2022 was all about dipping our toes back into dating and with that came some “hesidating” at first – feeling indifferent and unsure if we wanted to date seriously or casually because life, was so uncertain. Now as we look ahead to the new year, Plenty of Fish, with the help of single Brits, are ready to reveal the sixth annual list of dating trends to be on the lookout for in 2023!
As singles start to return to their regular scheduled programming post-lockdown, their calendars are filling up with postponed wedding invites, bday parties, and live show dates. UK singles are finding it tricky to follow through on date plans. With 87% admitting to having all the intention to date, but no free time to commit, we’d like to introduce the first trend:
OnlyPlans (ohn-lee plans): Always making date plans but never actually getting together in person
Use Case: “I’m getting major OnlyPlans vibes from this guy – this is the third time he’s rescheduled.”
It seems as though inflation has brought the price up on literally everything, from restaurant dishes doubling to the triple digit cost of a single pumpkin for Halloween. Over half (52%) of singles stated that the rising cost of living is impacting how they plan their dates, with almost three quarters (73%) admitting to avoiding or cancelling plans with a potential love interest due to the cost of the date. Our best advice would be to start choosing to go on cheaper (but no less fun) dates like a picnic or coffee in the park.
Cost of Loving (/cost-of-lov-ing): The current economic environment spurring singles to think outside the box with less expensive date options
Use Case: “Why don’t you just suggest cooking at yours or go to Wetherspoons for cheap drinks? Seriously, the Cost-of-Loving is hitting us all, she’ll understand.”
Everyday we’re faced with yet another news story about the heat dome and natural disasters happening around the globe, and it’s starting to impact the way singles are selecting their mates. Environmental sustainability has become front and center! Value-driven connections have seen over a third (39%) of singles say a partner who cares about the environment is a key attribute for them, more than their physical appearance (23%) or their profession (7%).
Eco-dumping (/eek-oh duhmp-ing): Choosing to date or dump someone based on their sustainability-consciousness
Use Case: “All he eats is fast food and red meat, and doesn’t care how bad it is for the earth. If he doesn’t start trying to change soon, I’m going to have to Eco-dump.”
This next dating trend is definitely one we’ve been inspired by through the most talked about couples of 2022! Yes, we’re lookin at your Kim K and Pete. Dating again after serious heartbreak can be tricky but singles are navigating this seamlessly by going for others that may not be their usual type! Research shows almost two-thirds (63%) of singles have rebounded with a younger lover owing to the rise of 180-dating.
180-dating (/won-ay-tee day-ting): Re-bounding from a recent break-up by starting a relationship with a younger, unexpected partner a la Olivia Wilde and Kim Kardashian
Use Case: “I’m taking a leaf out of Kim Kardashian’s book… I need to 180-date to help me escape from my recent break-up.”
Now that events are ramping back up and Cuffing Season is officially here, singles are looking to secure a special date to accompany them to weddings, birthdays, holiday parties, concerts, you name it! 71% of singles have purposely gone on a dating app or increased their dating activity, to find a date for a life event, with a friend or family’s wedding being the most popular (55%).
Milestoning (/my-el-stow-ning): Ramping up online dating activity at certain periods to secure a date for a milestone life event i.e. 30th birthday or wedding
Use Case: “Right the birthday countdown is on. I’m currently Milestoning Jack, Louis and Greg – one of them has got to work out by October 10th.”
Peak lock-down, living in sweatpants became the norm and skipping the daily makeup regime was honestly quite liberating. We were all going through the same things together and singles started to share more unfiltered and honest commentary across social media which led to the rise of Bae Realing.
Whilst over 69% confess to having used a photo filter when online dating in the past, a massive 74% of singles now feel comfortable enough to post real life, unfiltered pictures on their profile thanks to the rise in authentic social sharing and low pressure dating.
Bae Realing (/bay-ree-ling) – the rise of authentic and true-self dating profiles where singles share unfiltered pictures, honest commentary and play no games
Use Case: “I am so over playing hard to get – from now on I’m Bae Realing and if they don’t like it then they can move along.”
If there’s one show we all binged this year, it was Love Island. Singles have taken a page out of Davide and Ekin Su’s book by giving an ex a second chance. 7 in 10 (70%) singles have experienced Ekin-sU Turning – Returning to your ex for a second go at love after dating other people. Half of singles stated their new relationship made them realise they made a mistake (50%), and the history they had (28%) is what brought them back together.
Ekin-sU Turning (/eck-in-sue-tur-ning): Giving someone a second chance after immediately dating someone else, inspired by Love Island winners’ Davide and Ekin Su
Use Case: “Well I thought there were red flags with Chris, but now I’ve started getting to know Adam, it’s making me think I made a mistake. I’m gonna go for it and Ekin-sU Turn to see if Chris still feels the same way.”
Our hats go off to the next set of singles (58%) who have taken keyboard warriors to the next level with their Click Baeing habits! These habitual swipers and clickers are finding more success with dating when they’ve extended their matches outside of their usual type.
Click Baeing (/cle-k-bay-ing): A habitual swiper who is always clicking or swiping on dating profiles rather than engaging in conversation
Use Case: “I’ve got two dates this week – this Click Baeing is clearly working for me.”
If there’s one thing singles gained expertise in over the last year, it was spotting red flags in a relationship. Three quarters of single Brits (75%) have taken a step back in a relationship because they noticed red flags, with poor communication skills being the most common (55%)
Half Masting (/har-fe-mas-ting): Taking a backseat in the relationship when someone shows potential signs of red flags and you’re questioning them
Use Case: “Things are going ok, he’s giving me slightly controlling vibes so I’m half-masting him until I know for sure it’s not going to be a regular pattern.”
That rounds out our nine most prevalent dating trends to watch out for in the year to come. We want to know if you’ve experienced any of these, comment below with your best dating stories!