Dating app Plenty of Fish today revealed its much anticipated fourth annual list of the top dating trends for 2021. From “Apocalypsing” to “Zoomlander-ing,” this year’s trends provide insight into dating, relationships and breakups. To identify the new trends, Plenty of Fish polled over 2,000 U.S. members and found that pop culture, current events and social media have a significant impact on dating.
2021 Dating Trends Include:
Apocalypsing: Treating every relationship like it’s your last, from Plenty of Fish 2021 Dating Trends.
(/ah-poc-a-lyps-ing): Treating every relationship like it’s your last and getting super serious with someone you just started dating. One-third of singles know someone who has done this, and Gen Z is all about Apocalypsing, with nearly 1/3 admitting to doing this themselves.
Use case: Alex apocalypses every relationship — but who can blame him? This pandemic has shown us that you never know what’s going to happen, so might as well make things count!
(/mas-kuh-reyd-ing): Fronting that you care about COVID-19 safety precautions for optics or to impress a match. Turns out, one in five Gen Zers are maskerading in front of potential dates. Use case: She’s totally maskerading. She told me how important she thinks social distancing guidelines are, but I saw that her friend tagged her in a photo where she was at a party with a ton of people not wearing masks!
Fauci-ing (/fau-chee-ing): Declining to date someone because you don’t feel they’re taking COVID-19 seriously enough. Dr. F is trying to keep us all safe and healthy, so naysayers who disregard his expert advice may fall victim to this trend. In fact, ¼ of people know someone who has declined a date because they felt someone wasn’t taking COVID-19 seriously. Use case: If I had a nickel for every time I fauci’d someone this year, I could pay off my student loans.
Zoomlander-ing (/zoom-lan-der-ing): When a Zoom date spends the entire time checking themselves out in the camera instead of looking at the person they’re on a date with. One-third of young adults (Gen Z and millennials) have been Zoomlandered but, hey, it’s not their fault they’re really, really ridiculously good looking. Use case: I was on a first Zoom date with this girl and she was totally Zoomlander-ing – I don’t think she even knows what I look like!
“Faced with a global pandemic, singles have had to navigate a very unique dating landscape this year, which also helped drive our most comprehensive list of new terms to date,” said Shannon Smith, Head of PR, Plenty of Fish. “For example, ‘Zoomlandering’ comes directly from the pandemic’s impact on dating and the rapid adoption of video dates, which continue to be popular.”
Endgame-ing (/end-geym-ing): Accidentally sending a NSFW photo or video to someone you’re dating. Endgame-ing happens to the best of us, including our favorite Captain who recently found himself in a similar situation. In fact, roughly 1/4 of singles have accidentally sent and received a NSFW photo or video to someone they were dating. Use case: I almost endgamed Jon and sent him a NSFW photo I had in my camera-roll, it was in between the photo of my dog and the bomb salad I had for lunch!
Folklore-ing (/fo-klore-ing): Being so focused on fairytale romance that expectations don’t match reality. From plaid shirt days to James Dean -daydreams, like the millennial romance queen herself, 1 in 5 millennials admit to doing this while searching for their own Love Story. Use case: Betty totally folklored James because she was too busy waiting for her White Horse and her White Veil occasion.
Sanitizing (/san-i-tahyz-ing): The act of wiping your social media of all photographic evidence of a past relationship. More than 1/3 of singles have sanitized their social media by erasing every photo of an ex post break-up. Almost 50% of women know someone who has cleansed their social channels. Use case: We broke up yesterday and I’ve already sanitized my Instagram. Once I sage my apartment, I’ll officially be over it.
Waldo-ing (/wawl-doh-ing): When someone only posts group photos on their dating profile, making it hard to determine who they are and what they look like. While this is frustrating for everyone, interestingly, women are more likely to experience Waldo-ing (45%) than men (33%). Use Case: This guy is a total Waldo – all his dating app photos are group pics! How am I supposed to know which one he is?!
Stalk-blocking (/stawk blok-ing): Making your social media accounts private so prospective dates can’t creep on you, because hello – no one likes a creeper! Blocking social stalkers in today’s digitally driven world is quite common with 1 in 5 singles knowing someone who has experienced stalk-blocking and nearly 1/4 of millennials have stalk-blocked themselves. Use Case: So we haven’t even met in person but he already “liked” a bunch of photos deep on my Instagram, I stalk-blocked him so hard after that.
Bradying (/braid-e-ing): Ending a long-term relationship despite friends and family thinking you’re making a mistake. This trend’s namesake QB QT knows a thing or two about moving on despite others’ opinions. You do you, Boo! Twenty-five percent of singles have been in this difficult situation. Use case: As if breakups aren’t tough enough, I’m always Bradying because my friends and fam get too attached to my girlfriends.
Hey & Pray (/Hey and prey): Indiscriminately spamming every match with a basic “Hey there,” “Hey you,” “Hey,” “Hi,” and praying that someone will respond and be interested. A massive 2/3 of women have been bombarded with the impersonal and unimpressive opener “hey” on dating apps, with over 60% of millennials experiencing this. Use case: Ugh, this is the fifth guy this week to hey & pray me, what do you even say back to “hey”?
Read more about dating trends and other dating-related advice on the Plenty of Fish blog, The Latest Catch. Join the conversation on social by following Plenty of Fish on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and using #Dating Trends and #POFDictionary.
Download supporting assets here.
Dating Trends Survey Methodology
More than 2,000 U.S.-based Plenty of Fish users were polled online in October 2020. Participants were ages 18-74 with 60% identifying as male and 39% female.
About Plenty of Fish
Plenty of Fish, a Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH) company, is one of the largest global online dating companies, and is available in 11 languages and more than 20 countries. Unlike many dating offerings today, Plenty of Fish offers a less prescriptive, low-pressure user experience that allows singles to discover what they’re looking for.
SOURCE Plenty of Fish
Photo by Lisa Fotios