Make Sure You're Not Looking Through 'Rizz-Colored Glasses' When Dating

Let's get one thing straight: competition in the dating world is fierce. Not only that, but when you find someone who outshines the rest, it can be easy to get wrapped up in them, making it difficult to see clearly. While once upon a time this type of blurry vision was called "la vie en rose" (cue the Edith Piaf) or "life in rose-colored glasses," in 2024, the term has been updated. Introducing "rizz-colored glasses."

Not sure what "rizz" means? "It's short for charisma," author and family expert Titania Jordan told Today. "And it's used to describe somebody who is seductive." In fact, rizz has become so much a part of Gen Z's vernacular that it was among the 690 new words that Merriam-Webster added to the dictionary this year.

Rizz doesn't sound like a bad thing, because who doesn't want to be known for their charismatic and charming ways? But when it comes to dating, it can have some problematic aspects. So take out your handy-dandy dating trends cheat sheet and add rizz-colored glasses to it, because we're about to see a lot of it in 2024.

What are rizz-colored glasses?

According to research by the dating app Plenty of Fish (POF), rizz-colored glasses are going to be a big dating trend in 2024 — along with canon-bailing, thera-posing, and a handful of others. Of the 6,000 POF members polled, 52% consider rizz to be an attractive quality in a person, while 43% have succumbed to someone's rizz, which didn't pan out on the relationship front.

"People with rizz have excellent communication and persuasion skills," dating expert Jessica Alderson told Glamour UK. "These individuals know exactly what to do and say to draw others in, and this is a powerful tool in the dating world ... [they] know how to tap into our desires and impact us on an emotional level."

As Alderson pointed out, people with rizz will do what it takes to make those they're dating feel unique and special. They'll also forge a connection that can be really intoxicating. "By doing this, they create a dynamic where we are less likely to critically assess their behavior or intentions," said Alderson. We believe them even when they lie and trust them even when they've proven to be untrustworthy. "Confidence can be seductive, making it difficult for others to question or doubt them," said Alderson. In other words, we're dealing with a narcissist, or at least someone who has narcissistic traits, per PsychCentral.

Why it can be concerning

When people are able to pull the wool over our eyes, so to speak, it's always concerning. But when it comes to a narcissist, things can get bad fast. While that may be the reality, rizz-colored glasses blind us to only seeing the charm and seductive ways that make us feel like we've found someone really spectacular. That's the manipulative power of people with these types of personalities.

"Narcissists are masters of love bombing, where they make a potential partner feel as special as they possibly can," licensed clinical professional counselor Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D. told Cosmopolitan. "Narcissists are adept at winning affection from their targets early on, but they have trouble maintaining long-term relationships." According to Degges-White, narcissists, after all that over-the-top reeling in, see people as objects. This makes for a very superficial relationship, one that can't evolve because not both people are invested in an equally healthy way. "Narcissists don't focus on growth in a relationship, because their own self-assessment confirms to them that they are already significantly evolved and accomplished," said Degges-White.

Eventually, you and your rizz-colored glasses either end up baffled and heartbroken because the narcissist became bored and moved on, or you're stuck in a very unhealthy situation that's riddled with gaslighting, guilt-tripping, and other manipulation tactics. Trying to get out of this type of relationship is never easy because the narcissist thrives on playing the victim. Ultimately, this can pull anyone, romantic partner or not, back into their orbit.

How to avoid falling for it

While it may be easy to advise that the best way to avoid falling for this act is to take off your rizz-colored glasses, that's not realistic for some. People who are looking for love and something serious lead with the heart and not the head. Therefore, a better tactic is how to get out of it if you've fallen for it. "It takes time, observation, and self-awareness to be able to look past the rizz and see someone's true character," dating expert Jessica Alderson told Glamour UK. If you're able to do that and still want to pursue a relationship, then you need to educate yourself on narcissistic traits. 

"Recognizing that narcissism exists on a spectrum is important," psychotherapist Mark Ettensohn, Psy.D. told PsychCentral. "Not all forms of narcissistic pathology are equal, or equally disruptive to healthy relationships." You also need to learn to protect yourself by "not allowing another person to demean, diminish, or trample your authentic thoughts and feelings," says Ettensohn. This means being assertive and honest about how you're affected by the words wielded against you. "Sometimes, you need to make a determination whether or not the relationship is likely to improve," said Ettensohn. "Or if you feel strongly in your gut that the relationship is unhealthy and is likely to stay that way." 

Although not all 2024 dating trends are going to be problematic, "rizz-colored glasses" is one to be wary of. Not every charismatic person may be a narcissist, but if they harbor a few traits, you're in for a bumpy ride.