware that whoever you are seeing may be dating around as well. Protect yourself from roaching by communicating effectively and establishing boundaries and trust with your partner. Good luck out there!