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What is ‘hiberdating’ – the dating trend that Prince Harry used to ‘woo’ Meghan Markle

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Dave Fawbert
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What is 'Hiberdating?' the dating trend that Prince Harry used

So Harry is off the market, and the main questions we’ve seen floating around the internet have focussed on the what, who and why - what is happening (a wedding, in the coming spring); who is Meghan Markle (actress) and why (are we not getting a day off for it).

But few have asked ‘how’. How did Harry manage to snare a successful, attractive lady like Meghan?

Well, yes, obviously there’s the whole prince thing. I’m not an expert but I’m guessing that would have been a decent hook in to start with. And then there’s the whole ‘nice guy’ thing, which Harry does seem to be.

But what I’m talking about is the how - the nitty-gritty of how on earth they managed to develop a functioning relationship with the intense scrutiny that comes from being a Royal and a high-profile actress respectively.

Well, it turns out that they used a tactic known as ‘hiberdating’.

Urban Dictionary defines it as: “Someone who ignores all their other friends when they are dating a boyfriend/girlfriend. For example: I haven’t seen or heard from Jennifer since she started hiberdating Teddy four months ago.”

In their engagement announcement interview, Harry explained that they’d spent a large amount of time, since they first met a year and half ago, away from the public eye - by staying at home.

The government tried to sneak out this bad news 20 minutes after the Royal Wedding announcement

Hiberdating works if you’re a prince - but then most things probably do

Harry said: “We had to reverse the whole process and [spend] cosy nights in in front of the television cooking dinner, just the two of us by ourselves in our little cottage, rather than going out for dinner and being seen in public, so we reversed the whole process which has provided different opportunities and it’s made us a hell of a lot closer in a shorter space of time, without question - so if anybody else at home is listening, maybe slow down the dates and maybe spend more time at home. 

No, for us it’s an opportunity to really get to know each other without other people looking or trying to take photos on their phones and all that kind of stuff - that comes with the job, comes with the role - but where possible…”

Meghan continued: “And we were able to really get to know each other that way but also then to go and have friends over for dinner or go to his family for tea - any of those sorts of things - and take the time to be able to go on long country walks and just talk.”

So, while the Urban Dictionary definition sounds like you’re binning off your friends, Harry’s version is more understandable - keeping out of the public eye and jumping straight into Strictly and a curry Saturday nights. And if you can survive an argument over Debbie McGhee’s eligibility for the show given that she was previously a professional ballet dancer while spooning down mouthfuls of chicken madras, you can survive anything.

(Image: Rex)

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Dave Fawbert

ShortList.com staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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