The events of the past year have had a huge impact on the way we negotiate relationships, both offline and online. And that has influenced how the youth approaches dating today. This shift has spawned many studies, each trying to predict how an average Gen-Z person is navigating online dating now. An interesting trend that has emerged is that of the pre-date. According to a recent Bumble nationwide survey on how single Indians are looking to date in 2021, more and more people, who are exploring virtual dating for the first time, are using video dates to get to know one another before meeting in person. At least 78% of single Indians feel the need to build trust before that first meeting, trying to get to know each other through virtual pre-dates.
And while people would like to forge meaningful relationships offline, their starting point is likely to be in the digital realm. It’s no wonder then that 40% of the respondents are looking at virtual dating in 2021. However, the qualities that they are seeking have undergone a slight change. More than looks and a charming disposition, people are looking at education and career choices when making connections online. The most crucial deciding factor, though, remains the same as the past few years, and that is compatibility.
Also, the venue and nature of the in-person meetings have changed. People are now opting for low-key first in-person dates, preferring to stay indoors. If they are stepping out at all, they prefer to go on long drives or meetings at a local cafe, which they trust. Dating platforms such as Bumble are allowing people to communicate the kind of boundaries they want to set. They can post badges about whether they want virtual, socially distanced or socially distanced with masks dates. In fact, Bumble’s new dating badges have seen a 43% increase in the average number of monthly matches than those who don’t.