Bumble says ‘Fast-forwarding’ is set to be the biggest dating trend of 2022

Dating is so often complicated (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

‘Fast-forwarding’ is a new dating term to add to your lexicon, as experts predict we’ll see more of it next year.

As the name suggests, this trend means you’re looking ahead, and really considering if this potential partner fits into that picture or can bring what you want.

The pandemic has made many people reassess what they want from their lives, from work through to pleasure.

That has transpired in dating too, as experts at Bumble say what you wanted at the start of the pandemic is likely not what you are looking for in a partner now. 

For 34% of people on Bumble, the pandemic has ‘drastically’ changed what they’re now interested in when it comes to seeking out potential partners. 

Globally, two in three people say they are now prioritising emotional availability and almost a quarter care less about appearances.

Finally, we’re looking for the ‘right’ things over unavailability and complexity.

Last year, the dating app believed ‘hardballing’ was the trend we would see more of – meaning knowing what you want after months of reflection – and fast-forwarding could be seen as an evolution of that.

With plenty of us back out in the dating world, we’ve gained more experience in what does and doesn’t work for us.

Fast-forwarding is enabling single people to avoid wasting time through more selective dating and having greater confidence in calling things a day.

Now, over half of people on the app say they are more upfront with partners about what they want. 

Once awkward communication is becoming more normalised, and will continue to be so.

Dr Caroline West, a relationship and sex expert, says this at the heart of the fast-forwarding trend.

‘Communication is essential. It is natural to grow and change as we move through life, and what we want from a relationship can also change,’ she tells us.

If you’re already dating someone and feel something has changed, perhaps in your wants, this is even more important.

‘Talk to you partner about what your needs are, and don’t forget to ask them about theirs, as they will have changed too.

‘Talk about what you would like to see happen and find a way to compromise. However, if you are too far apart in your goals, needs, and expectations, perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the relationship.

‘Your needs are important, and you deserve a relationship that you are happy in.

‘Being single is better than being in a relationship that isn’t meeting our needs. People are consciously making a decision to be single, with many singletons (45%) being more mindful and intentional in how, and when, they date,’ she says.

Maybe you aren’t sure of what exactly is right for you.

Self-reflection is the key, and it isn’t something you can just figure out in a moment.

Dr Caroline says: ‘Self-reflection will allow you the space to assess what you want from a relationship, but also what you can bring to a relationship.

‘Use resources such as self-development courses, books, podcasts, or workshops to reflect on who you are, what you want out of life, and what your expectations are for relationships.

‘Reflect on the style of relationship that you want – is it casual dating, monogamy, polyamory, or something else?

‘Try to let go of what society tells you that you should be interested in and find what works for your unique self. Our relationship skills are a lifelong learning project.’



What if you’re not meeting anyone who matches what you’re looking for?

Dr Caroline says to try the following:

  • Look for any patterns in your partners. Are you picking people that only want casual relationships when you are looking for something more serious?
  • Reflect on the kind of partner you are seeking, and what that person would look like in reality.
  • Having good communication skills will help you talk through any issues and resolve them in healthy ways.
  • Try to switch up your dating habits – 30% of people are now more likely to consider going on a “dry date” than they were pre-pandemic. This is even higher amongst those who are 31 and younger, and people are more willing to get adventurous with first time dates.

Don’t rush – these things take time.

While it might feel ‘too serious’ to talk about wants early on, Caroline says to reconsider.

‘If you have felt a connection with someone and have seen them a few times, it is ok to talk about what you are looking for.

‘There is no point continuing to see people that aren’t on the same page as you, as both people will not be getting what they are looking for.

‘Be confident in yourself and what you need and it will help you weed out those who do not fit your goals.’

These are the other trends Bumble experts expect to see more of next year, as 46% are looking to ‘reset’ their dating lives.

  1. Explori-dating: While what we’re looking for has changed – this hasn’t necessarily made dating super serious. In fact, the pandemic has made almost half of us (48%) question what our ‘type’ even is. Looking ahead to 2022, more two fifths of people on Bumble would describe their approach to dating as exploratory (43%).
  2. Consciously Single: We’ve all heard of ‘conscious uncoupling’ but 2022 is all about finding that someone, not just anyone. The pandemic has made half of us (53%) realise that it’s actually OK to be alone for a while. Looking ahead, people are consciously making a decision to be single, with the majority of singletons (54%) being more mindful and intentional in how, and when, they date.
  3. Dry Dating: We were locked down, then released and then locked down. It was a rollercoaster of wine and cocktails but for many people this has also led to new drinking habits, especially post-confinement. In fact,1 in 3 (34%) people are now more likely to consider going on a ‘dry date’ than they were pre-pandemic. This is even higher amongst those who under 32, looks like Gen Z are bucking the trend of first date drinks, and taking to social media to talk about it with #soberdating having over 370,000 views on TikTok.
  4. Power PDA: With vaccination rates increasing – PDA is back in a big way and it looks like it’s not just the celebs that are into it. Globally, more than 2 in 3 (68%) say say that they are more open to public displays of affection post-pandemic.

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