Signs of homie-hopping and how to do it respectfully

You may have heard the term “homie hopper” on popular TikToks, but what does it mean? A homie hopper is a person who dates or hooks up with multiple members of a friend group. It’s another facet of today’s hookup culture—and occasionally a little messier than your casual fling. In this article, we’ll teach you what makes a homie hopper, signs to look out for, and how to homie-hop with class.

Things You Should Know

  • Homie hoppers are individuals who jump from one person to another within the same social group for sexual or social gain.
  • A homie hopper may display affection and flirt with multiple people in the same group, sometimes simultaneously.
  • If you’re going to homie hop, be mindful and respectful by allowing time to pass between relationships and communicating your intentions clearly.
Section 1 of 4:

What is a homie hopper?

  1. While “homie hopping” is a gender-neutral term, often, the phrase demeans or shames women for their intimate relationships. It characterizes people as disloyal or even disrespectful to their friends for “hopping” around.[1]
    • The term was popularized in pop culture and used in alternative and R&B music.[2]
    • People may also call someone a homie hopper in non-sexual relationships. For instance, a person hops from one social group to another to fulfill their own social agendas, like becoming popular.
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Section 2 of 4:

Signs of a Homie Hopper

  1. An early sign of a homie hopper is someone who expresses seemingly innocent affection towards others, like long hugs, holding hands, or finding any excuse to touch the other person.
    • Affection doesn’t always mean someone is a homie hopper. It’s about the person’s intent.
    • Pay attention to body language, compliments, and invitations to hang out one-on-one that can signal when someone likes you.
  2. Take note of how a homie hopper interacts with other friends in the group. Are they all smiles and giggles when their new crush is around? Do they find ways to “accidentally” touch or bump into them? These are just a few signs of flirtation.
    • If a homie hopper tries to be low-key, they may not attempt to flirt in person. They may drop heart-eyed emojis on a friend’s Instagram post or always smile down at their phone.
  3. A common conception of homie hoppers is that they waste no time moving on to the next friend in the group. In some cases, they start flirting or making sexual advances or suggestions while they’re already in a relationship.[3]
    • It’s important to note that the homie hopper isn’t the only person to “blame” in this situation. A friend who accepts these advances behind someone else's back isn’t a good friend.
  4. Imagine you’re at a party talking to friends about someone you hooked up with. Suddenly, multiple people in your group say they did, too. This knowledge may rustle some feathers, especially if there was ill intent.
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Section 3 of 4:

How to Homie Hop Respectfully

  1. When you’re in the same social group as others, it’s possible to build genuine connections because there’s a sense of comfort and familiarity.[4] However, it’s important to be mindful of other existing and past relationships when this happens. Let the people in your social group know you’re interested in dating one of your friends.
    • If you have an ex-partner in the same group, consider having a private conversation with them. You could say, “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been talking to John for the last few months, and things are getting serious. I wanted you to hear it from me.”
    • Letting your ex know allows them to ask questions, so there’s no room for drama or miscommunication.
  2. There is no concrete amount of time to wait to date after a breakup, but generally, aim for at least one month—or three if it was a serious relationship.[5] It’s not a good look to start dating again, especially if it’s a friend of your ex. Give yourself and your ex time to separate your romantic feelings before becoming friends again.
    • When you hop from one relationship to another, others may perceive that you are going behind your ex’s back, which could jeopardize your relationship and the friend group.
  3. In friend groups, feeling safe and comfortable around someone may cause you to fantasize about something more. That’s totally normal! However, for some, friends are just friends. If someone in your social group isn’t interested in hooking up or being friends with benefits, don’t pressure them.
    • If you’re making a move on a friend, look for non-verbal cues if they’re uncomfortable. Their body language, facial expression, or movement, like inching away from you, is a sign they’re not receptive to your advances.[6]
    • When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask what their boundaries are. If you’re naturally affectionate, you can ask, “Is it okay if I touch you?” Be empathetic and receptive to how they respond.[7]
  4. If you’re interested in a friend who is already in a relationship, be careful not to overstep your boundaries by flirting or touching them. Instead, “friend zone” yourself by reminding yourself why you can’t be with that person.[8] Just like you wouldn’t want someone trying to steal your partner from you, don’t do the same to someone else.
    • If your feelings are genuine and your crush is in a healthy relationship, limit your interactions in person and on social media. Use your free time to distract yourself with other people and activities.[9]
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Section 4 of 4:

Is it bad to be a homie hopper?

  1. Dating within a small pool creates an unintended shift in the friendship dynamic. It can lead to potential confrontation, jealousy, and gossip.[10] This is especially relevant in cases where a previous relationship ended poorly or resulted in cheating. It can make others in the group feel like they need to pick sides.
  2. In some cases, homie hoppers crave validation and connection.[11] It’s easier to date within the same social group rather than having to put yourself out there to meet new people. There’s less stress about impressing another person when a friend already knows your personality, likes, and dislikes.
    • If crushing on a friend is the result of craving physical intimacy or feeling lonely, it may be better to take the extra step to date new people.[12]
    • Self-reflection is critical in these moments, as meditation or journaling can help identify a person’s motives. Is there a genuine connection in this relationship? Or is there a hidden agenda, such as getting back at an ex?
    • Seek advice from a licensed therapist or a relationship counselor to address underlying causes or the complexities of dating within the same friend group.[13]
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About This Article

John Keegan
Reviewed by:
Dating Coach
This article was reviewed by John Keegan and by wikiHow staff writer, Mason Martinez, BA. John Keegan is a Dating Coach and motivational speaker based in New York City. With over 10 years of professional experience, he runs The Awakened Lifestyle, where he uses his expertise in dating, attraction, and social dynamics to help people find love. He teaches and holds dating workshops internationally, from Los Angeles to London and from Rio de Janeiro to Prague. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Humans of New York, and Men's Health. This article has been viewed 3,868 times.
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Co-authors: 3
Updated: February 28, 2024
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