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Remember when dating was as simple as meeting someone out at a bar, exchanging numbers and grabbing drinks? Or, swiping right until you matched, exchanging witty convo and then making plans for dinner? Pre-pandemic dating was basically a cakewalk, but between lockdowns and mask mandates, meeting new people has become not just difficult, but at times, pretty damn risky. Luckily, we’re evolving past Zoom dates and returning to real-world interactions—and these 2022 dating trends are proof.
Like many of us, I put my love life on hold during the pandemic. I didn’t want to risk being exposed to coronavirus and potentially infecting my family, just to hear a finance bro wax poetic about his work-life balance over happy hour espresso martinis I was hoping he’d pay for. Try as I did, I couldn’t take dating apps seriously with little opportunity to meet IRL, so for much of 2020 and 2021, I stayed single as a pringle.
Fast-forward to now and I’m in a happy relationship (the happiest!) but that doesn’t mean I don’t remember how frustrating it was to put myself out there in the dating scene. As you refresh your dating app profile for 2022, consider the below dating trends to keep your expectations in check.
And BTW? I have a feeling this will be your year. Love is in the air!
Therapy! Is! Cool!!!! And fortunately, most daters agree. According to Hinge‘s 2022 dating prediction data, 91 percent of users want to date someone who goes to therapy—and 89 percent of daters are more likely to agree to a second date if the person mentions therapy on the first date. Talk about entering into the dating pool with a healthy mindset!
97 percent of Hinge users want to date someone who prioritizes mental health, so expect a lot of strong, healthy relationships blooming this year. In the words of RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”
Pre-pandemic, the idea of dry dating would’ve terrified me—I like a little buzz to loosen up and get the conversation flowing! But according to Bumble‘s dating predictions for the year ahead, the ways in which we tie together drinking and dating have shifted. Now, 34 percent of people globally are more open to the idea of a dry date (a.k.a. no cocktails) and 25 percent of Americans acknowledge that they drink a lot less now than they did back in 2019.
If, like me, you’re accustomed to taking a pre-date shot to soothe your jitters, consider dry dating an opportunity to explore communicating with potential partners more openly without your fave spirits taking the edge off.
If you don’t listen to Taylor Swift, ignore those lyrics and just focus on the “Drop Everything Now” bit. Apps like Thursday are helping daters skip the talking phrase and get right to IRL dating. Friday through Wednesday, the app is out of commission—but for 24 hours on Thursday, users can match potential partners and make plans to meet up immediately. Why wait a week to get drinks when you can link up with your same-day match in seconds? This app is ideal for “love at first sight” truthers.
This one is bad news for any budding TikTok stars or IG influencer wannabes. According to Hinge, 78 percent of users think someone being too obsessed with Instagram is a red flag. What’s more, 82 percent of users feel the same when a potential partner is too into Snapchat. Of course, you shouldn’t shy away from creating content and enjoying social media, but if your priorities are on growing a following and not fostering a relationship, you might want to stay single and focus on you. (Spoiler Alert: These same daters will still stalk your IG story months after ghosting. The irony is thick.)
In 2022, we aren’t playing games when it comes to relationships—instead, we’re playing games about our relationships! From We’re Not Really Strangers to Serena Kerrigan’s Let’s Fucking Date, everyone is loving card games that allow you to unlock a deep level of convo early on in your relationship, without having to feel weird about asking intrusive Qs. Want to know about your partner’s dating history, their first impression of you or their plans for the future? Pick a card, any card, and prepare to get deep. Honesty is the best policy, after all!
According to Bumble, 53 percent of users are content with the idea of being alone for a while. What’s more, 54 percent are vowing to be more mindful about dating and 46 percent claim to not feel self-conscious for being single. Talk about a healthy mindset! Better to choose to be alone than with someone who isn’t the right match, so use this data as proof you’re better off single than apologizing for your meh partner’s weird Facebook rants. Viva la conscious singledom!