If you’re dating, this was the year of things like hardballing (putting all your expectations on the table before dating someone so you don’t waste time), the rise of alcohol-free “dry-dating” and an obsession with hobbies as part of dates.
What do the dating trends look like in 2023? Bumble, the women’s first dating app, submitted a survey and analyzed what women want. The dating platform concludes that next year will be more focused on challenging the status quo and finding more balance in the way we date. These are the trends that are emerging:
1 Open Casting
It is time to do away with the long, dark and beautiful requirements, because the narrow search for our physical “type” does not serve us.
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The opposite of type-casting, open casting refers to how 1 in 3 (38%) people are now more open about who they consider dating outside their ‘type’, and 1 in 4 (28% ) of us emphasize dating people who ‘expect’ others. What are we looking for? The vast majority of people (63%) now focus more on emotional maturity than physical demands.
With the return of office culture and busy social schedules, most people currently feel overwhelmed. This has forced us all to set our boundaries, and more than half (52%) have set more boundaries in the past year: in dating lingo, this is called guardrailing.
This includes being clearer about our emotional needs and boundaries (63%), thinking more carefully about how we present ourselves to the outside world (59%) and not over-engaging socially (53%).
3 Balance between love and life
There has been a shift in the way we think about and value our work and our partner. Gone are the days when our job titles and demanding working days are seen as a status symbol: half of people prioritize work-life balance (49%).
When it comes to their partner, more than half of people worry more about work-life balance than their career status (54%), but in the Netherlands it’s more than two-thirds (68%). More than half (52%) have actively created more space for breaks and rest in the past year, and more than 1 in 10 (13%) have stopped dating someone who has a very demanding job.
4 Wandering laws
Looks like eat, date, love currently with 1 in 3 (33%) people on Bumble saying they are now more open to travel and relationships with people who don’t live in their current city.
In the Netherlands, this is even higher: almost half (45%) consider relationships with people outside their city. Post-pandemic WFH flexibility means 1 in 8 (14%) of us have explored the idea of being a ‘digital nomad’, making us think more about who and where we date.
5 New year, new me
Conversations about gender norms and expectations took center stage this year. In the past year, 3 in 4 (74%) men say they have scrutinized their behavior more than ever and have a clearer understanding of ‘toxic masculinity’ and what is not acceptable.
More than half of men on Bumble (52%) actively fight stereotypes that suggest men shouldn’t show emotions for fear of appearing weak. 1 in 3 (38%) now talk more openly about their feelings with their male friends, and half (49%) of men agree that breaking gender roles in dating and relationships is also beneficial for them.
6 Dating renaissance
Like Queen B, many of us are having a renaissance with 1 in 3 (39%) people on Bumble having ended a marriage or serious relationship in the past two years.
These people are now jumping into their second chapter with 1 in 3 (36%) using dating apps for the first time and learning to navigate the new dating language and codes.
7 Ethical sex research
The way we talk, think and have sex is changing. More people are approaching sex, intimacy and dating in an open and exploratory way (42%) and sex is no longer taboo, with more than half of us agreeing that discussing sexual wants and needs early on is important (53%).
In the past year, 1 in 5 (20%) have explored their sexuality more, and 1 in 8 (14%) of us are considering a non-monogamous relationship. However, that doesn’t mean we all have more sex. 1 in 3 (34%) are not currently having sex and are fine with it, especially among Gen-Z (39%).
8 Cash candid dating
The rising cost of living has led to more honest and open conversations about money and dating, with 1 in 4 (28%) of us putting financial limits on our dating lives.
This doesn’t mean we’re dating less, but rather that we’re changing the way we date: Over half of us (57%) are more interested in casual dates than something dressy. In fact, 1 in 3 (32%) are less impressed by fancy first dates. In the Netherlands, this is even more so: almost half (45%) are not impressed by “over the top” dates.
“We now see that people prioritize setting and clearly articulating their boundaries”
All in all, it looks quite romantic, but with more clarity than before. “We’re now seeing people prioritize setting and clearly articulating their boundaries,” said Naomi Walkland, Bumble’s vice president for Europe. “These boundaries can be emotional, such as being open about what they want or recognizing red and green flags; physical, such as making sure they don’t overcommit; or financial, encouraging open conversation about previously taboo topics. ”
Photo (c) Getty Images
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