As 2023 draws to a close, we (with a big assist from the Bumble dating app) look ahead to what dating trends in 2024 have in store for our dating lives. What can single people expect from dating in the coming year? And how can they prepare?
To find the answers to these questions, Bumble conducted a survey of over 25,000 daters who use our app around the world. Their insights helped us understand what to expect in your dating life next year—and, let’s just say, get ready to put yourself first unapologetically. Daters are looking at 2024 as the year of themselves.
They reject the constant pursuit of perfection, discard outdated timelines, and place greater value on emotional vulnerability and shared priorities. Read on to find out how this clarity will affect dating trends in 2024!
Age is Just a Number
Bumble daters are expanding their age range filters as people become more open to connecting with both older and younger people. For two out of three (63%) of those surveyed, age is not a determining factor when dating, with more than half (59%) saying they are now more open to dating someone younger. It’s clear that we’re also changing the way we view others’ relationships, with more than one in three (35%) women surveyed saying they’ve become less judgmental about age-gap relationships in the past year.
Involvement in Social Causes
The social and political causes we care about are an integral part of our values and worldview. When you’re meeting a potential romantic connection and figuring out how compatible you are, not matching these basics can be a hindrance. Bumble’s research shows that women are less open to dating someone with different political views. For one in three (33%) female respondents, it is not a problem if someone they are dating is not aware of current social issues.
For some, just being aware isn’t enough: one in four (25%) people surveyed on Bumble says it’s key for their partner to be actively involved in politics and social affairs – and that it even makes them more attractive.
Rebellion Against Self-improvement
There’s been a trend toward “self-optimization,” or striving to become the perfect version of yourself, whether that means taking a cold plunge at 5 a.m. or joining self-help podcasts. This left the majority of singles surveyed (55%) feeling under pressure to constantly seek personal improvement, with 1 in 4 (24%) feeling unworthy of a partner. Looking ahead to 2024, singles are rebelling against the notion that they are not enough just the way they are. More than 2 in 3 women in Bumble’s survey (68%) are taking active steps to be happier with who they are right now. In fact, 40% of women surveyed will now only date people who won’t try to change them.
Emotional Intimacy is Key
As we enter the new year, singles focus on finding certainty, security, and understanding in their romantic connections. As for how this manifests in one’s characteristics, it comes down to one thing: emotional intimacy. A third (32%) of Bumble daters surveyed believe that emotional intimacy is now more important than sex—and that it’s actually more attractive than physical connection. When it comes to dating, 3 out of 4 women surveyed (78%) said it is paramount that their partner understands both emotional and physical intimacy.
Movies, music, fashion, and pop culture in 2023 have sparked big conversations about masculinity and gender roles. When it comes to relationships, men seem to take note. One in four (25%) men surveyed said they have actively changed their behavior in their romantic relationships and become more vulnerable to the people they date than ever before. For a quarter of men surveyed (25%), this newfound openness has had a positive impact on their mental health, and for 1 in 3 (32%) openness and vulnerability are the most important aspects of a relationship.
Rejection of Dating Milestones
While we are becoming more progressive on when we are expected to “settle down,” there is still constant pressure to achieve traditional relationship goals such as marriage. The year 2024 is set to change everything. One in three (31%) women surveyed no longer focus on meeting these milestones when it comes to their relationships. Only 1 in 5 (23%) women surveyed on Bumble are looking for marriage, while nearly three-quarters (72%) are looking for a serious, long-term relationship. For nearly a third (31%) of respondents, this means only dating people who share the same perspective, and for 1 in 8 (16%), it means actively avoiding friends and family who put pressure on them to reach certain milestones.
A Shared Love for Sports
Sport is set to dominate dating in 2024, with support for women’s sport growing – and the biggest global competition next summer. For 1 in 3 (31%) singles surveyed, a shared love of sport has now become non-negotiable – regardless of whether you are a player or just a spectator. Our obsession with sports is also changing the way we date, with a quarter of people surveyed (24%) saying attending a game together is important, especially among Gen-Z and millennial singles.
