Staying indoors has helped the world recover from the devastating pandemic, but the dating game has come a long way with many changes.
In 2021, most singles were on the hunt to find ‘the one’ while others were happy being on their own. Relationships and marriages saw a lot of issues, arguments, and fights but also make ups as lockdowns helped couples to bond more at home. Online dating turned up as the place to find love and statistics reveal that Tinder was the most downloaded application with over five million monthly downloads globally. Now, the new year is here with us and grisly lockdown behind us.
Relationship experts argue that our dating lives are a blank page, making it an exciting time to embrace something new. This could mean changing what we previously prioritise in a partner, sharing the activities we love, and being more purposeful about how and when we date. Let’s look at the biggest dating trends we might get to see in 2022
As the name suggests, this trend implies that you’re looking ahead and really weighing options on whether your potential partner fits into what you desire to have in life or not. Experts at Bumble say that, for 34 percent of people globally, the pandemic has radically changed what they are now interested in dating and settling in marriage.
Globally, statistics reveal that two in three people will now prioritise emotional availability and a quarter will care less about appearances. In 2021, people gained more experiences in what does and doesn’t work and hence, fast-forwarding will enable single people to focus on selective dating to avoid wasting time. According to Dr Susan Gitau, a counselling psychologist, self-reflection will give people space to assess what they want from a relationship and what they can bring in it.
There’s no doubt that the past two years have made people think twice about physical affection especially after restrictions imposed by the government to observe distance. In particular, single people have been lonely and it’s been such a long road to finding a perfect match online.
But surprisingly, with vaccination rates increasing, Public Displays of affection better known as PDA will be back in a big way and it seems it’s not just the celebs that will be into it. Naomi Walkland, Bumble’s Head of UK and Ireland stated that, ‘if 2020 was the year of reflection, 2021 was the year of discovery and we expect to see that continue this new year’. Bumble explains that there will be a rise in people displaying their affection in public rather than the ‘private front’ we’re used to seeing.
Their research predicts that we will spot couples smooching on the streets as a way to demonstrate a sense of freedom combined with excitement of enjoying dating life.
With the increasing popularity of dating apps and a pandemic to deal with, the concept of dating will become trickier for some. According to Bumble’s recent dating report, this year presents an opportunity to learn about who we are as individuals and what matters to us. The report reveals that the pandemic made 53% of the global population realise that it is actually okay to be alone for a while. Looking ahead, people will consciously make a decision to be single with the majority being more intentional and mindful in how and when they date. There will be a trend of ‘slow dating’ in which two in five people will be taking their time in getting to know people prior to taking the next step.
In the last two years, the pandemic has kept people closely knit with the help of social media. As per the research done by relationship experts. 73 percent of single people will see virtual dating as a low pressure way of sowing seeds of love for someone compared to dating traditionally.
There will be a sense of excitement and hope around dating as people interact globally and hence, eliminating any differences that may emerge in culture and race. “With over 40% of single Kenyans, 2022 looks like a big year for romance, “says Dr Florence Kamau, a counselling psychologist and relationship expert. The therapist adds that online dating will open dating opportunities beyond your geographical location and increases the probability of finding your match. Hence, less hassle in finding a potential partner according to compatibility or just “the one’.
The pandemic has taught people to venture out of their comfort zones and try out hobbies they didn’t have time for. The endless dating apps have created a great platform for people to understand the kind of relationships that would work out well and those which wouldn’t.
With that understanding, most people will explore and see if they can ‘vibe’ with the probable romantic interest and keen to detect the deal-breakers. Dr James Omondi, a relationship expert and life coach expert, says that most people will build the foundations of a strong relationship and they will think outside the box to find a perfect match.
Body Image Anxiety
Since the onset of the pandemic, Dr Susan Gitau, counselling psychologist says that “most people have cooped up in the houses for months, interacting on online platforms, teleworking, and not being active.”
Another research by Bumble adds that, most people will feel pressure to get themselves into shape ahead of dating post-vaccination. This study accounts that many will be anxious about their body image and hence resulting in some working out while others going for surgeries to reduce weight.