Let's not beat around the bush. 2020 was difficult for many of us worldwide and with it came a lot of change.
One of the toughest experiences we underwent were lockdowns – and some cities had numerous – and feeling isolated from the world.
For those who were single, it made dating even harder, and let's be honest, it wasn't all that easy before!
There was a huge rise in singles meeting online and connecting virtually to chat about the topics that interested them including things like climate change and activism.
OkCupid analysed the changes in dating in 2020 to predict eight different dating trends for 2021.
Here are the trends you can expect to see:
You may have guessed what this one is about thanks to the name, but the Thunberging trend will see people will be connecting over their passion for the planet - like Greta Thunberg.
According to OkCupid, 85 per cent of Millennials and 84 per cent of Gen Z are worried about the climate crisis, so it's likely to become a big talking point for potential couples next year.
More than 340,000 people on OkCupid shared that they thought of themselves as activists with young women leading the charge.
The dating site believes activism will become a huge trend in dating as those who consider themselves activists will be searching for dates interesting in the same thing.
It comes as little surprise to learn that during the pandemic, connections and conversations with people across borders rose by almost 50 per cent.
More than ever before, people were setting their location preferences to "anywhere" and more than 1.5 million people on OkCupid are now open to a long distance love.
Similarly, singles are looking more and more outside of their cultural background at unprecedented rates with users now 15 per cent more likely to connect with someone of a different religion than they were before the pandemic struck. Interracial relationships are also up 10 per cent.
It comes as little surprise after an election year in the US that 64 per cent of people believe they couldn't date someone who doesn't share their political views.
In 2021, it's expected more people will refuse to date outside party lines.
Daters are now more likely to be taking more selfies to keep their dating profiles up to date due to the lack of exciting travel photos and other events where you'd normally get the shot. And to be sure, OkCupid's research found 95 per cent of daters think a smiling selfie is the best.
The pandemic accelerated relationships with people deciding to move in together much sooner than they may normally do so and five million OkCupid users said couples should definitely live together before even considering marriage.
As the dating world changes and people match based on what really matters to them, it's believed people will likely continue moving in together sooner than they normally would.
Slow dating is on the rise thanks to the pressure of meeting IRL fading. Deeper conversations are taking place and 84 per cent of OkCupid users said they believed it's important to have an emotional connection before a physical one.
This new way of dating has also meant more women in the US are sending the first message than they were in 2019.
Daters will be more likely to want to get outside and into nature to get to know their match, with 59 per cent of users around the world saying the pandemic made them more motivated to see the great outdoors.
A romantic picnic, rather than an expensive meal, could be the way to their heart!
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