The dating trends to look out for in 2023, according to the experts
Cuffing season is here, but what's in store for the dating world in 2023? We asked the experts to weigh in.
Every year around this time, the phrase “cuffing season” reenters the nation’s lexicon. A term used to describe the phenomenon of singletons wanting to settle down for the colder months, it seems to be in direct contrast to “hot girl summer” (a time of year when people generally just want to have fun and aren’t necessarily interested in getting into a relationship).
Needless to say, dating terminology has changed dramatically over the last few years – largely thanks to the internet and the myriad apps out there. Not only that, but dating trends have changed too… particularly in our new (almost) Covid-free world.
Whether you want to partake in cuffing season or not, there are a few things to look out for and Bumble, the women-first social networking and dating app, has kindly shared their annual predictions for the eight trends that will shape dating in the new year.
According to the experts, last year’s trends focused on rediscovery as people emerged from the pandemic with new priorities, new learnings and yes, new dating goals. Next year, the world of online dating will be more focused on challenging the status quo and finding balance in how you juggle life, love and everything in between. Bumble’s data shows that it’s a time for great optimism though, with 70% of those polled in their most recent survey saying that they feel positive about the romances that lie ahead.
So, what exactly should singletons expect from dating in 2023?
No more type-casting
If you’ve been single for a while (or even if you haven’t), you’ve probably been asked about what “your type” is. While it’s fair to say that everyone has their preferences, the narrow search for our physical ‘type’ is no longer serving us and Bumble’s research shows that 38% of singletons are now more open to who they will consider dating. More than a quarter of us are also placing less emphasis on dating people others “expect” us to and the overwhelming majority (63%) are now more focused on emotional maturity than physical requirements.
Healthy boundaries and saying no
The return of office culture and commuting and busy social schedules, means that many people are feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment – especially with the festive season fast approaching. We’ll all be forced to prioritise what is most important to us in the coming weeks in order to avoid burnout. More than half (52%) of those surveyed said that they learned how to establish healthy boundaries over the last year both in their professional lives and their personal/romantic lives – 63% of people said they are clearer about their emotional needs/boundaries in relationships nowadays, 59% said they are more thoughtful and intentional about how they put themselves out there and 53% said that they no longer overcommit to social engagements anymore.
The pandemic resulted in a worldwide shift in how we all think about and value, not only our own work, but our partner’s (or potential partner’s) work too. Gone are those days when our job titles and long work days were seen as a symbol of status. In fact, the research shows that more than half of us (54%) care more about a partner’s work-life balance than their career status. 52% of us are actively creating more space for breaks and rest and 13% of people said that they are uninterested in dating someone with a very demanding job.
You’ve heard of wanderlust… but have you heard of wanderlove? Best familiarise yourself with the term as Bumble predicts that it’s going to be one of the biggest dating trends next year. According to them, 33% people on Bumble say that they’re now more open to travelling when it comes to a relationship and would even consider dating people who don’t live in the same city as them. Post-pandemic working from home flexibility means that 14% of us have explored the idea of being a digital nomad – which inevitably influences how we think about dating and where we date too.
New Year, new me(n)
In very good news, conversations about gender norms and expectations have been front and centre in the dating world as of late, and that’s not about to change anytime soon. Over the last year, 74% of men said they have examined their behavior more than ever and now have a clearer understanding of the phrase “toxic masculinity” as a result. More than half of men on Bumble (52%) also said that they are actively challenging stereotypes that suggest that men should not show emotions, for fear of appearing weak. 38% of them aren’t afraid to speak more openly about their emotions with their male friends, while 49% of men agree that breaking gender roles in dating and relationships is beneficial for them too. We. Love. To. Hear. It.
Queen Bey is having a renaissance, but it looks like she’s not the only one. Bumble found that 39% of those on the app are people who have just ended a marriage or come out of a long-term relationship in the last two years.These people are now jumping into their second chapter with 36% using dating apps for the first time, learning to navigate a whole new set of dating codes and language as they go.
Let’s talk about sex, baby
The way that we’re talking, thinking about, and having sex is changing. More of us are approaching sex, intimacy, and dating in an open and exploratory way (42%) and sex is no longer the taboo it used to be with more than half of us agreeing that it’s important to discuss sexual wants and needs early on in a potential relationship. Over the past year, 20% of people said that they have explored their sexuality more with a further 14% of people also now considering a non-monogamous relationship. This doesn’t mean that we’re all having more sex though; 34% of those surveyed said they aren’t currently having sex, and they’re ok with that (this is particularly true amongst Gen-Z at 39%).
The cost of living crisis probably isn’t the kind of sexy pillow talk you had in mind but, it the current economic climate has led to more honest and open conversations about money and dating. 28% of those surveyed said that have set financial boundaries for their dating lives – that’s not to say that people are dating any less, but rather that they’re changing how they date. Casual dates have become much more popular with 57% of singletons saying they are more interested in something lowkey than something fancy – 32% of people said they are actually put off by over-the-top first dates.
*Research was conducted by Bumble using internal polling between October and November 2022, with a simple of 14,300 active Bumble users around the world (including Ireland).