The pandemic threw dating for a serious loop, and not just in the go-virtual kind of way it did for so many other things, like office-work arrangements, therapy, and fitness classes. Sure, dating-app use overall exploded, with Tinder, OkCupid, and Bumble all reporting soaring numbers of users and dates in 2020. (And in 2021, that momentum only rose, with global installs of dating apps ticking up by 13 percent in the first quarter alone.) But the pandemic also fundamentally altered the dating scene with regards to how folks are approaching dating once they hop on all those apps. In fact, the dating app trends for 2022 speak to more conscientiousness, more empowered sex-ploration, and, yes, a whole lot more asking, “Are you vaccinated and boosted?”
Overall, experts predict that daters will prioritize their own emotional and sexual needs to a far greater degree in 2022. “After getting more in touch with themselves, people are now choosing to pursue relationships in ways that actually feel in alignment with what they want,” says sex therapist Shadeen Francis, LMFT, CST. “I think they’re feeling more empowered toward choice.”
“After getting more in touch with themselves, people are now choosing to pursue relationships in ways that actually feel in alignment with what they want.” —Shadeen Frances, LMFT, CST
While that notion supports one of the top predicted dating app trends for 2022 (the rise of the intentional dater), the idea of knowing and loving thyself is a common thread running through all forecasts. Below, find the top dating app trends for the coming year, according to industry experts and internal survey data gathered by the apps themselves.
The 6 types of daters you’ll find online in 2022, according to the top dating app trends
1. The intentional dater
By and large, folks will be dating like they mean it in 2022. In other words? No one has time for games anymore. “Intentional dating is about being clear with yourself and others about who you are and what you want,” says Logan Ury, Hinge’s director of relationship science. “In 2022, we expect to see an increase in ‘hardballing,’ too, which is a dating term that means being up-front from the beginning about your relationship expectations.”
“In 2022, we expect to see an increase in ‘hardballing,’ a dating term that means being up-front from the beginning about your relationship expectations.” —Logan Ury, director of relationship science, Hinge
Notably, that clarity of intent will hold true whether folks are seeking something casual or serious or something in-between, with the commonality being that they’re seeking it without beating around the bush. A survey conducted by Hinge in early 2021 found that more than half of users reported being more honest about their feelings, while a survey conducted by the new dating app S’more in August found …….