Heading into 2024, there is an air of optimism and clarity for the ‘year of self’

2024 is set to be the year of ‘self’ as the popular dating app releases its annual predictions for what will define dating next year 

Bumble, the women-first dating app, released its annual dating trends for 2024. The popular dating app has garnered insights from more than 25,000 singles on the app around the world to identify trends that will define dating and relationships in the year to come.

The app’s 2023 trends focused on navigating love abroad with Wanderlove, dating beyond your type with Open-casting and establishing new boundaries with our partners, our work lives and our finances. Looking ahead, 2024 is set to be the year of “self” in dating and relationships with more people looking inwards at what they value and want.

This personal prioritisation sees singles rejecting the constant strive for perfection, discarding outdated timelines, challenging ‘jobification’, and placing more value on emotional vulnerability, self-acceptance, and shared priorities.

Heading into 2024, there is an air of optimism and clarity for the ‘year of self’ as the app’s research shows that more than half (59%) of Indian women surveyed are going into the new year with a clear view of what they want from their romantic lives.

Bumble’s dating trend predictions include:

  1. Val-Core DatingSingles today are looking for shared priorities and expect their partners to not only care about social causes but to actively engage. Val-Core refers to the rise of people valuing engagement on issues that matter to them. For 1 in 4 (25%) people on Bumble it is key that their partner actively engages with politics and social causes, in fact it makes them more attractive. In fact, 41% of Indians say their potential partner engaging in politics and voting is important to them. When it comes to dating, Bumble’s research shows that women are less open to someone with differing political views as for 1 in 3 (33%) women globally it is a turn off if someone they are dating is not aware of current societal issues. When it comes to dating, Bumble’s research shows that the most important social cause Indians want their partners to engage with are Human rights issues (64%). Research also shows for 38% Indian women, it is important that a potential partner has passion for the same values as them.
  2. Betterment BurnoutFrom biohacking and starting your day at 5am, to plugging into self-help podcasts, there has been a rise in people ‘self-optimising’ – striving to become a perfect version of themselves. This has led the majority of singles (55%) to feel pressure to constantly look for ways to better themselves, leaving 1 in 4 (24%) feeling unworthy of a partner. Looking ahead to 2024, singles are rebelling against the constant self-improvement with more than 2 in 3 women surveyed (68%) globally taking active steps to be happier with who they are here and now. In fact, 56% of Indian women will now only date people who will not try to change them.
  3. Intuitive IntimacyFor people today, and particularly women, it seems attraction comes down to one key thing: emotional intimacy. Singles are focused on finding security, safety, and understanding, with more than a third (35%) of people surveyed on Bumble in India believing that emotional intimacy is now more important than sex and that it’s actually more attractive than physical connection. When it comes to dating, 3 in 4 women (78%) say it’s key that their partner has an understanding of both emotional and physical intimacy. In 2024, it’s time to get in your feels.
  4. Open-Hearted MasculinityThe year has been filled with global conversations about masculinity and gender roles in fashion, media, music, and film (ken-ergy, anyone?). When it comes to relationships, 1 in 4 (25%) men globally state that they have actively changed their behaviour, becoming more vulnerable and open with people they are dating than ever before. For a quarter of Indian men (26%), this new-found openness has had a positive impact on their mental health and for 37% Indian men a lack of vulnerability is now a dating dealbreaker.
  5. MVP (Most Valuable Partner)With a new wave of women tennis stars, a constant stream of sports documentaries, and a global competition next year, sports is set to take a front seat in dating – or maybe we’re just all after our own Taylor and Kelce love story? For 35% of single Indians, a shared love of sports has now become a ‘must have’ regardless of if you’re a player or simply a spectator.  Our obsession with sports is also changing how we date with 30% of single Indians stating that attending sports together is important, more so with Genz (33%) than Millennials (26%). Almost three quarters (73%) of profiles on Bumble in India include a sports interest badge and the top athletics include: cricket and football.
  6. Consider-dateThis year’s prioritisation of self-care and mental health has led to more than half (58%) of singles being more open about their mental health and making a concerted effort to slow down. Single Indians are reframing how they date to better protect their mental health, with 1 in 3 (33%) actively ‘slow-dating’ and being considerate about how much they are dating to ensure quality over quantity, even more so amongst women. In fact, 42% of Indian women are actively seeking people who value both time and self-care. This is bringing back a trend that Bumble identified in the pandemic, challenging the “job-ification” of love with 1 in 4 (25%) people in India actively deterred by anyone who treats a date as a checklist exercise.

Samarpita Samaddar, India Communications Director, Bumble says, “In 2023, we identified trends on travel romances, setting new boundaries, and dating outside your type. We know that cultural conversations around misogyny, women’s rights, and social issues, that are intertwined with our dating lives, left many exhausted this year. This has impacted the way people want to date – people are feeling more empowered in their sense of self and seeking out people who value what’s important to them, whether it’s social causes, lifestyle choices or even their favourite sports. It’s exciting to see people are now increasingly looking inward, and want to show up as authentic versions of themselves. We predict that 2024 will bring in a year of the self, with single Indians feeling more empowered than ever to prioritise what they value and what they will not stand for, leading to a new clarity about what they want in their romantic lives.”

To empower singles to make the most of 2024, the app has launched new features including Best Bees, a curated daily set of four compatible profiles to help you find more relevant connections faster. See someone who also shares your passion for sports or sustainability? You can send a message with the Compliments feature.

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