As we emerge from the pandemic it’s clear that looking for love has changed. The reasons behind our desire for intimacy and the ways in which we meet potential partners have shifted, and for Gen-Z, things are set to become a lot more wholesome.
It appears that these (apologies in advance for this phrase) unprecedented times have given rise to a stronger sense of transparency, according to a new study by Tinder. The results confirm that after enduring various lockdowns our expectations of dating and relationships have been somewhat repositioned.
Many of us will have used the last 12 months to reassess priorities. This has translated across Tinder bios, in particular, where users have started to open up about their mental health with refreshing honesty. The use of “anxiety” in bios increased by 31 per cent, and the term “normalise” has spiked. It makes sense – 48 per cent of app users admitted they’re looking for a partner who is, “honest, authentic and truly themselves”.
Dating in the past year has been fraught with ‘what’s allowed?’ themed questions as restrictions have been eased and quickly tightened again by the government. This, in turn, saw the use of words such as “boundaries” and “consent” significantly increase in Tinder conversations. The study’s findings reveal that the impact of such open discussions is likely to continue beyond mask-wearing and social distancing queries to make crucial discussions about sexual consent commonplace.
With meet-cutes out of the picture, 2020 proved to be the busiest year in Tinder’s history, with over three billion swipes in a single day on 29 March, which happened on a further 130 occasions across the course of the year. It wasn’t only chatting that reaped the rewards of the lockdown, either. Nearly half of Tinder users had a video meets with a match over the course of the pandemic – interactions that were pivotal in easing loneliness. Of course, for those that struggle with pre-date nerves or want to make sure an IRL date is worth it, video calls were efficient – the research shared that 40 per cent of members will opt for a video call with a prospective date even when society opens up again.
There was also a renewed focus on intimacy and genuine connection, with dating patterns turning to a more PG direction: think holding hands and playing Animal Crossing over one-night stands or sloppy drunken kisses. The mentions of “Animal Crossing” alone increased by 30 per cent, with “TV show-mancing” (simultaneously watching a television programme) proving a successful way to secure a second date. One in five 18 to 25-year-old’s virtually watched TV together for an alternative first date.
As addressed in Harry Styles’s now seminal “Watermelon Sugar” video, 2020 was a year spent largely without human touch. Tinder’s research suggests the return to physical contact has started slow and steady: “hand-holding” and “cuddles” are further examples of keywords on the up.
Read more: “Tinder Removed The Fear Of Humiliation, That Changed Everything” – How Tech Has Transformed Modern Love
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