hand with penny in palm
Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
December 21, 2023 ·  3 min read

The Penny Method: A Bizarre New Dating Trend Thats Worse Than Ghosting

Have you ever heard of the Penny Method? A woman has unveiled a novel ‘penny dating approach’ that has left numerous individuals considerably perplexed. In the realm of online discussions on various dating trends, especially with the proliferation of TikTok, a rather unhealthy dating technique has surfaced on the popular video-sharing platform.

The penny method involves likening an investment in a relationship to depositing hard-earned cash into a piggy bank

Erika Tham on the Penny Method
Image Credit: erikatham TikTok

Essentially, the ‘penny dating method’ entails giving one’s all to a relationship at the outset. Only to consciously diminish effort and investment over time. While it is customary for more effort to be invested at the commencement of a new romance compared to years down the line, the rationale behind reduced investment in this dating method is rather callous.

The effort is scaled back until the partner deems themselves fortunate to receive the bare minimum. This dating approach recently gained widespread attention through a viral video shared by the renowned TikToker Erika Tham. In her video, she shed light on a tactic seemingly employed by many, recounting a conversation with a male friend about ‘love bombing.’

Read: Someone Who Manipulates Feelings Through Guilt Is Not Loving You

For those familiar, ‘love bombing’ typically involves showering a partner with abundant affection at the onset of a relationship. Which, in itself, is not uncommon. However, what Tham uncovered in her conversation was quite shocking. Her male friend disclosed the existence of a tactic referred to as ‘penny dating,’ wherein some men treat women as if they were a ‘piggy bank.

He summed it up pretty well


you learn something new everyday 🙃🙃🙃 #lovebombing #dating #boymath

♬ original sound – erikatham

To get her interested obviously at first you have to be feeding her hundred dollar bills,” the male friend told the TikToker. “Now here’s where it gets sick.” In essence, the method revolves around manipulating the level of effort invested in the relationship. Occasionally ramping it up only to later decrease it, all in an attempt to please the partner.

The next thing you do is bring it back up to 95. Instead of feeling like they’ve lost 5, suddenly she feels like she’s gained 5,” the friend said. “Basically you just keep repeating this cycle and weaning her off your effort until you get to the point where you’re giving her pennies and suddenly, she’s excited to receive a nickel,” Tham added.

The apparent tactic left many horrified, with thousands flocking to the comments section to express their thoughts

Penny method is CRAZY,” one person penned. A second added: “You can’t convince me this isn’t psychological torture.” While a third wrote: “MY JAW DROPPED wha-.” Someone else commented: “That’s sooo evil.” And a final user penned: “Never leaving my house again.”

Penny summed it up well

This idea that men might actually think like this makes me so afraid. Like is this boy math? Because I don’t like it. Anyway, be safe out there, ladies. I think the takeaway message in all of this is that we should never be accepting anything less than $100 bills.”

BuzzFeed reached out to Erika, and here was her response: “He said he definitely knows guys who do it, and also knows guys who do it but aren’t aware that what they’re doing has a name.” She continued: “I think what’s so terrifying about ‘The Penny Method’ is how subtle it is. It’s the type of thing that can make you question whether your gut feeling is correct, or if you’re just overthinking. Once I had learned of the method though, it made recognizing the signs a lot easier. That’s why I made the TikTok, I wanted other women to know about it, too!”

Keep Reading: The Universe Will Send You The Right Person At The Right Time. Trust The Process!


  1. “The Penny Method” Is The New Disturbing Trend To Hit Modern Dating, And It’s Way Worse Than Ghosting.” BuzzFeed. Daniella Emanuel. November 17, 2023
  2. Unilad. Callum Jones. November 22, 2023
  3. TikTok. erikatham