If 2020 was the year of curfing, apocalypsing, and zumping, what will 2021 hold?
Hopefully we’ll be able to date IRL again, rather than just virtually, and perhaps our experience of the hellish year that was will have changed what we look for in a relationship… for the better.
The fallout from 2020 will continue to affect dating in 2021, of course, and thus Bumble has already been able to put together predictions for the dating trends that will define the year ahead.
They reckon hardballing and slow dating will be big, as well as the rise of new dawn daters. Read on to figure out what that all means for your love life
New dawn daters
Not actually anything to do with the Twilight books, this trend refers to those who are newly single, having come out of a committed relationship in 2020.
With the stress of the pandemic, more intense time spent together, or enforced distance, a lot of relationships broke down this past year.
As we enter 2021, those newly single people – which make up one in five in the UK, says Bumble – will be ready to start dating, even if it does all feel a bit new and scary at the mo.
We don’t have the time or energy to mess about anymore. That’s one thing 2020 has taught us.
No more games, no more putting up with rubbish relationships, no more dating people who are clearly wrong for us.
Bumble found that 46% of people on the app are now looking for something serious after experiencing loneliness in lockdown, and are ready to date without mess, confusion, or game-playing.
Bumble also found that 38% of daters have felt more confident in saying what is and what isn’t right for them in their dating life and 36% felt more confident in telling someone they’re not the right match.
Expect more honesty in the year ahead.
Maybe it’s because this year has been so unpredictable.
2021 will see a rise in astrolove; when people look for dating compatibility according to the zodiac and star signs.
OkCupid agree with this one – in 2021, slow dating is in.
This trend is exactly what it sounds like. Rather than rushing into something new, it’s all about getting to know someone and building a connection before even meeting in person.
We’re more open to virtual dating and taking more time to get physical thanks to our experiences amid the pandemic, so we have the patience to take things at a gentler pace.
Jemma Ahmed, Head of Insights at Bumble, says: ‘People are starting to get to know themselves a lot more, and as a result they’re taking the time to figure out who is and isn’t right for them.’
Locdating refers to dating locally.
While we may be more open to long-distance relationships since lockdown, the opposite is also true – we want to meet people who live nearby.
This makes sense. It’s a lot easier to date someone you can walk to meet rather than having to mask up for a lengthy train journey.
Dating terms and trends, defined
Blue-stalling: When two people are dating and acting like a couple, but one person in the partnership states they’re unready for any sort of label or commitment (despite acting in a different manner).
Breadcrumbing: Leaving ‘breadcrumbs’ of interest – random noncommittal messages and notifications that seem to lead on forever, but don’t actually end up taking you anywhere worthwhile Breadcrumbing is all about piquing someone’s interest without the payoff of a date or a relationship.
Caspering: Being a friendly ghost – meaning yes, you ghost, but you offer an explanation beforehand. Caspering is all about being a nice human being with common decency. A novel idea.
Catfish: Someone who uses a fake identity to lure dates online.
Clearing: Clearing season happens in January. It’s when we’re so miserable thanks to Christmas being over, the cold weather, and general seasonal dreariness, that we will hook up with anyone just so we don’t feel completely unattractive. You might bang an ex, or give that creepy guy who you don’t really fancy a chance, or put up with truly awful sex just so you can feel human touch. It’s a tough time. Stay strong.
Cloutlighting: Cloutlighting is the combo of gaslighting and chasing social media clout. Someone will bait the person they’re dating on camera with the intention of getting them upset or angry, or making them look stupid, then share the video for everyone to laugh at.
Cockfishing: Also known as catcocking. When someone sending dick pics uses photo editing software or other methods to change the look of their penis, usually making it look bigger than it really is.
Cuffing season: The chilly autumn and winter months when you are struck by a desire to be coupled up, or cuffed.
Firedooring: Being firedoored is when the access is entirely on one side, so you’re always waiting for them to call or text and your efforts are shot down.
Fishing: When someone will send out messages to a bunch of people to see who’d be interested in hooking up, wait to see who responds, then take their pick of who they want to get with. It’s called fishing because the fisher loads up on bait, waits for one fish to bite, then ignores all the others.
Flashpanner: Someone who’s addicted to that warm, fuzzy, and exciting start bit of a relationship, but can’t handle the hard bits that might come after – such as having to make a firm commitment, or meeting their parents, or posting an Instagram photo with them captioned as ‘this one’.
Freckling: Freckling is when someone pops into your dating life when the weather’s nice… and then vanishes once it’s a little chillier.
Gatsbying: To post a video, picture or selfie to public social media purely for a love interest to see it.
Ghosting: Cutting off all communication without explanation.
Grande-ing: Being grateful, rather than resentful, for your exes, just like Ariana Grande.
Hatfishing: When someone who looks better when wearing a hat has pics on their dating profile that exclusively show them wearing hats.
Kittenfishing: Using images that are of you, but are flattering to a point that it might be deceptive. So using really old or heavily edited photos, for example. Kittenfishes can also wildly exaggerate their height, age, interests, or accomplishments.
Lovebombing: Showering someone with attention, gifts, gestures of affection, and promises for your future relationship, only to distract them from your not-so-great bits. In extreme cases this can form the basis for an abusive relationship.
Microcheating: Cheating without physically crossing the line. So stuff like emotional cheating, sexting, confiding in someone other than your partner, that sort of thing.
Mountaineering: Reaching for people who might be out of your league, or reaching for the absolute top of the mountain.
Obligaswiping: The act of endlessly swiping on dating apps and flirt-chatting away with no legitimate intention of meeting up, so you can tell yourself you’re doing *something* to put yourself out there.
Orbiting: The act of watching someone’s Instagram stories or liking their tweets or generally staying in their ‘orbit’ after a breakup.
Paperclipping: When someone sporadically pops up to remind you of their existence, to prevent you from ever fully moving on.
Preating: Pre-cheating – laying the groundwork and putting out feelers for cheating, by sending flirty messages or getting closer to a work crush.
Prowling: Going hot and cold when it comes to expressing romantic interest.
R-bombing: Not responding to your messages but reading them all, so you see the ‘delivered’ and ‘read’ signs and feel like throwing your phone across the room.
Scroogeing: Dumping someone right before Christmas so you don’t have to buy them a present.
Shadowing: Posing with a hot friend in all your dating app photos, knowing people will assume you’re the attractive one and will be too polite to ask.
Shaveducking: Feeling deeply confused over whether you’re really attracted to a person or if they just have great facial hair.
Sneating:When you go on dates just for a free meal.
Stashing: The act of hiding someone you’re dating from your friends, family, and social media.
Submarineing: When someone ghosts, then suddenly returns and acts like nothing happened.
V-lationshipping:When someone you used to date reappears just around Valentine’s Day, usually out of loneliness and desperation.
You-turning: Falling head over heels for someone, only to suddenly change your mind and dip.
Zombieing: Ghosting then returning from the dead. Different from submarineing because at least a zombie will acknowledge their distance.
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