Are You A Victim Of 'Penny Dating'? Our Matchmaker Breaks Down The Trend

Do your friends poke fun at you for feeling satisfied with the bare minimum in your relationship? If so, you may be a victim of the latest toxic dating trend: "penny dating." Instigators of this trend begin by strategically investing ample effort and attention into you, solidifying your interest in them. As you develop an attachment to them, the "penny dater" gradually — and deliberately — contributes less time and effort to the relationship, leaving you with "pennies" instead of, say, the metaphorical $100 bill they started with. By this point, you've grown accustomed to receiving "pennies." Meanwhile, the "penny dater" gets away with investing the least effort possible while taking what they need from the relationship.

To learn more about this dating trend, we spoke to Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking. "'Penny dating' is a way for someone to keep you in their back pocket but not enter into a serious relationship with you," Trombetti exclusively told Gliz. "It's very manipulative, especially for someone looking for a serious relationship because they will allow themselves to get dragged along, thinking something serious may eventually come from this person giving them 'pennies.'"

"Penny dating" is certainly a trend you don't want to be a part of. Yet this dating tactic proves an ongoing topic of conversation, garnering more than 8 million views on TikTok and initially going viral thanks to a video from user @erikatham. Her video sees her explaining how a male friend told her of the "penny method" in which women are thought of as piggy banks. Thankfully, though, Trombetti revealed to Gliz her best advice on how to both navigate and avoid falling victim to this sinister dating cycle.

Does penny dating always equate to a toxic relationship?

Investing in a relationship of this nature is neither sustainable nor healthy. Therefore, if you find yourself on the short end of the stick, it's time to step back and reconsider the relationship. "Penny dating is very toxic because one person is attached, and the other person is detached, but they know you're available whenever they want to see you," Susan Trombetti exclusively told Gliz. "This person reaps all the benefits while you're left confused, unfulfilled, and eventually heartbroken when you realize that you're being led on."

However, this shouldn't be confused with a situation in which your significant other is unaware that they're not reciprocating equally in the relationship, Trombetti added. On the other hand, a "penny dater" is entirely aware of their manipulation, and this is what makes the dynamic so toxic. What's more, as the "penny dater" continues their push-and-pull strategy, they take a serious toll on the emotional well-being of their partner. Not only does it affect your energy and self-worth but it also encourages you to lower your standards, which you then carry with you in the future.

Tips to avoid a repeat situation

In the case of a "penny-dating" scenario, matchmaking expert Susan Trombetti provides reassurance that it's possible to repair and balance the relationship. "If a serious relationship turns into a 'penny dating' situation, it can return to normal through communication and working with a relationship coach who will advise you on strengthening your relationship," Trombetti exclusively shared with Gliz. "But if the relationship started with 'penny dating,' then I think it's best to move on from someone who is not serious about you."

In this case, it's normal to feel terrified when faced with the prospect of ending your relationship. Perhaps, you're worried you'll never receive the same level of effort with other partners. However, rest assured that if you are, in fact, in a relationship with a "penny dater," you should understand that you are currently satisfied with crumbs when you could be receiving the entire cookie.

"‌My best tip for investing in a relationship without toxicity is to figure out exactly what you want when you start your dating journey," Trombetti told us. This entails taking a break from dating for a while and discovering what you truly desire or value in a partner. When you're ready to return to the dating scene, remember that communication sets the foundation for any healthy relationship. "If you feel like something is off, don't let it go," Trombetti added. "The right person will want to work things out with you."