Dating is evolving. As technology plays an increasingly integral role in the way we meet new people and form relationships, there are new avenues to explore. If you’re looking for ‘the one,’ and you’re not sure how to maximize your chances of falling head over heels, it’s worth checking out these top dating trends.
The office romance may be less common than it was in the pre-pandemic era, but studies suggest that meeting people at work is still number 1 on the list of how people find their partners. Now that employees are going back to work, there are golden opportunities to catch up and meet new faces in the flesh, perhaps over a coffee at lunchtime, a gentle stroll around the block during a break or around the water cooler. Meeting a partnerat work is a fantastic idea because often, you have a lot in common with the people you work with and you get to see them regularly without worrying about logistics or schedules. If possible, try to avoid dating coworkers in the same team or department if you don’t want to deal with the awkwardness of a fallout or get others involved in the developing romance. It’s best to keep a distance so that your relationship doesn’t affect your work or cause problems for your colleagues. Dry dating has become increasingly popular in the last five years, as more and more people go teetotal or restrict their intake of alcohol. A survey by dating app, Bumble, revealed that 34% of daters prefer dry dating, which doesn’t involve drinking alcohol. If you have negative experiences of dates that have spiraled out of control due to too many shots, or a date that turned up drunk, dry datingcould be for you. When you date without drinking, you can get to know people better and you don’t have to break down barriers or try to distinguish between bravado and genuine personality traits. You can also dodge hangovers and avoid the post-date, alcohol-induced fear the next morning as you check your phone or social media feeds looking for clues about what happened the night before.
Dating apps used to be a staple for young people but studies show that apps for all ages have become increasingly prolific. Searches for apps for older daters have skyrocketed in the last few years, as over 50s become more tech-savvy and open to trying new ways of dating. The beauty of apps is that they open doors at the touch of a button. Once you have a profile and you’ve set your criteria, you can start swiping, no matter where you are or what time of the day it is. Users can set preferences in terms of age, location and interests and find matches without even leaving the comfort of their couch. For older daters, dating apps represent an easy, convenient way to connect with people and start relationships.
More and more people are enlisting professional help in the form of therapy and coaching. The demand for therapy has been increasing steadily in the US for several years, and trends suggest that younger generations are more likely to see a therapist regularly. Life coaching has also become more popular. For those who are struggling to find their perfect match, it’s possible to explore coaching options. If you see a dating coach for men, for example, they can help you address issues that may be holding you back, such as a lack of confidence, and identify effective ways to expand your circle and meet people who you might want to date. Coaching can be particularly beneficial for people who have come out of long-term relationships, those who haven’t dated for a long time and individuals who have negative experiences of dating. The pandemic has triggered a shift towards hard-ball dating. This is a form of dating that involves being blunt, open and honest about what you want from a relationship. Months of restrictions, staying at home and watching horrific news stories unravel on the TV have prompted many of us to think about what we really want from life and how we’re going to go about achieving it. Dating can be fun, but if you’ve already been searching for years, or you’re tired of going on dates that amount to nothing, your patience may be wearing thin. Hard-ball dating prevents time-wasting and gives you the opportunity to lay out your thoughts and ideas from the outset. There’s no point in wasting time, energy and money going on a date with somebody who’s looking for a casual fling if you’re out to meet your life partner, for example. Getting straight to the point will help you narrow down your options and make sure you’re on the same page as the people you date.
A UK survey suggests that almost 20% of people meet their partner through friends. If you’re the single one in the group, why not ask your friends to do a bit of matchmaking and set you up with their friends or colleagues? Meeting people through friends is a brilliant way to build new relationships, as the date in question will already have the seal of approval. You can hang out in groups to begin with and see if there’s a spark or some common ground, or go straight in with a one-to-one date. If you feel like being alone is too pressured, why not organize drinks with others, go bowling, take a picnic to the park, plan a group hike or ask your friends to host a brunch or a house party?
Dating today is very different from meeting partners in years gone by. If you’re looking for your perfect partner, it’s worth exploring different avenues and embracing new trends. Being open to ideas could help you to make new connections and figure out what you want from your next relationship. From starting up a conversation over the water cooler and being frank and open about what you want from a date to meeting the one through friends and hiring a dating coach, why not try a different tack and see what happens?