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Another dating term was added to the American lexicon before closing out the year and there is no way to describe it other than to say it is so 2019.

If an ex suddenly comes-a-knockin' and wanting something from you, you were "cause-played."


While they sound similar, "cosplay" is different from "cause-play."

Cosplay is a portmanteau of the words: costume and play, and applies towards fans dressing up as their favorite characters.

Cause-play is antithetical to "ghosting" in that the reprobate who abruptly stopped all forms of communication without explanation suddenly re-emerges with an ulterior motive.

The Plenty of Fish blog listed cause-playing as:

"When a casual relationship fizzles out, only to have one person later circle back with a favor to ask (usually about supporting a good cause)."

Examples would include an ex asking you to donate to their charities like Kickstarter or to sponsor them in a marathon.

Lee, a co-host for the Say Bible podcast, is all-too familiar with the tacky tactic after having been a victim.

She told The Huffington Post:

"I got this request several months after he told one of my friends how stupid he felt for messing things up with me."
"I didn't contact him. Communication is not a skill I can endorse in good conscience."
"Perhaps I have selective memory, but I'd like to think I've never cause-played someone myself."
"In general good, bad or ghost, I like to stay far away from my exes. Even those I maintained a semi-platonic friendship with, I don't want to give any mixed signals or feel on the hook by asking favors."

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Here is another example of a cause-playing victim.

But instead of being asked for a donation, this victim was asked for job leads.

Alex Ludwig, a student from San Antonio, Texas, told HuffPo.

"My ex and I had been broken up for roughly three months before he texted me asking if my dad, a landscaper, had any jobs available."
"We had actually ended on decent terms, but not to the point where I would feel comfortable having him work for my family."

The ex was not granted any gardening gigs, but at least Ludwig gave him the courtesy of a response.

"I honestly didn't bother asking my father and just told my ex that he didn't and wished him luck."

Alessandra Conti—a celebrity matchmaker in Los Angeles who didn't mind endorsing an ex who cause-played her for a podcast endorsement—said the trend isn't always deplorable if the break-up ended amicably.

"If you're breaking up and want to remain acquaintances for work, you should verbalize that then."
"It makes it a lot more acceptable to cause-play them in the future."

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However, Conti believes that if the relationship went down in flames, the ex is better off asking someone else to help with their cause.

"It comes off as being desperate and careless, and truly diminishes the cause that you are trying to promote, even if the cause you're involved in is wonderful."
"You might not be trying to hurt the person you dated―you're just attempting to utilize your network―but wow, are you going about it the wrong way."

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According to PoF, 61% of singles broke up with someone who later had the nerve to ask for a favor.

The PoF members they polled in November were ages 18 - 50, with 56% identifying as male and 44% identifying as female.

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