There are a lot of trends in relationships and most of them are absolutely and completely furious. We have already written about catfishing, meganmarkling, gatsbing and even ghosting. Now it’s time to tell you what paperclipping is.


What is paperclipping? Why is he so infuriating and why should you not do this so as not to annoy others? You can read about all this in our new article.

What is paperclipping

A harmless MS Office assistant named Skrepysh would never have thought that a real dating and relationship trend would be named after him. But it was from him that the name “paperclipping” came from.

paper clipping (from the English paper clip – paper clip) is a toxic relationship trend when a partner keeps the other in the background, but then suddenly appears in life so that the other thinks about him, after which he disappears again without a trace.

The term came about largely thanks to digital artist Samantha Rothenberg, who drew a comic strip about the same assistant Skrepysh. The fact is that this cute paper clip with big eyes always appeared for no reason, as if really making sure that they had not forgotten about it.

Text on picture: “Sometimes I show up for no reason. Like now. The truth is that I’m ugly and have absolutely no interest in you. But I don’t want you to forget that I exist.”

The artist herself, when the picture went viral, said in an interview that for her, paperclipping is when someone holds another in the background and realizes that feelings are cooling down.

“Such a person will remind you of himself, not in order to see you or develop a relationship, but to kindle a fire in you and make sure that you are still free,”

says Samantha.

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Paperclipping: a major trend

This is a fairly common occurrence. Remember how many suddenly disappearing and just as suddenly appearing friends and young people you know. They appear when you don’t expect them at all, generate interest, and then disappear completely for an indefinite time, leaving you wondering what happened.

Mysterious and unpredictable, paperclippers simply try to arouse curiosity in order to be in the center of at least something, to warm up their sense of importance. Sometimes a paperclipper becomes a person who is not ready to part with people, but is also not ready to maintain long-term relationships with them. Such a lost person does this not on purpose, without malicious intent, simply because he is afraid of losing all his friends and acquaintances.

Paperclipping can be done by a person who is embarrassed to end the friendship, he feels guilty for his behavior and periodically tries to “make it up” by going out for a short conversation.

But for the most part, paperclipers are emotionally immature people who are not ready for serious relationships, friendships and long-term contacts. In such people one can often find a fear of being rejected, a desire to be in the center of attention and great irresponsibility. Sometimes narcissists resort to paperclipping to maintain attention to their person, but not to spend a lot of emotional resource on communication.

In any case, this trend is massive and very unpleasant.

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Why paperclipping is bad

If many people do this, and there was no general epidemic of suicides, then nothing terrible happened? Quite the opposite.

The victim of paperclipping feels:

  • disappointment;
  • depression
  • apathy
  • some other negative emotions.

Paperclipper feels:

  • instability;
  • inability to start a relationship;
  • fear of losing everyone around.

Because paperclipping is a toxic behavior, both can fall victim to it. There is very little to be gained from such behavior.

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How to recognize paperclipping

How to understand that you or someone close to you is engaged in paperclipping? Pretty simple: you have to watch. If you notice at least one of the signs in the behavior of loved ones or in your own behavior, you should think about it.

Here is a list of signs:

  • Long breaks in communication, short and meaningless correspondence, as if nothing had happened.
  • Repetitive breaks and communication, there is a periodicity, an understanding of established behavior.
  • Pointless communication that goes no further than short messages like “Hi, how are you?”
  • The most unexpected moment: a paper clipper can write even at night, because he doesn’t value his personal life too much.
  • You don’t understand how people treat you.

If you notice this – it’s time not only to think, but also to try to improve the situation. And if it doesn’t work out, end the communication with the paperclipper.

Photo: Unsplash