From situationships to open casting, this is your cheat sheet to modern dating.
While the year might have changed, the struggle to find a romantic partner remains. First, navigating dating apps and finding someone to talk to is challenging. And the problem doesn’t end there. After finding a romantic interest, you need to know modern dating lingo to determine what they expect from this relationship.
If you haven’t been keeping up with all the new terms and trends, you’ve come to the right place! Here is a list of the top five dating trends you need to know about for Valentine’s Day 2023.
One of the biggest dating buzzwords of 2022 was “situationship”. If you search #situationship on Instagram, you will be flooded with over 200,000 posts featuring the topic. The hashtag is even more popular on Tik Tok, garnering 2.1 billion views. For the uninitiated, a “situationship” is a situation where the partners have not defined their relationship. Consequently, the relationship exists in somewhat of a limbo where you’re not quite dating but are involved enough not to classify it as just hanging out.
Situationships come with no expectations, which might be a good thing in some cases, giving people a chance to explore what they want. But they can quickly turn sour if one person’s expectations of the equation differ. The person who wants more might get significantly hurt once the situationship ends because of unresolved emotions. So, the next time you are in that weird dating limbo, it might be a good idea to introspect and get out of it if you want more.
According to research conducted by the dating application Bumble in the U.K., 62% of the population believes they will have a better chance of finding deeper connections if they don’t drink on their dates. This belief has probably resulted in the increasing popularity of “dry” dating.
Dry dating means sobriety on your dates. It takes dating away from “grabbing a drink” to more engaging activities, like brunch, visiting an art museum or hiking. The concept posits that you can have deeper conversations with your date if you’re sober. This can help you better evaluate if the person you are meeting is the right fit.
The current economic climate is highly volatile; people are getting fired left, right and center. So, the dating scene today is becoming more financially conscious. It is this consciousness that is leading to the rise of infla-dating. A portmanteau of inflation and dating, infla-dating is the practice of going on inexpensive dates during financially uncertain times. The online dating platform Plenty of Fish has forecasted infla-dating to be one of the biggest dating trends of 2023. Their research reveals that 48% of Gen Z and millennials want to go on budget-friendly dates.
Again, just like dry dating, infla-dating requires people to be more creative about what to do on dates. A typical infla-date would consist of activities like taking a scenic walk, riding bikes and attending free local events. Infla-dating has also made people carefully consider whether the person they are considering asking out is worth the time and money.
While the previous two entries on this list make you consider whether someone suits you, this trend urges you to go rogue. Open casting basically means choosing to go out with people who might not meet your ideals in terms of physical attractiveness. According to research conducted by Bumble, one in three singles today is open to dating people that aren’t their “type”.
You might think having a type is beneficial, especially given the vast online dating pool. However, this is not the best idea when boiling people down to their physical features. Moreover, fixating on a mental checklist and dismissing everyone who doesn’t meet each and every requirement would simply leave you empty-handed in your quest for love.
The final trend on this list is non-monogamy. According to research conducted by the dating platform Hinge, 15% of Gen Z users and those in the LGBTQ community are now open to non-monogamy. But the current approach to non-monogamy is ethical; this means that everyone involved in the relationship knows about the arrangement and agrees to it.
The reason behind this is pretty simple— people feel like all their needs aren’t being met by just one person, so they look for other partners to fill the gaps in their current relationship. But in the interest of being ethical, ignoring the needs of any of the partners is a strict no-no in these non-monogamous relationships.
You may not agree with every trend mentioned here, but knowing about them helps you better understand the current dating landscape. Ultimately, you should prioritize what you want from a relationship above all else. If one (or more) of these trends helps you get that, then go for it and apply them to your life. If not, you know exactly what you need to avoid.
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Header image courtesy of Envato.