Quality Over Quantity
This year’s prioritization of self-care has resulted in more than half (58%) of singles surveyed on Bumble being more open about their mental health with friends, family, and partners. We’re seeing people reshape the way they date to better protect their mental health, with nearly 1 in 3 (31%) respondents actively ‘slowing down dating’ and considering how often they go on dates. Women reflect this attitude in who they choose to date, with more than 1 in 3 (36%) of women surveyed looking for people who practice and value self-care.
Dating Trends According to the New Dating Lingo
‘Smashing the Date-triarchy,’ ‘Contra-dating,’ and ‘Investi-dating,’ according to recent studies, are all on trend for 2024. This year’s top ten dating terms, coined by a generation of viral dating trends that shape individuals’ experiences, range from defying traditional dating norms to trying something new. Get to know them; you’ll be seeing and hearing them a lot in the New Year!
Smashing the Date-triarchy (/smah-shing the day-tree-are-kee): Becoming less and less inclined to settle into the relationship society expects you to be and instead choosing your own path – a la Barbie!
Use Case: Making a relationship choice based on societal expectations, regardless of whether it meets my needs or respects my boundaries?? I don’t think so! I am Smashing the Date-triarchy and putting my own happiness first!
Contra-dating (/con-trah-day-ting): Dating outside your usual “type”/those you’re usually “compatible” with in order to broaden your horizons and keep an open mind.
Use case: Sure, I don’t usually love someone who loves sports, but why not branch out? I’m Contra-dating to see who else is out there!
Investi-dating (/inv-veh-stee-day-ting): When you and/or your friends go out of your way to stalk a match or date across social media platforms.
Use case: Google, social media searches, viewing tagged images… you can’t limit my Investi-dating skills!
Groundhog-Day-ting(/gr-ownd-hog-day-ting): Take all your first dates to the same place every time because it’s familiar.
Use case: I went to the same place I always go on a first date. And then, as always, I consulted the bartender. It’s called Groundhog Day-ting, duh!
F.O.S.O (/foh-soh): Fear of starting over and staying with someone you’re dating.
Use Case: Confession: I have a serious case of F.O.S.O. I know I’m settling in right now, but have you seen who else is out there!?
Pet-rothing (/pet-tro-thing): Becoming extremely attached to the pet of someone you’re dating and staying with them just for the pet, even if the relationship doesn’t feel right.
Use Case: He’s pretty annoying and I don’t have much fun with him, but have you seen his dog!? We are fully Pet-rothing.
Week Day-ting (/week-day-ting): Making dates only on weekdays so you don’t waste your weekends if they aren’t successful.
Use Case: My weekends are far too precious for me to gamble on potentially bad dates. I’m weekday-ting because of this. Clever, yes?
Reno-dating (/reh-no-day-ting): Focusing on renovating and refreshing your dating approach and/or goals the same way you would in your home.
Use Case: I’m taking Marie Condo’s approach to my dating life by getting rid of the non-joyful – I’m Reno-dating!
Hottie Desking (/ho-tee-des-king): When you play it safe and prioritize trying to find office romance now that workers are spending more time in the office than working from home.
Use case: I hate going to bars to meet people, so I’m trying Hottie Desking! You know, I put more effort into my appearance and clothes and make more connections at work.
Lovesick Leave (/lu-v-sick-lee-v): When your employer offers you time off to recover from the end of a relationship/heartbreak.
Use Case: My breakup was a lot and knocked me down. I couldn’t function, but luckily, my boss gave me a few days of love leave to get back to myself.
After reading this, you ought to be well-versed in all the latest dating trends that are coming around the bend in 2024! We know it seems overwhelming, and, in truth, the new terms are a lot to take in. But as for what’s changing when it comes to dating, it’s all positive–people are prioritizing their own mental well-being and happiness when it comes to relationships and dating. Which is always a good thing!
Bone up on the terms before the ball drops so you aren’t left behind, and we wish you the best of luck in your dating endeavors, whatever they may be! Here’s to love and dating in 2024!