With each new year comes a slew of new trends: fashion trends, fitness trends, food trends and yes, even dating trends. Whether you’re sick and tired of endless and unsuccessful app scrolling or you’re starting to think about dipping your toe into the dating pond after the end of a relationship, here are six dating trends that will govern the way we find love in 2022.
1. Dry Dating
The past two years have had lots of folks reassessing their relationship with alcohol and, per the women-first dating and networking app Bumble, that’s spilling over (sorry) to their dating habits. The app’s trend prediction survey found that 34 percent of global daters are now more likely to consider going on a ‘dry date’ than they were pre-pandemic, and 29 percent of Americans surveyed believe that societal norms around drinking and dating are shifting. Now that we think of it, a nice latte date followed by a chilly stroll through the park doesn’t sound too bad…
This trend was first coined by the dating app Plenty of Fish in its fifth annual list of Dating Trends. Hesidating, the dating experts at POF explain, means, “Feeling indifferent about dating, unsure if you want to date seriously or casually because life in general is so uncertain right now. While some celebrity couples (hello, Bennifer) have recently hopped into new relationships quickly and with certainty, 70 percent of singles say hesidating is a very real thing.” Basically, single people are mirroring the uncertainty of the world in general in their dating lives, leading to a reluctance to put themselves out there. After nearly two years of almost indescribable chaos, many of us are clinging to the things that are most secure and safe in our lives. Wading back into the dating pool would introduce a level of disquiet that’s kind of scary, frankly. But here’s the thing: Opening yourself up to dating again doesn’t have to be scary. Here are three steps you can take to ensure your reentry into the dating world is as comfortable as possible.
3. Dating Apps for All Ages
Fact: You’re never too old to find love. Don’t believe us? Just refer to Google searches for ‘dating apps for older people,’ which have grown by a whopping 3,500 percent in the past few months. Though older singles can (and should) use sites and apps like Match, OKCupid, Bumble or Hinge, it’s also worth exploring the set of services geared specifically toward more mature folks. Think: Silver Singles, OurTime or SeniorMatch. If you’re not sure where to begin, here’s everything you need to know about dating over 50.
4. Proud Singlehood
Though quite the opposite of a dating trend, it’s worth pointing out that Bumble also predicts a rise in what they’re calling conscious single. “We’ve all heard of ‘conscious uncoupling’, but 2022 is all about finding that someone, not just anyone,” the site’s experts write, pointing out that, per their data, the pandemic has made half of us (53 percent) realize that it’s OK to be alone for a while. Looking ahead, people are consciously making the decision to be single, with the majority of singletons globally (54 percent) being more mindful in how, and when, they dat
5. Emotional Intelligence > Physical Attractiveness
According to Match.com’s annual Singles in America report, emotional maturity has never been hotter. “This year, for the first time ever, there was a drop in singles’ preference for physical attractiveness, while preference for partner traits like being open-minded and accepting increased,” the report reads. In fact, 83 percent of singles polled are looking for emotional maturity in a partner over physical attractiveness. Looks fade, being a compassionate, progressive human doesn’t.
6. Slow Dating
Yes, still. This one’s been trending since the beginning of the pandemic, and with new variants popping up every few months (or so it seems), it’s sticking around. Per Bumble, slow dating is the trend of “people taking the time to get to know each other and build a connection before deciding if they want to pursue the relationship or meet in person.” The result? Fifty-five percent of people on Bumble are taking longer to move a match offline. Jemma Ahmed, head of insights at Bumble, believes this is related to having the time and circumstances—a pandemic will change your outlook—to think more critically about what they want in a relationship. “People are starting to get to know themselves a lot more,” says Ahmed. “And as a result, they’re taking the time to figure out who is and isn’t right for them.”