Woman putting money in a piggy bank© Unsplash

Beware Of The Toxic And Manipulative ‘Penny Dating Method’

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

Navigating the dating landscape these days is like walking through a landmine-filled ground. If it’s not the dismal state of the dating apps, it’s the insidous mental techniques that people on the Internet are popularising with each TikTok video or Instagram Reel.

The latest one to come under the spotlight is the ‘Penny Dating Method’. The vile dating trend involves treating investement in a relationship like deposits in a piggy bank.

The method involves one person putting in 100% investment, of time or affection, at the beginning of the relationship before deliberately dropping the level of effort until their partner feels lucky to get scraps of attention from them.

TikTok creator Erika Tham spoke about this in a now-viral video where she shared a conversation she had with a cis-het male friend who introduced her to the ‘Penny Dating Method’.

According to Tham’s friend, men would deliberately inundate women with attention in the beginning, drawing a parallel to putting in $100 bills in a piggy bank, and then deliberately decrease the amount of attention given to the girl before increasing it again to appease her for some time. After this, the ‘investments’ would get smaller and smaller till the woman’s sense of self-worth is eroded and she is happy to settle for the bare minimum.

A horrified Tham then warns girls to beware and take a good, hard look at their relationships and their partner’s behaviours.

Take this as a cue to be more mindful of your relationship dynamics and don’t hesitate to put yoruself first, if you notice a similar pattern. Like Tham says in her video, you should never settle for anything less than $100 bills every time!