According to a recent study by a dating app, the future of dating is fluid — transparency and authenticity are what Gen Z is looking for. After the pandemic, the dating community is putting itself out there without any filters.
“I use dating apps to connect with my type of guys and hopefully find my dream man,” Sasha (name changed) says with a smile. She has been using dating apps to see if she gets matched with compatible men based on her likes, interests, and purpose of being on the app. “It is kind of distractive — so, I am using the apps only on weekends. I think the concept of dating itself is ever-evolving. I hear of many couples opting for open relationships with their own set of rules. As a career becomes the center for youth, relationships will have to be tailor-made to suit changing lifestyles, careers, and needs,” adds the marketing professional.
Antara Khaund, a PR professional tells DT Next that she is on dating apps to find like-minded people with who she can have conversations about varying things, without any judgment or consequent fear.
“I hope to find people who I can be comfortable around, that essentially forms the bottom line for me. It’s essential that I feel secure and I know that there is respect and consideration throughout. Dating apps are great for their diversity. Meeting and getting to know people with whom you can resonate is a significant part of it,” The 23-year-old has been already on a popular dating app and has now joined a few more. “While it was a little erratic earlier and I would create an account to only continue it for a few weeks, I’m more consistent now. I use the apps daily. If conversations go well, we often move to Instagram or WhatsApp, depending on our comfort,” Antara divulges.
She is well aware that the idea of dating itself has changed post-COVID. “I can already see it changing from what it was earlier. This constant evolution is great because people themselves are on a journey of self-discovery at every point. It is only natural that even the concept of dating is likely to change with the times. It’s more fluid, transparent, open, and communicative now than it was earlier. People know what they want and they ask for it, no holds barred, and this is great.” According to the youngster, dating isn’t stuck to conventions or archaic norms anymore, it’s free and liberating as it should be. “Having women make the first move when a dating app was launched was thought to be revolutionary, and now it’s so normal. The next big thing will be one to look out for in the concept of dating, and it will be defined by trends that millennials, Gen Z, and the successive generations will continue setting,” shares Antara.
A 28-year-old banker who chooses to be anonymous genuinely says that he has low expectations from dating apps as most women use them as an ego boost or as a pick-me-up. “It’s very hard to find someone interested in talking and/or meeting up. I used to use it for a month, get bored with low likes, and deleted the app. Then restarted the process after three months or so. This happened until I became disillusioned. A friend whose profile I helped set up had a hundred likes in a week while I would get anywhere between 5-10 a week. I realized it is mostly based on how photogenic you look!” he tells us.
But the banker hasn’t lost hope in dating apps. “Well, the concept of dating will change (and) for the better. Right now, dating is underground. Boomers love to control and will not like the idea of us choosing our partners. The struggle for millennials though will be to accept the growing number of open relationships and other types of relationships/sexualities. I met a couple in an open relationship during a vacation and we gatecrashed a wedding together. Then they invited me over for a drink, but It was not my cup of tea,” he shares.
Gen Z has not let the pandemic define what dating, flirting, and social discovery mean to them. “They set their pace and make their rules about love, dating, life, and everything in between, redefining the rules and bringing in fresh perspectives. They have not only revolutionized the way people dated before, but during the pandemic as well, they came into their own. They are in charge of their experiences and have always used their freedom to personalize their app experience as well, making the platform what they want it to be. Moreover, after experiencing months without physical contact, daters have come to greatly appreciate the smallest moments of physical affection,” says Papri Dev, senior director of a leading app.
She points out that dating is no longer about the familiar chronology or of slow courtship, instead, it has become fluid in terms of expectations, emotions, and experiences. “More people will want to ‘see where things go.’ Our future of dating report found that 62 percent of singles are not looking for a committed relationship and prefer friendships with romantic potential, casual dating while remaining non-committal in defining what they want. So, rather than the pandemic driving a desire for marriage, the next generation of daters will seek more open-ended relationships,” she adds.