Bumble, the popular dating app, has unveiled the latest dating trends embraced by Generation Z, shedding light on how the younger generation is reshaping the dating scene in 2023. From making the first move to exuding “Main Character Energy,” Gen Z is challenging traditional dating norms and paving the way for a new era of romantic connections.
Generation Z, also known as Gen Z, refers to the demographic cohort born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s. This generation is the successor to the millennial generation and is characterized by having grown up in a digital age where technology and the internet are integral parts of their lives.
As time has progressed, the oldest members of Gen Z have now reached the age where they are beginning to explore romantic relationships and the world of dating. They are entering the dating scene with a unique set of experiences and perspectives shaped by their upbringing in the digital age.
Having grown up in an era where online dating apps and social media are prevalent, Gen Z individuals approach dating with a level of comfort and familiarity with technology. They are more likely to use dating apps and digital platforms to meet potential partners and connect with others.
HERE ARE A FEW of the top trends revealed in Bumble’s latest research:
Short can be sexy
The phenomenon of “Short King Spring” has transcended seasons for Gen Z daters. More than one in three (37%) Gen Z singles on Bumble revealed their newfound openness to dating people shorter than themselves, dismissing height as a prerequisite. Notably, this percentage surpasses the global average, where only 30% of respondents expressed the same sentiment.
Are you feeling lucky?
Generating “lucky girl” energy in the dating realm revolves around manifesting one’s desired reality and presenting the best version of oneself. A paradigm shift has occurred among Gen Z and beyond, with (45%) of single individuals in Israel exhibiting greater thoughtfulness and intentionality in their approach to dating. Bumble’s Profile Badges serve as a tool to clearly communicate intentions, be it casual or serious, thereby assisting in manifesting the desired dating experience.
I’m the main character
Living the protagonist lifestyle has become the new norm, with 43% of Gen Z Bumble members feeling more motivated to actively pursue their romantic desires following the past two years. The concept of exuding “Main Character Energy” or “hardballing” (being straightforward and uncompromising) has taken center stage, with over half (52%) of Gen Z singles worldwide stating that they now communicate their relationship expectations clearly from the outset. Furthermore, 85% believe that honesty and upfront communication are vital in a relationship.
Slow dating is making its way to the spotlight (just give it a minute)
As office culture returns and social calendars become busier, an overwhelming majority (87%) of Gen Z singles admit to feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by their day-to-day lives. In 2021, the rise of “Slow Dating” emerged during lockdown, wherein individuals took longer to truly get to know their potential partners before advancing the relationship. Today, over half (52%) of Gen Z members on Bumble have established stronger boundaries, a trend termed “Guardrailing” by Bumble, including being more explicit about emotional needs and personal limits (63%), as well as avoiding overcommitting socially (55%).
"Gen Z is the first generation to enter the dating scene with apps as a key way to meet people. Given the greater control that online dating can offer with how you choose to date, from filtering matches by distance or Interest Badges which help you find things in common, it's no surprise this generation feels more empowered to date on their own terms.”Dr. Caroline West
Let the ladies lead the way
THE YOUNGER GENERATION is discarding outdated romantic norms, particularly exemplified by the 66% of women in Israel who are comfortable making the first move and asking someone on a first date.
Bumble’s Sex and Relationships Expert, Dr. Caroline West, offered her insights into the young generation’s approach to dating. “Gen Z is the first generation to enter the dating scene with apps as a key way to meet people. Given the greater control that online dating can offer with how you choose to date, from filtering matches by distance or Interest Badges which help you find things in common, it’s no surprise this generation feels more empowered to date on their own terms,” she said.
West continued: “Gen Z is making dating work for them in their own way, whether that’s ignoring social norms on height or doubling down on others, such as being forward. With more than two-fifths of Gen Z now feeling more motivated to go after what they want romantically than before the pandemic, it’s clear that dating with purpose, confidence, and integrity is the new standard.”