Another day, another new dating trend. And while some of these trends can be a little too far-fetched to resonate with me, I have a feeling most of us are going to be able to relate to this one because, well, most of us are guilty of doing it at one point or another. What is this mysterious act we've all committed at some point throughout our romantic lives? It's called Gatsbying and I'll be the first to admit that I've done it before. If you're sitting in your cubicle wondering, "What is the dating trend Gatsbying?" don't worry, I've got ya totally covered.
Let me paint you a picture. You have a crush who you really like. And you want your crush to know how you feel... because, well, duh. But you also don't necessarily want your crush to know how you feel until you know that they're interested... because, well, also duh.
The key in this situation becomes making your crush notice you and, from there, you can wait and see how they react. The best way to do this as a millennial is, of course, to post an Instagram or Snapchat story that's sure to capture the attention of your crush.
Have you done this before? Yeah, same.
Well, now, this act of posting a story on social media to capture your crush's attention is called "Gatsbying."
Why is it called Gatsbying, you ask? Well, think about what Jay Gatsby did in The Great Gatsby. Unfortunately, it was 1922, so he didn't have access to Instagram or Snapchat. Instead, he devoted all of his time and attention to throwing elaborate parties to get his longtime crush, Daisy, to (1) notice him and (2) like him back.
Not so different from posting an Instagram story to get your crush to (1) notice you and (2) like you back.
Now, I know what we're all thinking here: What makes Gatsbying different from setting a thirst trap?
The New York Post urges us to think of Gatsbying "as a high-brow version of the 'thirst trap.'" Basically, the main difference here is that Gatsbying focuses on quality while thirst traps focus on quantity. In other words, when you set a thirst trap, the goal is to get any potentially thirsty followers to give you some attention. On the other hand, when you Gatsby, the goal is to get the attention of one particular person you're interested in. Oh, and the other catch? The person has to be out of your league.
Matilda Dods, an Australian model, wrote about the trend for a lifestyle blog called Tomboy.
"Why, instead of just sending a text to the boy that I like, am I throwing the equivalent of a champagne-soaked, chandelier-swinging, Charleston-dancing party on my Instagram story?” she writes in the post. “All for that ceaseless green light across the water that is the attention of a boy who, let’s be real, probably isn’t good enough for me anyway?”
My favorite part of her description is that last part where she admits the boy "probably isn't good enough" for her anyway. That's what's important here, people! It can be easy to get so caught up in thirst-trapping and Gatsbying that we forget that we're all awesome individuals with or without romantic attention from potential suitors.
I mean, I'll be the first to admit I've definitely done my fair share of Gatsbying so I'm the last person who has any right to tell you to refrain from doing that, but all I'm saying is don't let a lack of attention from your Daisy diminish your self-worth.
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