Dating app Plenty of Fish has launched its fifth annual list of dating trends for the upcoming year, identifying new trends that the dating industry would expect to see over the next twelve months.
Plenty of Fish polled nearly 7,000 members based in the United States and found that singles are simultaneously experiencing clarity and uncertainty as it relates to relationships, reinforcing how the pandemic has, and will continue to, influence dating.
Some of the trends that the research found include an increase in using dating apps to forge greater friendships as opposed to romantic interactions, considering COVID-19 vaccinations before committing to date, and an overall hesitation about dating in general.
Plenty Of Fish’s research found that more users are now using dating apps for making friends and connections, as opposed to solely looking for romantic encounters. 50% of singles, including 57% of Gen-Z, have fostered new friendships through dating apps in the last twelve months, and it’s expected to continue deeper into next year as well.
Similarly, research found that more people are ‘megxit-ing’ (a reference to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry quitting the Royal Family), finding that 50% of singles, including 57% of Gen-Z, have quit a toxic relationship with family and friends that negatively impacts your relationship.
Singles also admitted to doing the same things with a new partner that you did with your ex. In fact, one third of singles have done this to someone they were dating, and half (52%) know someone who has done this to someone.
Kate MacLean, dating expert at Plenty of Fish, said: “From pop culture to the pandemic, there are many factors that influence dating. These trends demonstrate a new era in dating that’s been riddled with uncertainty but has thrived with honest communication and a bit of creativity.”
Dr Jess O’Reilly, relationship and dating expert, commented on the research results: “Trends like Hesidating (hosting reservations around going back to dating) and Hanticipation (being unsure of ‘physical contact’ rules post-COVID) are prime examples of how dating and expectations have changed over the past two years.
“Things that used to be second-nature, like handshakes and hugs, can now add an element of awkwardness and can even be deal-breakers. Fortunately, daters have also become more comfortable with open communication, so discussing boundaries — from whether they’re willing to kiss on a first date to whether or not they want something committed or casual — is no longer taboo.”
Read the full research results here.