Dating trends revealed by dating apps Bumble and Plenty of Fish revealed just how much the pandemic has impacted our love lives.
The latest research from Bumble found that nearly half of single people globally are looking to “reset” their love life, with many seeking to apply pandemic behaviors in a positive way.
New trends that have been coined by the female-focused app include “Fast Forward”, “Dating Exploration”, “Consciously Single”, “Dry Dating” and “Power PDA”.
In 2021, the term “hard-balling” was introduced into Bumble’s vocabulary, which refers to “really knowing what you want after months of thinking it through”.
This trend is expected to last through 2022, with a majority (59%) of people on Bumble saying they are now more upfront with their partners about what they want.
The new ‘fast forward’ trend was seen after daters on the app dramatically changed what they look for in a partner, with around a third changing their priorities.
A large majority (61%) of respondents globally say they now prioritize emotional availability, while almost a quarter (23%) say they care less about physical appearance.
As well as placing more importance on their emotional needs, singles also spent more time wondering what their “type” is, with nearly half of those on the app saying so.
As people dive deeper into their search for love, 43% of people on Bumble say they would describe their approach to seeing others as “exploratory.”
Alternatively, the app has also seen a change in the number of people choosing to remain “consciously single”. During the pandemic, 53% of app users say they’ve realized it’s “actually okay” to be alone for a while.
The majority (54%) of those who want to date again say they will be more careful and intentional about how and when to date.
In 2021, a study published by the University of Sheffield showed that alcohol consumption fell overall between March and June 2020 compared to the previous year. This shift in our drinking habits has also been reflected in Bumble’s data.
The research found that more people (34%) will consider going on a ‘dry date’ – where no alcohol is consumed – now than before the pandemic.
The dating platform also predicts that ‘power PDA’ is back in full force now that vaccination rates are rising all over the world, and it’s not just celebrities like Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly, or Kourtney Kardashian. and Travis Barker, who are getting in on the trend.
Nearly 70% of daters worldwide say they are now more open to public displays of affection after the pandemic.
However, fear that another lockdown is on the way is also causing some daters to pause to consider whether they want to invest their time and feelings in someone else right now.
To reflect this, the dating site Plenty of Fish coined the term “hesi-dating”, which is defined as: “Feeling indifferent about dating, not knowing whether you want to date seriously or casually because the Life in general is so uncertain right now.”
A survey conducted by the site found that 58% of singles on it don’t know whether they’re looking for a fling or a full-fledged commitment.
Naomi Walkland, Head of Bumble UK & Ireland, said: “While 2020 has been the year of reflection, 2021 has been a year of discovery and we hope that will continue into the new year.
“In addition to rediscovering some of our favorite hangouts, we’ve seen people on Bumble seek to discover new people, new priorities, and explore new ways to hang out.
“A new year means our love lives are a blank slate, making it an exciting time to try something new. It could change what we prioritize in a partner, be more intentional when we date, or just share the activities we love.
“With half of singles looking to ‘reset’ their romantic relationship, we expect the coming months to be important for romance.”