Today, dating app Plenty of Fish has revealed its annual dating trends for the seventh year running after asking 2,000 singletons about their attitudes and behaviours in a modern dating world. From going against the grain, to dating outside of a usual ‘type’, these are the ten must-know dating terms for 2024, coined by the leader in viral dating trends that help to define the dating experience of singles.
Smashing the Date-triarchy
Becoming increasingly less inclined to settle into the type of relationship that society expects of you and choosing your own path instead
According to a poll of 2,000 UK singles, daters are tuning out the traditional societal milestones and staying steadfast when it comes to prioritising personal goals. Three-quarters (74%) rip up the rule book and date to suit their own needs, whether that’s prioritising their own mental health and wellbeing (45%), family (39%) or career (31%) before settling down.
In fact, 85% believe that age is just a number and ignore the ‘ticking clock’ that society and social circles place pressure on them to acknowledge. And while 53% of UK singles are seeking a long-term relationship, 36% are dating for fun without pressure.
Dating outside of your usual ‘type’ / those you are typically ‘compatible’ with to broaden horizons and remain open-minded
It’s not just societal moulds that British daters are breaking. 59% admit to ‘Contra-dating’ with 36% making a conscious effort to move away from the concept of a ‘type’. A third (33%) are deciding to switch it up after dating similar characters hasn’t worked out for them.
When you and / your friends go to new lengths to research a match or date across social media platforms
Social media research has become a pre-date ritual, but singles are taking it a step further and ‘Investi-dating’ is on the rise, with 77% of UK singles taking their detective work before a first encounter to new lengths. For almost half (48%) it’s a safety measure to check if their date is who they say they are, while 33% prefer to go into a first date with greater insight into a person.
Taking all of your first dates to the same place every time because it feels comfortable and familiar
To prepare for the big day, over three-quarters (77%) revisit familiar ground, taking the stress out of planning a first date (33%). 31% adopted this habit amidst the cost-of-living crisis as a means of having a tried and tested date spot that won’t break the bank.
F.O.S.O (Fear of Starting Over)
A fear of starting over and staying with someone you’re dating because of it
Forget FOMO or JOMO, 45% of singles have experienced F.O.S.O and previously stayed in a relationship solely out of fear of starting over, with being in the relationship so long that it felt comfortable (44%) being the main motivator. But starting again isn’t the only factor making people stay put even when a relationship has run its course….
Becoming extremely attached to the pet of someone you’re dating and staying with them simply for the sake of the pet, even if the relationship doesn’t feel right
A whopping fifth (21%) of singles have stayed with a partner solely for the sake of a furry friend. 44% of British daters claim that the prospect of leaving their partner’s pet makes them more heartbroken than life without their other half, while a further 32% just didn’t want to leave their co-paw-renting duties behind.
Looking ahead at dating for 2024, almost half of singles (47%) believe always being true to themselves, knowing their self-worth (45%) and taking an approach to dating that suits them and their goals (24%) is more important than ever.
In light of the findings, Plenty of Fish has partnered with someone who knows a thing or two about the trials and tribulations of dating – Channel 4 Married At First Sight UK star, Sophie Brown – to offer singles relatable advice amongst the evolving dating landscape.
C4 Married at First Sight UK star, Sophie Brown, says: “The world of dating can be both exciting and tricky to navigate. While my experience of being matchmade by experts didn’t work out in the long run, it opened my eyes to how societal and cultural trends can cause us to switch up our dating behaviours. I prioritise my career, personal life and travel along with finding love, so , I can definitely relate to these dating trends and I hope my tips are helpful for those who, like me, are looking to rip up the dating rule book in 2024!
Eva Gallagher, resident dating expert at Plenty of Fish, says: “Our annual dating trends nod to the evolving attitudes and behaviours of singles – which are heavily influenced by society and popular culture. We’re seeing a really positive movement towards singles acknowledging their self-worth, prioritising their own wants and needs, and never accepting less than they deserve – which is what we believe in at Plenty of Fish. Dating should be fun and low pressure, and we hope that next year, singles will continue to enjoy the journey when looking for love and setting their dating goals.”
Sophie Brown shares her top dating tips for those looking to find love:
Make dating work for you – I love dating! It’s fun, exciting and the best part? You are in control of how much time and energy you invest into it. If you’re like me and prefer to save your weekends for self-care and socialising, try Week Day-ting. Thursdays are the best date days in my opinion (thirsty Thursday anyone?)
Take control of your nerves – I used to get so nervous before first dates, but since settling into Groundhog Day-ting I love having a go-to place that’s a guaranteed good vibe when you’re the one choosing where to meet your next date. Or boost your confidence with Investi-dating to be sure someone is who they say they are or even prompt a few conversation starters – bonus!
Decide on your deal breakers – being clear on your deal breakers, and putting what YOU want out of dating first is so important. Don’t be afraid to Smash the Date-triarchy and prioritise your goals. Finding love is important to me, but so is smashing my career and travelling the world, so I need a partner who adds value, shares a similar vision, and I’ll never settle for anything less!
2024 Dating Trends
- Smashing the Date-triarchy (/smah-shing the day-tree-are-kee): Becoming increasingly less inclined to settle into the type of relationship that society expects of you and choosing your own path instead
- Contra-dating (/con-trah-day-ting): Dating outside of your usual ‘type’ / those you are typically ‘compatible’ with to broaden horizons and remain open-minded
- Investi-dating (/inv-veh-stee- day-ting): When you and / or your friends go to new lengths to research a match or date across social media platforms
- Groundhog-Day-ting(/gr-ownd-hog-day-ting): Taking all of your first dates to the same place every time because it feels comfortable and familiar
- F.O.S.O (/foh-soh): A fear of starting over and staying with someone you’re dating because of it
- Pet-rothing (/pet-tro-thing): Becoming extremely attached to the pet of someone you’re dating and staying with them simply for the sake of the pet, even if the relationship doesn’t feel right
- Week Day-ting (/week- day-ting): Arranging dates on weeknights only, so you don’t waste your weekends if they aren’t a success
- Reno-dating (/reh-no-day-ting): A focus on renewing and refreshing your dating approach and / or goals, in the same way you would your home
- Hottie Desking (/ho-tee- des-king): When you up your game and prioritise trying to find an office romance now that workers are spending more time in the office as opposed to working from home
- Lovesick Leave (/lu-v-sick- lee-v): When your employer offers you time off to recover from the end of a relationship / having your heart broken