The dating app Bumble released today a new report on six dating trends that they expect for 2023. Trends last year focussed on behaviours like hardballing (stating your expectations clear and upfront) after the pandemic. Expected behaviours for 2023 build on just this, with behaviours like guardrailing, love-life balance, and wanderlove.
As people got back to their pre-pandemic routines, like going back to office and filling their social calendars up again, overwhelm is not uncommon. Bumble finds that “more than half (52%) have established more boundaries over the last year”. This is guardrailing, “and it includes being clearer about our emotional needs and boundaries (63%), being more thoughtful and intentional about how we put ourselves out there (59%), and not overcommitting socially (53%).”
Working from home over the last two years skewed most people’s work-life balance. Given this, Bumble finds that now, with love-life balance, people don’t regard a partner’s big job titles and demanding work schedule as a status symbol. “Over the past year, more than half of people (52%) are actively creating more space for breaks and rest and more than 1 in 10 (13%) will no longer date someone who has a very demanding job,” said Bumble in its report. They also found that 49% of people are now prioritising work-life balance, and that “when it comes to their partner, more than half of people care more about their work-life balance than their career status (54%).
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Given this fresh perspective towards work and life, the study found that “1 in 8 (14%) of us have explored the idea of being a ‘digital nomad’”. This means that “1 in 3 (33%) people on Bumble saying that they are now more open to travel and relationships with people who are not in their current city”, leading to a sizeable number of people on their platform, and perhaps outside of it, too, being open to the idea of wanderlove, or a slightly more nuanced and 21st century version of the long distance relationship.
The fourth trend is that of open casting. Bumble finds that as people’s lives get more flexible, “1 in 3 (38%) people are now more open to who they consider dating beyond their ‘type’ and 1 in 4 (28%) of us are placing less emphasis on dating people that others ‘expect’ us to.” To explain it simple, open casting is the opposite of ‘type casting’ An “overwhelming majority” of their sample (63%) stated that they are “now more focused on emotional maturity than physical requirements.”
Mental maturity has also meant that more millennials and Gen-Z members are aware of nuances of identity, and try to understand the way we mix up and/or perceive sex and gender identities. of gender nuances. In fact, in an interview with Lounge a few months ago, Ahana Dhar, the Tinder India’s director of communications had said that ‘non-binary’ is the No.1 choice within the ‘more genders’ option on the app, which lists over 50 options within it.
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In line with this, the Bumble study has found that their users really engage with conversations about gender norms and identities. “Over the last year, 3 in 4 (74%) of men say they have examined their behaviour more than ever and have a clearer understanding of ‘toxic masculinity’ and what is not acceptable.” Indian users of Bumble especially, as high as 47%, indicate that “they are actively challenging stereotypes that suggest that men should not show emotions, for fear of appearing weak”. The report adds that “29% of men on Bumble in India now speak more openly about their emotions with their male friends, and more than half (52%) of Indian men agree that breaking gender roles in dating and relationships is beneficial for them too.”
Overall, there seems to be a dating renaissance, and this is exactly what Bumble’s sixth and final trend for 2023 is. They find that “while 1 in 3 (39%) people on Bumble (have) ended a marriage or serious relationship in the last two years, 42% of Indians are using dating apps for the first time, (to learn) to navigate new dating language and codes” to start over.
“All of these shifts are changing the ways that people are thinking about relationships what they are looking for in their partners, and how to better balance our relationships, work, and life,” said Samarpita Samaddar, India Communications Director, Bumble. She added that heading into 2023, “we are encouraged by various ways single people are challenging the status quo and taking control of defining what a healthy relationship means for them.”
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