If 2018 was a year of ghosting, failed dates and bad connections, experts are hopeful 2019 will be a lot different.
“People are ready to start ditching the shallow, so-many-choices approach to dating, and move back to more ‘older-fashioned’ ways and alternative ways of meeting people,” said Dr. Natasha Sharma, emotional wellness expert and creator of The Kindness Journal.
“First dates may be more creative as well. I work with lots of people who talk about first dates being things like ‘wallpapering someone’s new condo together’ or ‘going hiking.’ We’ll see more and more of that,” she explained.
According to a survey by dating app Zoosk, online daters in 2018 were considered more old-fashioned. These findings can be surprising to those who believe online dating is only about hooking up.
Zoosk data showed those who listed “hopeless romantic” in their profiles got 38 per cent more messages and those who added they were “old-fashioned” got 16 per cent more messages than those who didn’t.
The data also found 95 per cent of people thought holding a door open on a date was romantic, as well as paying for the first date (82 per cent).
And when it comes to looking at past trends, sex and relationship expert and matchmaker Claire AH of Toronto added there are some things daters need to leave behind in 2018.
“There have been so many really great think pieces about doing away with the more surface-level expectations of a dating partner, as well as more articles about what to emphasize to find a genuine partner,” she told Global News.
Height requirements and other surface-level inconsequential expectations, as well as close-minded attitudes online all need to go. Below, both experts share some of their dating predictions for 2019.
Online dating will still be popular
“Online dating apps will remain popular, but I predict we’ll also see people start to move toward more personal forms of connection,” Sharma said. The popularity of online dating, she added, is making us more aware of the irreplaceable value of in-person contact, particularly when it comes to forming closer relationships.
“Apps that remain popular will be those that focus on meaningful connections, or that facilitate the process of building relationships.” And you can find a meaningful connection on any app — from Tinder to Coffee Meets Bagel to Match.
Seek dating advice elsewhere
“Find someone who isn’t a friend or family member to talk to about dating and relationships if you can,” Claire said. A professional, whether that be a coach, matchmaker or even a therapist in certain cases, is going to listen and not give you advice solely based on their own expectations.
No more dating for the sake of dating
Sharma said there will be more of a focus on meaningful connections again. “Less ‘dating for the sake of dating’ and more decisively being single or actively seeking a long-term partner,” she continued.
“People are tiring of dating apps that promote shallow interactions, and studies show that those who use them experience lower self-esteem and poorer body image compared to those who don’t.”
Sharma is hopeful and believes that in 2019, people will be more focused on compassionate dating. This means less ghosting, text dumping and more “real” conversations. “This goes along with more in-person connections.”
Think about what you want
In 2019, Claire said people will spend some time actually thinking about the kind of partnership you want, not just what your ideal partner looks like.
Diversify the ways you date
“If you’re totally averse to online dating, apps, or meeting in person, ask yourself why and see if there’s a way to give it another try,” Claire said.