Bumble reveals the future of dating online

Dating app Bumble has released a survey of its users across the UK, Germany, Ireland, France, Spainand the Netherlands to explore the trends shaping dating in 2020.

With over 81 million users worldwide Bumble has released a Europe-wide survey of 12,000 men and women to explore the trends shaping dating in 2020 and examine what it means to date in 2020.

Their research has found that 59% of women surveyed believe it's okay to see multiple people at the same time in the early phases, whilst the fluidity of dating habits varies by age group, with 48% of Gen Z being exclusively heterosexual compared with 65% Millennials.

Behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings explains how women are making the most of the widest dating pool in history, commenting: ‘We’ve got so many more opportunities than the generation that met the girl or guy locally. We know there’s so much more out there’.

Daters are also playing around with language online, with emojis presenting an entirely new way of flirting with potential matches. Germans are the most emoji-literate, with 91% using emojis when messaging someone they want to date, whilst in the UK 70% of people use emojis to flirt.

Nanah Baah, sex and relationships writer for Vice UK explains this trend saying, ‘It's a lot easier to flirt and somehow it makes it seem less explicit’

Honesty and authenticity are important for daters in 2020 with 61% of women surveyed saying they look for a partner who shares their values. The report also found women are more comfortable and open than ever, with 89% of UK women discussing their sexual preferences with a new partner.

The study found that ‘slow love’ - or the phenomenon of marrying later and taking more time to find stability before settling down - is on the rise. Hectic work schedules and rising living costs mean singles don’t have the time or money to sacrifice in the name of a partner. 95% of women surveyed think that a relationship is as much about their own personal growth as it is about supporting their partner. This finding lends itself to the ‘capstone’ model, discussed by seminal relationships therapist Esther Perel, which views marriage as the icing on an already complete life, rather than a cornerstone to build a life around.

Daters in 2020 are less concerned about traditional markers, with only 25% of women surveyed feeling pressure to get married and settle down. The age for first marriage in men is now 37.5 and 35.5 for women. This has increased since 2010 when the average age for men was 36.2 years and 33.6 years for women. Singledom is being cast in a new light. This new decade of dating is affording women more agency in the way they shape their relationships, and they’re also choosing whether or not to engage in them at all.

The rise of individualism has not hampered the desire for a long-term partner, with over two thirds of respondents (65%) saying they’re using apps to find a steady relationship. As such, women can feel frustrated when online conversations don’t translate into IRL interaction (“you don't want a penpal,” explains Hemmings). But in 2020, its expected daters will let go of set rules about the time they should spend chatting before setting up a date, as just 10% of women reveal they want to chat for over a week before meeting face to face, confirming that we’re living in an era where Gen Z’ers are seeking instant gratification - whether that be instant access to information, products or people.

Naomi Walkland, Associate Director EMEA at Bumble also comments: “Our Dating Trends Report shows that dating has evolved considerably over the last decade and that there are more options and opportunities for daters than ever before. People are now empowered to go after what they want and are no longer restricted by geographical locations or societal expectations. It’s clear that dating apps are the driving force behind this.”

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