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Open casting, wanderlove and ethical sex: These are Bumble’s dating trend predictions for 2023

The dating app’s research reveals new behaviours among singletons

Kate Ng
Thursday 17 November 2022 16:22 GMT
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Bumble has revealed the top dating trends the platform predicts will “define dating” in 2023.

The women-first dating app conducts research each year to discover how dating patterns evolve and what trends singletons can expect to see in the coming months.

Bumble suggests that people should be “optimistic” about the dating scene in 2023, as 70 per cent of people globally say they “feel positive about the romance that lies ahead”.

The top trend Bumble predicts will be big next year is “open casting”, where people are more open to dating outside their usual “type”.

The app’s research found that one in three (38 per cent) people are expanding their requirements beyond their physical type, a trend that is more prevalent in the UK.

More than half (52 per cent) of British daters said they are more open to who they consider dating. In addition, one in four (28 per cent) are placing less emphasis on dating people that others “expect” them to.

People looking for love are also more likely to “guardrail” in the coming year, due to the return of office culture and busy social schedules post-pandemic.

According to Bumble, more than half (52 per cent) of people have established more boundaries over the last year, including being clearer about their emotional needs (63 per cent), being more thoughtful about how they put themselves out there (59 per cent), and not overcommitting to social events (53 per cent).

Also related to work, single people are becoming less likely to see high-profile job titles and long work days as a “status symbol” and are prioritising work/life balance.

More than half (54 per cent) of people said they care more about work/life balance than their career status when it comes to their potential partner. It might come as bad news to some that more than one in 10 (13 per cent) of people said they will no longer date someone who has a very demanding job.

Bumble also highlighted “wanderlove”, a phrase it has coined to refer to people who are more open to starting relationships with people who do not live in the same city.

(Getty Images)

It appears that single men are undergoing a mindset shift. Over the last year, the majority of men (74 per cent) said they have examined their behaviour more than ever and now have a better understanding of “toxic masculinity”.

More than half (52 per cent) of people on the app said they are “actively challenging stereotypes that suggest men should not show emotions, for fear of appearing weak”.

Bumble also expects people who have ended a marriage or a serious relationship in the last two years to embark on their “dating renaissance” next year. Its research shows that one in three (36 per cent) of these singletons are using dating apps for the first time and learning how to navigate the dating pool.

Lastly, “ethical sex-ploration” is expected to be big in 2023 as more people change the way they think and talk about, and have, sex.

Nearly half (42 per cent) said they are approaching sex and intimacy in an “open and exploratory way”, with more than half agreeing it is important to discuss sexual wants and needs early in a relationship.

But although a fifth of people said they are exploring their sexuality more and one in eight are considering a non-monogamous relationship, having more sex does not appear to be at the top of anyone’s priorities. One in three (34 per cent) people are currently not having sex, and are fine with it, especially in the UK (42 per cent).

Naomi Walkland, Bumble’s vice-president for Europe, said: “2022 was a formative year with the return of travel, the drastic increase in our social lives and commitments, and a number of turbulent global events.

“However, for some people this post-pandemic shift left them feeling out of control and exhausted. In response to this, we’ve seen that people on Bumble are now prioritising identifying and clearly articulating their boundaries.”

She explained: “These boundaries can be emotional, like being upfront about what they want or recognising red and green flags; physical, like ensuring they don’t overcommit themselves; or financial, encouraging candid conversations about previously taboo topics.

“All of these shifts are changing the ways that people are thinking about what they are looking for, and how they better balance our relationships, work, and life. As we head into the new year, we are encouraged by the many ways single people are challenging the status quo and taking control of defining what a healthy relationships means for them.”

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