August 20, 2021 9:40:46 pm
Dating trends suggest that the way people interact with others, and what they expect from potential partners, has changed a lot in the pandemic. Amid all the loss, longing and suffering, people have tilted more towards finding a companion online, in that they are more open to the prospect of online dating and companionship.
Tinder’s ‘Future of Dating’ report — shared with indianexpress.com — offers insights into the next decade of dating based on behavioural shifts observed during the pandemic. It states that ‘transparency’ and ‘authenticity’ is the new Gen Z flex. In other words, Gen Zs (18-25-year-olds), who make for the app’s largest user base, have become more self-aware and comfortable with presenting their authentic self socially. Boundaries have become more transparent, as have vulnerabilities. There is nothing to shy away from as bios mentioning ‘anxiety’ have grown by 31 per cent, ‘boundaries’ by 19 per cent and ‘consent’ by 11 per cent.
Future of dating
Among the other top trends which have emerged, it is being said that moving forward, boundaries will become more transparent. Members used their bios to make their expectations clear: the phrase ‘wear a mask’ went up 100X throughout the pandemic, ‘boundaries’ is being used more than ever (up 19 per cent), and the term ‘consent’ rose 11 per cent. From the 2,000 Indian singles surveyed, 71 per cent said they are open with their hygiene preferences prior to meeting a date, and 66 per cent said knowing their date’s mask-wearing habits before they meet is important.
More people are also willing to see “where things go”. In the survey, 62 per cent said they aren’t looking for a committed relationship and prefer friendship with romantic potential or casual dating. The dating app users utilised the pandemic for seeking more open-ended relationships rather than conforming to society’s chronology of dating.
In addition, digital dates will remain a part of the new normal. Singles appreciate digital dates’ ability to lower the pressure associated with getting to know someone — 68 per cent found it easier to make connections online, 67 per cent said meeting new people online was liberating, and 60 per cent felt less judged while interacting.
Furthermore, with pandemic shutting down bars and restaurants, the app saw a 3X increase in mentions of ‘roller skating’, and requests for date activities from ‘fort building’ to ‘grocery stores’ in bios.
Members are using their bios to seek out affection like hand-holding, cuddling, or someone to touch their hair. With in-person interactions being restricted, daters grew to appreciate the smaller moments of physical touch. Use of the word ‘cuddle’ increased by 23 per cent, and ‘hand holding’ by up 22 per cent.
It was also found that people will always want to date someone close by. Mentions of ‘moving’ in bios shot up by 28 per cent in 2020.