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How Gen Z redefined ‘dating’


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How Gen Z redefined ‘dating’

The new era of dating has arrived. We have already explored the youth’s aversion to dating apps — more of Gen Z now craves to meet people organically and authentically, and are tired of dating apps disrupting their love lives. And those that still use them have completely transformed their approach to dating.

Tinder just released its second edition of the ‘Future of Dating’ report –  “A Renaissance in Dating, Driven by Authenticity” which highlights nine dating trends among today’s youth. It draws upon Tinder platform data as well as surveying 18-25 years and 33- 38-year-olds in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

One of the world’s biggest dating apps launched its first ‘Future of Dating’ report in 2021, exposing the changing landscape of dating post-pandemic. The second report re-confirms many of the observations made in the earlier one – mostly that the world of dating is heading for a renaissance and Gen Z is on top of it all.

Generation Z (age 18-25 years) makes up the majority of the app’s user base, which has 530 Million users worldwide. “This is a group that continues to influence society and challenge constrictive norms in the most profound of ways. No other generation has made such a huge impact on the workplace, retail consumption, technology, politics and culture,” said Faye Iosotaluno, COO at Tinder in a statement.

From the survey, 80 per cent of Gen Z agreed that they prioritized self-care and mental health, and also want partners who do the same. Close to 75 per cent of young singles say they find a match more attractive if they are open to working on their mental well-being. Gen Z believes in authenticity and ‘true connections’, mostly those that originate from friendship – something that the previous report also echoed. Being digital natives, the generation is happy for AI to help them build out a dating profile but at the same time, there’s little interest in generic, auto-filled profiles that lack the authenticity that they hold in such high regard. 

Most of them don’t drink on dates, and 51 per cent of Gen Z agreed that they’re open to ‘errand’ or ‘stack dating’ – finding new ways to date around their daily schedules which have gotten a lot more hectic since the pandemic. In almost two years of lockdown, thanks to the abundance of time, many of us took on extracurricular activities to make up for a lack of productivity while also collectively experiencing a cognitive overload — so we seem busier today than we did in 2019, and our dating lives are adapting. Over two-thirds (68 per cent) of surveyed Tinder members say they use the app while at work and Tinder Work Mode sees visitors every 4 seconds.

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Gen Z is challenging long-standing views of sexuality, gender and also ethnicity, culture and geographical restrictions. Polyamory, monogamy and the emergence of the ‘situationship’ have all attracted attention for good reason. Compared to how Millenials used to view dating, the majority of youth avoid dating games; they don’t hesitate to reply immediately and are less likely to ghost someone. According to the report, the top three things 18-25-year-old singles are looking for right now are companionship, friendship or a situationship.

From the 2,000 Indian singles that Tinder surveyed in their 2021 report, 62 per cent said they aren’t looking for a committed relationship and prefer friendship with romantic potential or casual dating. The generation isn’t exactly keen on marrying, but they value long-term companionship and showcase a lot more maturity in dating. Given that India is such a vastly diverse country, the findings of the survey may not apply here as well as they do in other surveyed countries. But among the urban youth in metropolitan cities, opinions hardly differ.

LGBTQ+ relationships are flourishing, healthy dating is the norm and people know their worth – the youth of today has revolutionized what it means to ‘date’. The generation’s inclusive approach to gender and sexuality is the driving force behind this new era of dating, which is paving the way for future generations to embrace their true selves and live their best lives.

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