2020 is somehow less than two months from being over, but its memory will no doubt reverberate in the years to come.
This is true for practically every aspect of our lives, and dating is no different. Between the pandemic, the election, and powerful social uprisings, how will this year impact the dating landscape?
OkCupid tried to answer that question with their first-ever Future of Dating report, which features 2021 trend forecasts based on over 450 million answers to their matching questions. The biggest shifts have to do with politics and “slow” (or at least slower) dating — both topics that have been heavily impacted by what’s happened this year.
Singles want like-minded matches
Perhaps it’s not surprising in such a divisive year, but 64 percent of the more than two million users surveyed said they preferred a date that shares their political views. Furthermore, more users are refusing to date people with opposing political views. In 2020, 60 percent of five million users worldwide said no to the question “Could you date someone who has strong political opinions that are the exact opposite of yours?” — a seven percent jump from last year.
64 percent of the more than two million users surveyed said they preferred a date that shares their political views.
Daters care about specific issues as well. The app’s new questions about racial equality received over two million responses this year, and nearly that amount of users also believe climate change is real. More than 300,000 users consider themselves activists. “We’re confident this trend of daters looking for fellow advocates will only increase in 2021,” the app said in their press release.
Slower and more virtual than ever
The pandemic’s impact on dating will continue into next year, OkCupid predicts; quarantine also has seemed to change daters’ perspectives. Around 840,000 people on the app believe it’s important to have an emotional connection before a physical one — an indicator of more intentional “slow dating.”
Current events also have users opening themselves up to a larger dating pool. For one, more than 1.5 million people said they’re open to a long distance relationship. People are also 15 percent more likely to connect with someone of a different religion now than before COVID. Openness to interracial relationships jumped 10 percent during the pandemic as well.
But we’ll also see more shacking up and adventures
While slow dating may be on the rise, more than 5 million people on OkCupid believe couples should live together before considering marriage. The vast majority of people surveyed this year (89 percent) agreed. “As daters continue to match on what matters, this relationship milestone will come sooner than ever before in 2021,” the press release states, “especially as 1 million daters admit they don’t like living alone.”
Being ordered to stay at home has also caused people to…well, want to be outside. Fifty-nine percent of OkCupid daters around the world said the pandemic made them more motivated about future adventures — think hikes and picnics.
This year has caused us to slow down and reflect, and we’re seeing just how much in these trends. We’ll have to wait and see if OkCupid’s predictions hold true.