As we near the end of 2023, Bumble is looking ahead to what 2024 has in store for our dating lives. What can single people expect from dating next year? And how can they prepare?
To find the answers to those questions, Bumble conducted a survey* of over 25,000 daters using our app around the world. Their insights helped us understand what you can expect to see in your dating life next year—and let’s just say, get ready to unapologetically put yourself first. Daters are looking at 2024 as the year of self. They’re rejecting the constant quest for perfection, discarding outdated timelines, and placing more value on emotional vulnerability and shared priorities. Read on to learn how this clarity is going to impact dating trends in 2024.
Age is just a number
Bumble daters are widening their age range filters, as folks are increasingly open to connections both older and younger. For two in three (63%) of those surveyed, age is not a defining factor when dating, with more than half (59%) of women respondents saying they’re now more open to dating someone younger. It’s clear that we’re also changing how we view others’ relationships, with more than one in three (35%) women surveyed saying they’ve become less judgemental towards age gap relationships over the last year.
Engagement in social causes
The social and political causes we care about are intrinsic to our values and outlook on the world. When getting to know a potential romantic connection and figuring out how compatible you are, not aligning on these fundamentals can be a dealbreaker. Bumble’s research shows that women are less open to dating someone with differing political views. For one in three (33%) women respondents it’s a turn off if someone they’re dating isn’t aware of current social issues. For some, it’s not enough to simply be aware: one in four (25%) people surveyed on Bumble say it’s key that their partner actively engages with politics and social causes—and that it even makes them more attractive.
Rebelling against self-improvement
There’s been a trend toward “self-optimization,” or striving to become the perfect version of yourself, whether that means taking a cold plunge at 5am or plugging into self-help podcasts. This has left the majority of singles (55%) surveyed feeling pressured to constantly seek personal improvement, with 1 in 4 (24%) respondents feeling unworthy of a partner. Looking ahead to 2024, singles are rebelling against the notion that they’re not enough just the way they are. More than 2 in 3 women surveyed (68%) by Bumble are taking active steps to be happier with who they are here and now. In fact, 40% of women surveyed will now only date people who won’t try to change them.
Emotional intimacy is key
As we enter the new year, singles are focused on finding security, safety, and understanding in their romantic connections. In terms of how this manifests in someone’s traits, it comes down to one thing: emotional intimacy. A third (32%) of Bumble daters surveyed believe that emotional intimacy is now more important than sex—and that it’s actually more attractive than a physical connection. When it comes to dating, 3 in 4 women (78%) surveyed say it’s paramount that their partner has an understanding of both emotional and physical intimacy.
Movies, music, fashion, and pop culture in 2023 prompted big conversations about masculinity and gender roles. When it comes to relationships, it seems that men have been taking note. One in four (25%) men surveyed state that they’ve actively changed their behavior in their romantic connections, becoming more vulnerable with people they’re dating than ever before. For a quarter of men surveyed (25%), this new-found openness has had a positive impact on their mental health, and for 1 in 3 (32%) being open and vulnerable is the most important aspect of a relationship.
Rejecting dating milestones
Even as we become more progressive about when we’re expected to “settle down,” there’s still a constant pressure to reach traditional relationship goals, such as marriage. 2024 is set to change all that. One in three (31%) women surveyed are no longer focused on adhering to these milestones when it comes to their relationships. Only 1 in 5 (23%) women surveyed on Bumble are seeking marriage, whereas nearly three quarters (72%) are looking for a long-term relationship. For nearly a third (31%) of women respondents, this means only dating people who have the same perspective, and for 1 in 8 (16%), this means actively avoiding friends and family who put pressure on them to reach certain milestones.
A shared love of sports
Sports is set to take a front seat in dating in 2024, with support for women’s sports growing—and the biggest global competition next summer. For 1 in 3 (31%) singles surveyed, a shared love of sports has now become a non-negotiable—regardless of whether you’re a player or simply a spectator. Our obsession with sports is also changing how we date, with a quarter of people (24%) surveyed stating that attending a game together is important, particularly amongst Gen-Z and millennial singles.
Quality over quantity
This year’s prioritization of self-care has led to more than half (58%) of singles surveyed on Bumble being more open about their mental health with friends, family members, and partners. We’re seeing people reframe how they date to better protect their mental health, with almost 1 in 3 (31%) respondents actively “slow dating” and being considerate of how often they’re going on dates. Women are reflecting this attitude in who they’re choosing to date, with more than 1 in 3 (36%) women surveyed seeking people who practice and value self-care.
We hope that these positive shifts in the way people are dating empower you to take hold of the year of self and look for a healthy Bumble connection on your own terms next year. Cheers to 2024!
*Research was conducted by Bumble using internal polling between September 21st–26th 2023 with a sample of 26,849 Bumble members in 20+ countries around the world.