From Bubbling to Moderna Love - these are the top dating trends expected for 2022

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 11:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 4:43 pm

A new study has revealed the top trends that will define the dating world in 2022.

According to the research, we’re entering a new age of Moderna Love, with over a third (37%) of single Brits Considering Covid-19 status, including which shot received, as a desirable trait in their search for a partner. A staggering 62% saying it’s one of the most important attributes of a potential beau.

And with post-lockdown dating in full swing, over half (58%) of singles are experiencing Bubbling - Being unsure about the physical boundaries that are acceptable due to Covid-19, such as whether to hug, handshake, or wave at your date - with going in for a hug and being given a kiss the most common physical faux pas (17%).

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After being cooped up inside for so long it’s no wonder singles are feeling uncertain. The research by dating app, Plenty of Fish, found 58% of singles are unsure if they want a fling or full-blown commitment and are currently Hesidating - feeling indifferent about dating, unsure if you want to date seriously or casually because life in general is so uncertain right now. But love is still in the air, as 20% feel excited about dating in the near future, and a further 29% feel hopeful.

The pressure of dating

It turns out dates don’t only bring some nerves and excitement but the potential for confrontation too. Over one in five (22%) have crumbled under Piers Pressure - walking out on a date due to differences in opinion - and half of singles (50%) know someone else who has done the same, with politics (37.4%) the top cause for commotion.

But not all love is lost, especially if you’re one of the 25% of singles considered to be the Greal Deal - being fancied solely for their profession - after Euros England favourite Jack Grealish stole the hearts of the nation this summer. 18% of women have experienced ‘Greal-Dealing’ themselves, compared to almost a third (30%) of men.

Now thanks to Instagram’s favourite unlikely couple, Transformate-ing - Morphing into your counterpart by dressing and acting like them - is on the rise. Almost one in five (18%) singles have had their date copy their dress sense, behaviours, hobbies and interests. And it seems ‘Kravis’’ influence is greater amongst young daters, with a third (33%) of Gen Z’s experiencing Transformate-ing, compared to 26% of Millennials.

Digging deeper into the reasons behind this trend, 41% admitted they naturally evolved with a partner as they spent more time together while a further 14% said they had felt comfortable enough to express a new part of themselves they had hidden thanks to their relationship.

Finding romance in existing connections

While for some it’s been the summer of love, for others it’s been the summer of Staycationing - Finding a romantic connection with someone who has been in your life for a long time already - Almost a quarter (23%) have found a romantic connection with someone they already knew in the last 12 months, and 35% know someone else who has. And it turns out break ups aren’t all bad news, as a third (33%) admitted they didn’t explore a romantic connection sooner as one or both of them were in a relationship when they first met.

Broadcaster and Lexicographer, Susie Dent, says “Language is the mirror of society, and the effect of the pandemic on our vocabulary has been immense. It has clearly filtered through to the language of the dating experience, too.  One of the fastest-moving areas of language, the dating world is producing all sorts of creative vocabulary that looks likely to be on the radar of both singles and couples for a while to come.”

Kate Maclean,  Resident Dating Expert at Plenty of Fish says “Over the past year the pandemic has continued to shake up the way people date and it’s clear that there are many new trends that singles are experiencing. Try not to succumb to Piers Pressure and don’t worry if you’re a Hesidater - in this new age of Moderna Love, take time to find the right person for you and don’t feel pressured to rush into anything. We hope these trends give singles some helpful hints in their search for love, so they can feel confident about dating in 2022.”

Top Dating Trends Expected for 2022

Moderna Love (/mod-ern-ah luhv): Considering COVID-19 vaccination status, including which shot received, as a desirable trait. With over a third (37%) of singles admitting to this it seems there’s another reason to get jabbed!

Bubbling (/buh-buh-ling): Being unsure about the physical boundaries that are acceptable due to Covid-19, such as whether to hug, handshake, or wave at your date. Now there’s nerves, excitement AND physical faux pas to consider on dates with 58% experiencing this.

Hesidating (/hez-i-date-ing): Feeling indifferent about dating, unsure if you want to date seriously or casually because life in general is so uncertain right now. A fling or full-blown commitment? Who knows, as 58% of singles are currently hesidating.

Piers Pressure (/peers-presh-ur): Walking out on your date because they didn’t agree with your opinion is a common dating disaster with 50% knowing someone who has done this. Advice to avoid? Don’t bring up the pandemic, money or politics.

Greal Deal: (/gr-eel d-eel): Fancying someone solely for their profession. While Jack Grealish stole the hearts of the nation this summer, a quarter (25%) of all singles also know how it feels to be considered attractive for their chosen career path.

Transformate-ing (/trans-fawr-meyt-ing): Morphing into your counterpart by dressing and acting like them. Thanks to a certain unlikely celeb couple (Kravis, we’re looking at you) almost one in five (18%) have had their date play copycat.

Staycationing (/stay-cay-shun-ing): Finding a romantic connection with someone who has been in your life for a long time has been the case for 23% of singles. Forget the holidays, maybe love is all you need after all.

Duking (/dew-king): Being caught up in a whirlwind romance full of drama. 46% know someone who has done this a la Duke of Hastings and Daphne Bridgerton from Netflix’s Bridgerton.

Pinged Off (/pingd off): When your friends warn you about the red flags when you’re dating someone new but decide to ignore them. A notorious player? Talks about their ex? Just bad vibes? 42% of hopeless romantics have opted to ignore them all.

Gambit’ing (/gam-bit-ing): Taking a strategic and calculated approach to the dating game like a game of chess. Almost a quarter (24%) know someone who has done this. Whether it’s multiple dates a week or same dates, or a different person - they are masters of the dating game.

Communidating (/kuh-myoo-nuh-dayt-ting): Using dating apps and social media to make friends and connections, not just for dating and intimate relationships is popular among 40% of singles. The more friends the merrier, right?