Tinder reveals 8 top dating trends for the decade ahead
Tinder’s latest report on members in Thailand and around the globe reveals eight dating trends for the decade ahead.
More than half of all Tinder members are Gen Z (18- to 25-year-old young adults) and the pandemic triggered a turning point in their dating behaviour, states the “Future of Dating is Fluid” report.
Social engagement on Tinder was up during the pandemic, with 19 per cent more messages sent per day in February 2021, compared to a year earlier, and conversations lasting 32 per cent longer. Meanwhile, nearly half of Tinder had a video chat with a match during the pandemic. Engagement and activity grew throughout the year with 11 per cent more swipes and 42 per cent more matches per Tinder member, said the report.
It concluded that Gen Z is breaking traditional dating behaviour and taboos.
“Dating is no longer about the familiar chronology or of slow courtship, instead it’s become fluid in terms of expectations (let’s see where it goes), emotions (honest and authentic) and experiences (more activities than icebreakers, digital dating is here to stay).”
Tinder’s 8 top trends for the future of dating:
1. Daters will be more honest and authentic
The pandemic helped many people put things in perspective. It led Tinder members to be more truthful and vulnerable about who they are, how they look, and what they’re going through. Mentions of ‘anxiety’ and ‘normalise’ in bios grew during the pandemic (‘anxiety’ grew 31 per cent; ‘normalise’ grew more than 15 times).
2. Boundaries will become more transparent
The pandemic brought up more discussions of personal boundaries. Tinder members used their bios to make their expectations clear: use of the phrase ‘wear a mask’ went up 100 times during the pandemic, ‘boundaries’ is being used more than ever (up 19 per cent), and the term ‘consent’ rose 11 per cent. This practice will make conversations about consent more commonplace and comfortable in the future.
3. More people will want to “See where things go”
In a recent survey of Tinder members, the number of daters looking for ‘no particular type of relationship’ was up nearly 50 per cent. So rather than the pandemic driving a desire for marriage, the next generation of daters will seek more open-ended relationships.
4. Digital dates will remain part of the new normal
As in-person contact became risky, daters turned to virtual experiences for human connection. And while it may have started out of necessity, the digital date is here to stay. According to a recent Tinder survey, those who tried it see it as a low-pressure way to get a sense for someone, and 40 per cent of Gen Z Tinder members say they will continue to go on digital dates, even as date spots reopen.
5. First dates will be more about activities than icebreakers
With many bars and restaurants closed, many traditional first date venues were no longer an option. So when it came time to meet up, daters chose more creative, personal, and casual first date activities than in the past. For example, Tinder saw a 3 times increase in mentions of ‘roller skating’ in bios and requests for date activities from fort building to snowball fights pop up in bios.
6. Small touches will have a big impact
Members are using their bios to seek out affection like hand holding, cuddling, or someone to touch their hair: use of the word ‘cuddle’ grew 23 per cent, and ‘hand holding’ is up 22 per cent. After experiencing months without physical contact, daters have come to greatly appreciate the smallest moments of physical affection. So even when meet-ups become common, little physical gestures will play a more important role in people’s dating lives.
7. People will always want to date someone close by
Tinder’s geolocation, or ability to find someone nearby, was highly relevant for the pandemic moving boom. Mentions of ‘moving’ in bios were up 28 per cent in 2020. So while technology continues to enable people to live or work anywhere, they are still coming to Tinder to find someone who lives close to them.
8. A ‘summer of love’ could be coming
As of October 2020, more than 40 per cent of Tinder members under the age of 30 had not met a match in person. But according to Tinder bios, that might be changing. “Go on a date” hit an all-time high in bios in February 2021. And while people slowed down in-person dating in 2020 (54 per cent of singles shared with YPulse that “Covid 19 has significantly delayed my love life”), they are ready to start getting out more as soon as vaccines (or antibodies) are in place.