7 Dating Trends Set to Take 2023 by Storm
It's no great secret that things change pretty quickly in the world of dating. One scene in Nora Ephron's 1993 movie "Sleepless in Seattle" sums up the phenomenon perfectly. After his wife dies, Sam (played by Tom Hanks) eventually readies himself to get back out on the dating scene.
"I want to know what it's like over there," he asks his friend.
"Things are different. First, you have to be friends," his friend begins.
After hearing all of the new dating "rules," Sam responds grimly, "This is going to be tougher than I thought."
Take even a month or two off and you might find that everyone seems to be doing dates, well, differently. One year, everyone could be interested in going on long, alcohol-free dates. Everyone might seem to be getting back together with their exes in another year. Or maybe there's a period when everyone seems to be breaking up in search of a fresh start.
While dating trends may seem random or incidental, there's usually a good reason driving them. The way we date shifts with the cultural tides, and dating trends emerge to reflect the collective societal mood.
Look at 2022, for instance. Last year saw an influx of new dating trends. There was "winter coating," which saw people crawling back into old relationships for the winter months. Then there were COVID-driven trends such as "hesidating," "fast-forwarding," "dry dating" and "hobby dating."
What does 2023 hold in store for us in the world of dating? One of the big themes is honesty and openness, which will lead to a few key trends, according to dating experts.
Experts predict that 2023 will see a rise in "edudating." This trend occurs when singles put intellectualism and education levels before looks and physical attraction.
"Meeting someone who inspires you and who actually expands your worldview through deeper, more intellect-based conversations and connections is a powerful thing, romantic or not," said Emma Hathorn, a dating expert at Seeking.com, based in Las Vegas. "This dating trend encourages connections that can stand the test of time and that rise above what we might consider our 'type.'"
According to a Seeking.com study, Hathorn said 32.2 percent of men are actively looking for depth of connection. That's where "emo-dating" comes in, as this trend is all about getting real with your emotions on dates rather than playing it cool.
"I would personally advocate for this because putting one's best foot forward in the early stages should be a natural thing, rather than a false show," Hathorn said. "Dating is about what you want, not what you think others want from you."
Bethany Nicole, a relationship expert from Los Angeles, additionally said emo-dating can save valuable time and energy.
"[You can get real] about your expectations of a relationship, your living or financial situation, your emotional or mental health, your history, your goals and so on," Nicole said. "Pretty much anything that can make or break a connection is being presented right at the get-go with the concept of 'take it or leave it.'"
As COVID-19 restrictions fade and we all take a few more holidays, the "wanderlove" trend will see us all trying to make our holiday flings last in the long run. According to Hathorn, the trend can help us open ourselves up to new things.
"This trend, with the right circumstances surrounding it, can be a beautiful way of finding connection," Hathorn said. "Intercultural and intercontinental relationships can be a teaching experience for both parties."
As concern about the global climate crisis perpetually rises, expect singles to look for partners who are more eco-conscious.
"This trend focuses on taking an environmental angle when selecting partners that you wish to continue dating, and dumping them if they do not support your views on how to save the planet," Hathorn said. "We think that this is another aspect of the idea that upfront, honest dating is tantamount to a good connection."
5. Main character energy
Kate Maclean, a dating expert at Plenty of Fish, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, predicted that in 2023, singles will look to establish "main character energy," which means putting yourself first—even if it means not dating anyone at all.
"Over the past few years, singles have shifted their approach to dating, largely due to factors tied to the pandemic," Maclean said. "As we begin to put the pandemic behind us, we're seeing how singles are redefining dating in order to make more real, authentic connections. They are more certain about deal-breakers, like eco-dumping, and their self-worth and confidence are skyrocketing. Main character energy will be a huge trend in the year ahead."
6. Dating up
With "dating up," the idea is that relationships should improve the single life you have rather than negatively impact it.
"I would go so far as to say that dating up is essential in 2023," Hathorn stated. "It's about self-respect and about having a clear vision of your self-worth in your dating life. If you value yourself, your time, and the people that you choose to keep around you, why would you not expect a partner to uplift you in the same way that you believe you ought to be uplifted?"
7. Dry dating
Last year saw many singles experimenting with alcohol-free dates, and this year will likely see even more people going dry.
"Many are finding it's time to stop looking for love in a bottle," Nicole said. "They're also recognizing that their current or past relationships would not have survived sobriety, as much of their connection and chemistry was based on alcohol as a lubricant. 'Dry dating' is becoming one of the hot, and healthy, dating trends we are seeing more of this year."