Inner Circle has released their dating trends for 2022, as well as taking a look back on the industry over the previous twelve months. The trends are led by Inner Circle’s dating expert, Charly Lester.
Inner Circle first look back on 2021 found that dating politics have become a significant sticking point when it comes to differing opinions. Vaccination, lockdown decisions, and global politics have divided the nation and hardened peoples’ acceptance of alternate views, and this has had a huge effect on dating. In a world where we can often see someone’s political leanings (or views on masks and vaccination) before we even speak to them, these things have climbed higher up peoples’ deal-breaker lists. Recent analysis by Inner Circle found writing “No tories” on your profile lands you 92% fewer matches.
Inner Circle’s research also found that rather than the expected ‘hot vax summer’ many singles experienced quite the opposite. After eighteen months working from home, and with a restricted social life, many people are finding the effort of getting dressed up and going out, a far bigger chore than it has ever been. With Covid still very much with us, people are still picky about who they get up close and personal with. As a result, many daters have become even more picky than they were before the pandemic, choosing to only meet up in real life with those who fit a very strict list of parameters.
Looking forward to 2022, Inner Circle found that dating with a good cause in mind is going to be a key trend. 2021 saw a return to simpler pleasures on the dating scene – with walks in the park, and other outdoor activities dominating dating options. It also saw a rise in people wanting to find dates interested in social causes, eco-friendly activities and plant-based eating. In 2022, the industry see a combination of the two, with a rise in dating activities which give back to society, or contribute more positively to our world – whether it’s litter picking, planting trees or volunteering for charity.
Inner Circle also found that 2022 is expected to be the year of honest dating. Gen Z are notorious for their upfront, no holds barred attitude to communication, and as more and more of them enter the dating space, that is affecting the scene as a whole. We’ve seen a huge rise in conversations about consent in recent years, accelerated by Me Too and Covid effects on physical boundaries. There is also an increasing openness about expectations and desires, as people of all gender identities, sexualities and preferences become more confident that they can express themselves in society. This is permeating all areas of dating. People aren’t afraid to be who they want to be, and to say what they want, and what they don’t. As a result, they are communicating more honestly than ever before. According to research from Inner Circle, half of people even describe themselves as an ‘open book’ and say they would happily lay out their dating intentions on their profile.
The 2022 predictions follow a report launched by Inner Circle in October, looking at modern attitudes towards sex and dating. The research found that the pandemic has changed the attitude towards sex of many singles, with 25% saying they would sleep with someone quicker than normal. However, 23% of respondents said it would take them longer.