Before we officially head into pumpkin spice season, everyone wants to know: did Summer live up to the dating-hype and are we taking our Summer fun into Autumn? According to a new Tinder survey, half of Gen Z (50%) had high hopes for Summer and have now transitioned those hopes onto Autumn.
Things really did get hot on Tinder in Summer and signals point towards a continuation of dating activity in Autumn. Daily average Swipe activity and messages were up 13% and 12% respectively this Summer and conversations were 38% longer compared to April, May and June of 2020.** All that activity led to 41% of survey respondents saying they went on more dates compared to last Summer, something which they intend to continue heading into the colder months. So how did ‘Hot Vax Summer’ look on Tinder? Here are the top five trends...as well as a bonus prediction for Autumn.
1. Deep and Meaningful
We planned dates around our matches’ interests, with 57% wanting to get to know their dates on a deeper level. 48% of Gen Z plan to have more video chats and conversations with matches before meeting IRL and are prioritising shared interests over looks (64%), political views (61%) and even a sense of humour (48%) when dating this Cuffing Season.
2. Showing Off Summer Vibes with Video
Tinder launched video bios on the first day of Summer and Love Island favourite Chris Hughes, was one of the first to post his very own video, back when he was single. Video quickly became the best way to show off your Summer sizzle reel to a potential match, with top categories of videos showcasing outdoor adventures like hiking, jet skis and even long walks on the beach (seriously!). More than half (52%) of Gen Z singles agree it’s easier to show off your personality in a video than in a photo, and millions stepped up.
3. Cute, Creative Dates
As predicted in the Future of Dating Report, dates that were more creative than dinner and a movie grew in popularity this Summer. Starting in June, there were increases in bios mentions of ‘picnic’ (+95%), ‘bookstore’ (+103%), ‘mini golf’ (112%) and ‘roller skating’ (+83%). As we move towards Autumn, 25% of Gen Z are looking to spend more time out and about on dates.
4. Dates Got More Casual
While expectations for Summer were high, our dress code wasn’t. Dreams of cute outfits were squashed by a year of sweats, as Gen Z are now dressing more casually for dates. Over half (56%) say that how they dress shouldn’t impact how much their match likes them and 49% admitted that they simply grew to love elasticated waistbands during lockdown.
5. Celebrity-inspired romance
This Summer of dating was not just for us mere mortals, as our favourite celebs got in on the action too. Camila Cabello & Shawn Mendes are the couple most are lusting after to be happy with a long-term partner (35%), although 13% are looking to couple up Olivia Wilde & Harry Styles style, with the same proportion hoping to move away from the friend zone (a la Jennifer Aniston & David Schwimmer). Just one in ten (9%) are looking for an Autumn of embracing the single life like Wayne Lineker and a slightly smaller proportion (8%) are thinking of ending their current thing to put themselves first like Love Island’s Liberty & Jake.
Trending on Tinder, celebs were never too far away from members' bios with the most popular name drops including ‘Jack Grealish’ (53X more mentions) and ‘Harry Styles’ (15% more mentions) to attract more matches.
PREDICTION: No FOMO Fall
Even with concerns of Winter lockdowns, 68% of all survey respondents feel hopeful that the next few months will bring fresh opportunities to meet new people and 59% of Gen Z want to get to know people on a deeper level this Autumn, before going on a date with them. When it comes to relationships, half of Gen Z (51%) want to be in a committed relationship, 19% would prefer to be casually dating, without the commitment, and 17% would rather be making new friends and seeing where things go. Just one in ten (9%) would rather be single.
*Research conducted by Opinium - survey of 1,001 Gen Z UK adults (18-24) 14th - 17th September 2021
** Match Q2 2021 earnings report
***Based on Tinder bio mentions June-August 2021 vs. June-August 2020