Comprehensive roadmap to navigate dating
Nearly a month into 2022, new year’s resolutions set and a covid roadmap in place, breathing optimism back into love lives of many Australians, singles are expecting a season of love akin to the roaring 20’s. A sudden fling of romantic activity isn’t completely unrealistic as singles set dive back into the dating scene headfirst ready to make the most of new found freedom.
But a lot has changed since March 2020, the impact Covid has had on our relationships and social lives, and the way we date.
Moreover millennials, baby boomers and zoomer’s the “coronials” have emerged.
Not specific to the years you’re born, “coronials” applies to anyone who has been single or looking for love during the corona virus including couples who have had to reshape their relationships or end them.
Many singles are reporting rusty dating skills, resulting in low confidence, dating app exhaustion, the aftermath of being catfished, trying to tell the difference between a scammer and a potential match, FODA, (fear of dating again) topped off with the question, “are you vaccinated?”. it will take some time before singles adapt to the most multifaceted dating landscape we have seen in decades.
For many coronials who have dated BC (before covid) the rules have changed and finding balance between the past, present and future comes with challenges and for those just entering the dating scene being equipped with the right tools will make all the difference to the outcome.
Stats and facts of the new dawn of dating?
People abandoned intimate relationships during lockdown. Marriage rates plummeted by 30% the lowest recorded since 1901.
Singles got used to virtual dates and fostered, bought or adopted pets to keep them company with highest adoption rates in ten years. In May this year, Melbournes Lost Dog’s Home saw 697 adoptions.
Slow and steady or rearing to go and ready:
How Aussies are really feeling about post-lockdown dating?
Are they taking it slow or putting their fingers in all the pies prepping for hot vax summer?
“It is very clear that the pandemic has brought about new dating behaviours for single Australians. As we head out of lockdown and into the warm summer months, predictions of a ‘hot vax summer’ might not be completely accurate as single Australians are more cautious about first-time sex and look to find more meaningful relationships.”
- According to Bumble, 75% of singles said they felt some anxiety about returning to dating.
- “Slow Dating” is becoming the main goal with Australian singles, who said they’re looking to spend more time with potential partners before diving into romance.
- 53% of single Aussies expressed that they will wait longer to have sex with a new partner compared to before the pandemic.
- 39% of users confirm they’ve been “picky” since lockdown lifted, and 91% of those singles said they’re doing it to avoid time-wasters.
- 49% of single Aussies reveal they will only date vaccinated people.
- 70% of users are ready to date post lockdown, 20% will stick to socially distanced dates, and 10% only feel comfortable with virtual dates.
- The idea of the perfect first date has also changed, as walking dates and activity based dates have superseded crowded pubs and busy coffee shops.
Being fearful of dating? Ready to go back to the search for a mate versus taking a safer and now more familiar lifestyle of space and independence. Normalcy?
(38%) users said that the pandemic has led to them overthinking the little details and more than half (53%) are resolving in 2021 to not overthink their dating life and be in the moment.
Hinge users (78%) noted that they’re taking steps to invest in their mental health, whether that means working out more or setting better boundaries with social media. And 29% of users say they’re seeing a mental health professional to help them cope.
80% of OkCupid users said they’re looking for a steady partner post pandemic. Daters are also two times as likely to say they want to settle down earlier because of the pandemic.
75% of Hinge users said they’re seeking a relationship before a casual fling. “People spent the last year slowing down, reflecting on what’s most important in their lives and becoming more honest with themselves.
Dating trends 2022
Dating over the past two years has been a new experience to say the least. From virtual dates and finding love during lockdown to navigating the tricky world of post-date lockdowns and “should I share my vaccination status?”. The landscape is ever changing, and new trends are constantly surface.
Since 2020 we’ve all had to get comfortable being out of our comfort zones and adapt to the new normal of dating.
The emotionally equal
With so many challenges the ability to adapt and deal with adversity has become a necessity. Meeting someone who has worked on themselves and has the capacity to connect on a deeper level and manage their emotions has become more important. According to dating app Hinge, if you mention you go to therapy on the first date, you’re more likely to get a second. And despite 83% of users prefer to date someone in control of their mental health, only 9% feel like they can bring up the topic.
