Tinder takes temperature of Thai dating in 2022 (Spoiler: it’s hot)
Young singles in Thailand think dating games are dead in 2022, according to Tinder’s end-of-year study. The dating app said this generation of Thai Tinder users aged 18-25 “Are Done Wasting Their Time” after Covid-19 – with popular date choices including the beach, picnics in the park and jamming at a music festival.
Meanwhile, “Tinder’s Year in Swipe” shared the top flirt flexes of 2022 as it draws to a close.
Here’s what the world’s top dating said about the state of date in Thailand this year:
10 Essential Trends on Tinder in 2022
1. Young singles are owning the situationship as a valid relationship status. Young singles were still down to play the field this year, but they opted for a high-quality roster where everyone was on the same page. More than a hookup, but not quite a traditional relationship, the “situationship” a casual – yet clearly defined – relationship came to rise in 2022. Tinder saw a 49% increase in members adding the new relationship intention to their profiles and over 1 in 102 surveyed young singles said they prefer situationships as a way to develop a relationship with less pressure. Thai daters were keen to keep things casual with almost half (44%) saying they use dating apps for casual dating
2. Positivity was a major plus. Originally known as the parking symbol, 🅿️ has been repurposed to represent Pushin P and was the number 1 trending emoji globally on Tinder this year. An interesting shift from the trending emojis of years past (🤦in 2019, 🤷in 2020, and 👀 in 2021), members turned to 🅿️ to let their matches know positivity and keeping it real is exactly what they’re looking for. That positivity shone through in Thailand where 76% of users polled said they were excited about their dating future and the majority (53%) said they feel free to be themselves on dating apps.
3. The dinner date could soon be dead. It seems the activities we took to during the pandemic are here to stay. With 75% of Thais having been on a virtual date, digital dating remains a popular way for Thais to connect, and for those first IRL dates top choices among Thais are simple dates like taking a walk/ grabbing coffee, classic movie date, and a music date such as going to a gig. Singles are opting for less traditional, more authentic and sometimes sober (see below) ways to get to know one another. Other creative activities like Camping, BBQs, Trying New Things, and Street Food all made it into the top 10 trending global Interests on Tinder.
4. More singles are raising a glass to sober dates. Alcohol-free dates have become a way for singles to be more authentic on dates and challenge traditional dating norms. Over 25% of surveyed young singles on Tinder said they drink less on dates compared with last year and when describing their drinking habits 72% of members said on their Tinder profiles that they don’t drink or only drink occasionally. In fact, the 🍻and 🍷 emojis each decreased (40% and 25% respectively) on Tinder profiles YoY.
5. Being Funny, Fresh, and Forward was sexy AF. A sense of humour was what members looked for most when reading a potential match’s profile, and 73% of young singles surveyed across all genders said they were looking for someone who is clear about what they want and has good hygiene. When asked what the most important characteristics are in a potential date, young singles prioritised value-based qualities like loyalty (79%), respect (78%) and open-mindedness (61%) over looks (56%). With bios like “ถ้าได้ใครมาลากไปฟิตเนสบ่อยๆจะเป็นพระคุณมาก” (If I find someone to drag me to the gym, I would be highly grateful) and “เมื่อไหร่ จะถึงคิวหุ่นหมีละคร๊าฟฟฟ” (when will it be this bear's body turn to date?) it’s unsurprising that Thais are looking for people who can make them laugh (57%). They are also looking for people who they can trust and confide in (57%) and share similar interests with (53%).
6. Stances on social issues could make or break a match. Three-quarters (75%) of singles were looking for a match who is respectful of or invested in social issues. In fact, so many Tinder members added the Ukrainian flag to their profiles in support of Ukraine this year, that it ranked within the top 10 trending emojis on the app at one point. Additionally, the Activism and Voters Rights Interests both increased (84% and 37% respectively) in Tinder profiles this year.
According to Thai Tinder Member Luktao, “It’s important that when I connect with someone I learn about their values, their interests and their position on certain issues. It’s important to me that we have these things in common. Popular social topics such as the environment, politics, LGBTQ and inclusivity are common conversations amongst young Thais right now who are committed to creating a better future for a young generation. If my date and I had very different views on these we’d probably spend more time disagreeing than enjoying our time together – I don’t think that would work!”
7. Nostalgia stanning was a flex. Young singles are getting inspiration from ’90s and noughties dating trends. The fastest growing interests on Tinder were blasts from the past like 90’s Kid, Anime, and Sneakers. Even everyone’s favourite new old song, Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill'' made a comeback and was in the top 10 Spotify Anthems noted on Tinder profiles. Tinder's modern take on the traditional blind date also launched for the hotter months. The Blind Date feature on Tinder paired members before allowing them to view each other's profile and was used 200,000 times a day on average. It’s been a tough few years, and it looks like singles are turning to the authenticity and good vibes of a pre-smartphone world.
8. The 🚩(red flag) & 🌫️(gaslighting) emojis were trending for good reason. Toxic relationships aren’t new, but all of the tips and psychoanalysis on social media show that young singles are more clued up about the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to dating. Over half (58%) of surveyed young singles said they were confident they could identify a green or red flag when dating. In 2022, singles have finally had enough and are dishing on what they consider red and green flags, and all of our BS radars have gotten better because of it. A true public service. In fact, long-term relationship and Skinship were two of the top dating rules mentioned by Thais in their bios this year.
Thai Tinder member Bee shares that “Trust is very important. If there is no trust then the relationship will not see a day of happiness, the couple will not be as close as they could be, and you will always be paranoid. Being able to confide in each other is also very important - it’s a great sign of intimacy that you feel comfortable with someone.”
9. Revenge travel racked up the miles on Tinder. After two pandemic-filled trips around the sun, singles were finally able to get back to exploring new horizons with fewer or no restrictions. 18-25 year-olds passported on average nine times a month with top international passport destinations for Thais including Seoul (South Korea), London (UK) and New York (USA). Locally, the most popular passport destinations after Bangkok this year are Chiang Mai, Phuket and Khon Kae.
10. Amidst uncertainty and a triple mercury retrograde in 2022 singles were looking to the stars for guidance. Star signs were the most popular type of descriptor added to Tinder bios behind smoking preferences, pets and diet. Leos, Scorpios and Cancers were the signs most likely to include their sign in their bios, and surprisingly, all star signs were most likely to match with the exact same zodiac sign.
"2022 has been a busy dating year for single Thais with trends from the pandemic such as virtual dates being carried over and fused with an increase in IRL dating opportunities," said Papri Dev, APAC Communications Head at Tinder. "As Thailand opened up, we saw young Thai adults being more creative in their choices of dates, looking for new and interesting activities to experience together. The desire for authenticity amongst Thai members was coupled with people looking for positivity and humour from their dates this year. With the majority of Thais excited about their dating prospects, Tinder will continue to spark new connections and play an important role in the dating journey of young adult Thai singletons."