Monday, February 06, 2023

Bumble Reveals Dating Trends to Expect in 2023

You can say in 2022, dating has been a stormy ride. So what is in store for our love lives in 2023?

Photo by Abdullah Alsaibaie

Over the past year, relationship priorities have shifted, with people favoring increased vulnerability and mindfulness, as well as giving sober (curious) dating a whirl. A new trend called Winter Coating has emerged, whereby people reach out to former partners and exes to rekindle an extinguished flame so they will have someone to keep them warm during the winter. The cost of living is also having a major impact on dating habits, with many opting for "cash candid dating" — increased transparency over their finances (and money worries) in the early stages of dating. Environmentally conscious singles are opting for "green dating" and eliminating potential matches not aligned with their views on climate change.


Dating app Bumble has released its annual predictions for what we can expect in the New Year. Warning, emotional needs are high on people's list of priorities.


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Naomi Walkland, Bumble’s vice president for Europe, said, "2022 was a formative year with the return of travel, the drastic increase in our social lives and commitments, and several turbulent global events." She added it left many people feeling exhausted and overwhelmed in response to these changes. "In response to this, we’ve seen that people on Bumble are now prioritizing, identifying, and clearly articulating their boundaries. These boundaries can be emotional, like being upfront about what they want or recognizing red and green flags, physical, like ensuring they don’t over commit themselves, or financial, encouraging candid conversations about previously taboo topics." 


New Year - New Men - In a survey of 14,300 Bumble users around the world, seventy-four percent of men say they have looked inward and analyzed their own behavior more than ever and have a clearer understanding of toxic masculinity. The term toxic masculinity refers to a set of beliefs and behaviors, including hiding your emotions or distress, using violence or "tough-guy" behavior as a way of showing power, and exhibiting an appearance of "hardness". Fifty-two percent of people on Bumble are actively trying to challenge the gender stereotype men should not show emotions out of fear of seeming "weak". Over a third (thirty-eight percent) of people now talk about emotions more openly with male friends, and half of the men think that dismantling gender roles in relationships and dating will benefit them.


Photo by Mikhail Nilov

Guard Railing - Setting boundaries is essential in all kinds of relationships — whether you have just started dating, you are at work, or in any other situation involving interactions with other human beings. Sixty-three percent of daters say they are clearer about emotional needs and boundaries, and fifty-nine percent are more thoughtful and intentional about how they put themselves out there, with fifty-three percent aiming to not over-commit to socializing.


Love-life Balance - Many people have been redefining what work and professionalism mean to them in 2022. It makes sense, therefore, that people are also inspecting the values they seek in romantic partners. Looking good on paper and prioritizing professional success are not at the top of everyone's list these days. In what people are looking for in a partner, fifty-four percent of people surveyed care more about their work/life balance than their career status. One in ten people will no longer date someone who has a very demanding job, and fifty-two percent of people are actively trying to make more space for rest in their life.

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Open Casting - One in three daters is now more open to considering dating beyond their "type". In the UK in particular, fifty-two percent of daters are expanding their horizons beyond what they would typically go for. One in four people is less pressured when meeting other people's expectations of whom they should date.


Ethical Sex-ploration - Let us talk about sex. Forty-three percent of daters are navigating sex and intimacy in a more exploratory and open way, while fifty-three percent believe it is paramount to express sexual wants and needs early in a relationship. Over the past year, twenty percent of daters have explored their sexuality more, and one in eight people are considering ethical non-monogamy. These figures do not mean people are having more sex. However, in the UK, forty-two percent of daters surveyed are currently not having sex, and they are fine with that, and globally, thirty-four percent said the same.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

Wander Love - Thirty-three percent of people on Bumble is now more open to having relationships with people not in their current city. With more jobs allowing for flexible work arrangements and even "digital nomad" arrangements, fourteen percent of daters have explored the prospect of becoming a digital nomad and dating people from far-flung destinations.


Dating renaissance - Many of us know someone who had a pandemic breakup. Per Bumble's data, thirty-nine percent of people on the dating app ended a marriage or serious relationship within the past two years. These individuals are not entering a second chapter — a renaissance if you will — and some of whom (thirty-six percent) are using dating apps for the very first time.


If 2022 was anything to go by, we are in for more changes in 2023 — hopefully positive ones, like those listed above.

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