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Tinder’s top dating trends for the decade ahead

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Photo by Mika Baumeister for Unsplash

The following is a press release submitted by Tinder, a popular dating application.

More than half of all Tinder members across the globe are Gen Z (18 to 25 year old young adults) and even before the pandemic they were already redefining the rules of dating. Then 2020 happened and everything changed.

It’s been the busiest year in Tinder’s history. And it’s going to be a completely new decade of dating. 

Social engagement on Tinder was up during the pandemic. Gen Z spent more time talking on Tinder as 19% more messages were sent per day in Feb 2021, compared to Feb 2020, and conversations were 32% longer. Gen Z also turned to video chats. Nearly half of Tinder had a video chat with a match during the pandemic, and 40% plan to continue using video to get to know people even when the pandemic is over. Engagement and activity grew throughout the year with 11% more Swipes and 42% more matches per Tinder member. 

Gen Z is breaking dating completely free of traditional strongholds and taboos. Dating is no longer about the familiar chronology or of slow courtship, instead it’s become fluid in terms of expectations (lets see where it goes), emotions (honest and authentic) and experiences (more activities than icebreakers, digital dating is here to stay). In true Gen Z style they effortlessly juggle contradictions – at once seeking to broaden the scope of dating while narrowing down to find people nearby to date and also bringing a strong sense of urgency to take the plunge back into dating while making time for the small moments of affection. 

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 ‘normalize’ in bios grew during the pandemic (‘anxiety’ grew 31%; ‘normalize’ grew more than 15X). 

#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: the phrase ‘wear a mask’ went up 100X over the course of the pandemic, ‘boundaries’ is being used more than ever (up 19%), and the term ‘consent’ rose 11%. 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%. 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 percent of Gen Z Tinder members say they will continue to go on digital dates, even as date spots re-open. 

#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 3X 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%, and ‘hand holding’ is up 22%. 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% 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 Oct 2020, more than 40% 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% 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.

 

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