These days, people coin terms for almost everything. In fact, it has gotten to the point where this is important, if you want to effectively navigate the dating game in this modern era. Yes, you will need the dictionary invented by the millennial. If you were to go back in the past, you would see other dating terms such as ghosting, stashing and kitten fishing. However, if you really think that is all there is, you should rethink it because of the new dating term known as roaching. Yes, you should be aware of this as long as you are in the dating world.
Roaching was introduced in the dating arena and used early in the relationship once you met a new partner. This phenomenon occurs when the other person in the dating relationship decides to be secretive, hiding the fact that he or she is dating or sleeping around elsewhere. More importantly, when the person has been confronted about this, the response is that they were never in a committed relationship with you to start with. Let's make it clear that dating around is not wrong, but there has to be an understanding of this between the two people involved. When the other person is hiding this fact, then it becomes a problem. It starts to look disrespectful and dishonest.
It can be quite a task to date, especially when you have been off the dating scene for a while or you are looking for something serious. Dating takes effort, trust, work and time. All the effort that you put into dating will pay off when you get to meet an individual that you consider to be great for you. Usually after meeting for a few dates, the talk of exclusivity will come up, even if it is slowly. Sometimes, you have to be bold about bringing up the topic so that neither you nor the other person will waste all that time and effort for nothing. Although, you might be honest about your feelings toward this person, the other person might be holding back information necessary to help you understand the kind of connection you both have for each other. In this case, the other person is using the roaching technique to have multiple partners at the same time without care for anyone's feelings.
What is in the name? Well, roaching was initiated from the name 'cockroach.' It is the idea that when you see a cockroach, then there are many more cockroaches that are not seen. Therefore, while you are dating or hooking up with someone, they may be hiding a bunch of lovers, dates, crushes, hookups and matches that you do not know about. Let's just say Ouch! It is going to hurt, if you don't know what you are getting yourself into.
Most people start new relationships at some point in their lives, whether uncommitted or not. Before you get too deep into the relationship, you will always have one person bring up the proverbial topic to ask questions about whom, if any, the other dated in the past and if the other has been currently dating more than one person. In most cases, the person might be doing this, but not ready to apologize for it nor even admit it or just don't care and want to keep it covered up. Some will insist that there was no implication of commitment in the first place.
If you have never recognized a dating situation like this before, then after having a few dates, you will probably stumble upon it at sometime or the other. Soon enough, you will discover that the other person is just looking for a fling with multiple individuals instead of a relationship with one individual. Let's just say that if you thought that while casually dating someone, you and the person have become an item and then found out that person never had you on their radar, then you may have just been played the 'roach card.'
The reality of the name implies that once you stumble upon one cockroach, you can bet that there will be more cockroaches nearby, most of who are in hiding. That means the cockroach you are dating is already roaching with someone else and keeping the romantic fling a secret from you. So while you are thinking that you are number one, it is probably just you convincing yourself of something that is not a fact. The person is the only one that knows this. The other people involved in the roaching process doesn't yet know that they, too, are being played.
Even though you might not have had that important discussion with the guy or gal you are dating, there might come a time when you have to confront it. If you are the one doing the roaching, then you may have to tell the other person in an exclusive discussion that you are seeing other people. One thing that is certain and that is if you are actually seeing other people simultaneously or the person you are seeing is doing such, it is important to tell each other, especially if sex is involved. If the relationship is uncommitted, this is more reason not to hide these details of sleeping or dating around. In fact, it is not what the person is doing, but it is more how they are doing it. The 'roaching' person is not prepared to take responsibility for his or her action and so there will be no discussion of admission. In some cases, when confronted, the person may likely say, "I didn't know we were exclusive or I assumed that nothing was that serious between us." It is as if they are trying to 'gaslight' you, although, they know that there was never any honesty about their true intentions towards you.