Speak right voice-notes on dating apps are on the rise
Daters have gotten used to seeing a photo and making a decision to meet based on how you look and how you communicate via text. The introduction of virtual dating not only created opportunities to date during lockdown. Attraction isn’t just about looks voice is a major contributor of attraction.
Hinge reports 64% of users say that voice is a big factor in being attracted to someone.
But warns just like the rest of someone’s profile, you can’t believe everything you hear. Hinge has recently admitted it’s seeing a trend of “voice-fishers” on the app, mainly due to people not liking specific accents or voices over audio.
Having time alone in lockdowns and various restrictions to the way we socialise singles have had time to think about what is truly important. Not wanting to waste time dating the wrong people “fast-forwarding” is looking to the future, stating what you’re looking for and only meeting people who fit the criteria. We’ve seen a massive surge in daters seeking out matchmaking services to fast forward the process and bumble observed around a third of users changing their priorities.
Not being able to date has allowed singles to be okay with where they are. With good reason for not being able to date there’s been a shift in the number of people who are choosing to stay “consciously single”. During the pandemic, 53 per cent of people on Bumble said they realised it’s “actually OK” to be alone for a while.
Being brutally honest about what you want and refusing to accept less. Not meeting people unless they fit what you are looking for and not having more than one date unless all the boxes are ticked.
A new term for an old behaviour. Common among people who are new to dating or have become recently single. Not really knowing exactly what you want or if you even want a relationship. Exploring different options which includes dating multiple people and not missing opportunities. As people dive deeper into their search for love, 43 per cent of people on Bumble say they would describe their approach to seeing other people as “exploratory”.
10 do’s and don’ts for 2022
1. Cut ties with old flames and maybes
None are helpful to attracting the right person. People you text when you are bored or lonely perpetuate the problem and keep you in the holding pattern.
2. Brush up on your hygiene
You aren’t at home anymore. Sort out your hair management including nose hair, ear, back, legs, underarm and the more intimate places of your body. Pay attention to overgrown toenails and chewed fingernails.
3. Use the word NEED more
It does not make you needy to need. Telling people openly and honestly what you need shows you are capable of being vulnerable which is essential to emotional connection.
4. Get on the date as soon as possible
By all means have phone chats and video calls but in person social dynamics are crucial to establishing connection.
5. Date intentionally
Be clear about the outcome you are looking for date with the intention of the end game. If you want a long-term relationship you have to be prepared to get under the surface which takes multiple dates.
6. Flirting with your mask on
The two most important points of attraction are the eyes and the smile. Even from behind the mask it’s important that you smile it shows in your eyes, to be clear about the fact you are flirting, smile and look the person directly in the eye, look away momentarily and then straight back to a smiling eye lock.
7. Use niche dating platforms
The right tool for the job applies to dating. Choose the right platform for you dating needs and fish in the same pond.
8. Dry dating
Plan dates that don’t rely on alcohol to help things run smoother or feel less awkward.
9. Be more accepting of fur babies
Dating in the pandemic hasn’t been easy, many singles felt isolated and lonely and found comfort in the unconditional love of a pet.
10. Stand out with your voice
Sending personalised voice messages has many benefits, you’ll showcase your personality, avoid out of context text messages, save time in constructing texts, establish attraction with your voice and you’ll be encouraging the other person to reply via voice messaging offering the same advantages to you.
Never do these when dating
1. Don’t put up your best photo first
As much as you may think the most gorgeous photo of you will get you more matches it can in fact make you less approachable. Put your true self out there in a more natural way.
2. Spray and pray
No copy and pasting the same message and sending to multiple people hoping someone will bite.
3. Don’t give away too much too soon
Different from playing games but allowing a comfortable amount of time before disclosing all your personal truths or how you feel will help avoid being left wondering if someone wrote you off too soon rather than allowing differences. We are all more accepting of opposites once we like someone.
4. Don’t hold back sharing you have therapy
The pandemic affected us in unprecedented ways forcing the need for self-care and prioritising what is important. Taking care of mental health and seeking help is considered attractive according to a survey of 8000 singles 91% said they would prefer to date someone who has had therapy, so don’t hide it.
5. Stop repeating yourself
Being clear about what you want is important but there is no need to continue telling your dates the same thing over and over, it’s insulting and they heard you the first time.
WISHING YOU LOVE, ALWAYS,
Louanne Ward x
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