Paperclipping: The Dating Trend That’s Worse Than Ghosting


Every day now, a new dating trend is emerging. There was gaslighting, breadcrumbing, ghosting, love bombing, and now… paperclipping. Yes, I know, it sounds like something that would be work related. The name comes from the pesky, annoying Microsoft Office Assistant, Clippy, that would pop up out of nowhere when using Word. 

The name ‘Paperclipping’ was coined by Metro, after they saw the illustration below created by Brooklyn-artist Samantha Rothenberg. 


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A post shared by Samantha Rothenberg (@violetclair) on

After seeing that illustration for myself, I couldn’t agree more with Metro’s name choice. But, what is paperclipping? 

What Is Paperclipping?

Paperclipping is when someone you used to date, who you haven’t talked to in a while, randomly contacts you for no reason. It’s almost like ghosting, expect the person actually contacts you back after a long time. They will likely ask some generic question like, how are you? or what are you up to?

Initially you may be asking yourself, Why are they texting me? Do they still like, or love me? What should I do? However, it’s not worth it to spend hours pondering these questions and your answers to them. 

There’s no definitive answer as to why someone may be paperclipping you. The only thing I can say is that they’re likely not trying to be rude or mean. They probably just want to get a response back from you. Yet, I’m sure most of you would rather the person just continue to ghost, so you can just forget about them altogether.

What To Do If You’ve Been Paperclipped

You have two choices when it comes to confronting a paperclipper.

  • Option 1: Respond back to their message asking why they are messaging you out of the blue. 
  • Option 2: Completely ignore the message and move on with your life. 

Now, it’s entirely up to you which option you choose. If the person that messaged you is someone you had a deep connection with, you may feel inclined to message them. If the person is someone you only went on one date with, there’s no need to reply back. 

So next time you get a random text from an ex, remind yourself about paperclipping and what your options are. 

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Corinne Evans
Avid blogger, go-to maid of honor, self-proclaimed fashionista, and not-so-secret watcher of reality television.

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