Have you experienced roaching by anyone? You find an attractive or handsome person on a dating website. You like their dating profile and decided to contact the person to see what happens. You feel a connection after talking on the phone or email or even the chat room for a few weeks and then decide to plan a date. The first date went well and you end up going on several dates and the connection seems obvious between you two. You then start a courtship, but you still have misgivings as you both don't know each other and don't know exactly where you stand. But, you decide to just 'go with the flow' instead of asking too many questions and spoiling everything. You both text each other frequent, talk on the phone a lot, hook up and hang out a lot. You feel like you are falling in live for this person and so you want to know for sure that the person feels the same way. Does that sound like something you have experienced? One day you are having a conversation and it just slips that the other person is seeing another individual while seeing you. You come to find out either that the person is seeing an old flame, a new interest, or a casual hookup. Either way, it is not something that you expected. You are shocked! You are thrown for a loop. You are being roached by the other person.
Now, you are in a conversation that has to be addressed. You might show your surprise by asking when it happened. But, you may get an answer that you did not want to hear such as, "I was of the assumption that our relationship was just casual." That is when you begin to get nervous and your heart starts beating fast. Mentally, you quickly think about everything that you had experienced so far with this person and nothing in it spells 'casual,' at least to you. You try to understand if there were clues that you hadn't picked up on and how you could have had such a misunderstanding. You try to find things that could explain whether it was your fault or not for thinking otherwise. What on earth happened? That is called roaching for sure. You were just played.
This new dating trend is catching on as the behavior of the cockroach has been negated to the hurtful behavior of someone trying to get away with hiding their flirtatious actions. Like a cockroach, this kind of action is not only commonly typical, but also nasty. The individual you are seeing might want to blame you by saying something like this, "If you were interested in being exclusive, how would I know? You should have said something." Or the person might say, "I didn't have a clue you felt so deeply or serious because I thought it was all casual." The person might go on to indicate that he or she thought that the whole time, you were seeing other people too. Don't listen to this BS. The truth actually is that this person is roaching you and others. This person is using the loophole that exist with modern dating, which is used by a lot of people who are trying to sneak their way through dating several people, all at one time.
In some people's opinion, this is a kind of abuse that needs to be called out. It is intentional and devious. It is meant to get away with an action that would hurt the person discussed in the scenario above. But, you also have to take responsibility for not being forthright about defining your dating relationship prior to actually hooking up. In other words, there were no set rules in the beginning. And so, the other person, not having any boundaries, rules or guidelines just goes out and does whatever he or she wants. It is kind of like that cartoon character that runs off the cliff trying to defy gravity as long as he doesn't have to look all the way down. If those boundaries are not clearly and appropriately defined initially, then the responsibility shifts to the individual who is seeing multiple people at the same time. Why? There are two important reasons: the fact that you may be having sex and need to know how safe you are and also for common courtesy as a human being. For one, if someone is roaching you, it means that their actions are cutting into the time that they have to spend with you. It also means the person has to be spending money on more than one dates. The person is trying to keep everything in the dark so you don't find out. It has quite the equivalence to cheating. Nothing is a coincidence. Everything is thought out strategically and so a pattern will develop. If you are not paying attention to the pattern, it will pass you by.
Whether the person wants to consider that they are having a casual date with you or not, roaching is being deceptive for selfish reasons. You could use the term 'polyamorous' to explain roaching. In each case, there are multiple partners. The difference is that polyamorous is a lifestyle and roaching is misleading behavior. A Polyamorous lifestyle is one that is open and honest while roaching is the opposite. It is secretive and is covered up for as long as the person can hide it. Both of these do require good communication skills to handle the emotional baggage that will come along with it. However, in the case of roaching, the person doing the roaching will try everything to avoid the necessary communication. In fact, the culprit might create lies to get out of the discovery process when confronted.
To avoid being the victim of roaching, you should demand open communication and honesty during the dating process. You should watch for any signs of intentional cheating. You should not have any high expectations. You should set boundaries from the beginning and maintain those boundaries. If one or you want to see other individuals while dating, make it known initially. In so doing, no one will be hurt in the end.