Online Dating Trends

Pre-date vibe checks are becoming popular among internet daters by Lisa

When Emily‍ suggested to​ a potential match on Bumble that their initial meeting should not exceed an hour, she was met with scepticism. Emily’s​ intention was to conduct a quick ‘vibe check’ before fully committing to the date. ⁣While some were hesitant about this approach, ‍others were ⁤open to⁣ the idea, like ⁢the man she went on ⁤a 7km run ‍with around Victoria⁢ Park. In today’s economic climate, it’s prudent to gauge the ‍situation⁢ before investing time and resources into an uncertain ⁣prospect.

The concept of‍ a ⁣pre-date vibe check has been gaining ⁣traction over the past few years. It’s ⁤a practical way to avoid⁤ the cycle of costly, time-consuming, and disheartening first dates that ‍consume your evenings. Kristina, a ten-year ⁣veteran of⁢ dating apps, finds this approach baffling to those unfamiliar with the online dating ‍scene. Her strategy⁣ involves suggesting a drink or two, with ‍another social engagement lined up immediately afterward as an exit strategy. This saves time, money, and the​ emotional toll ‌of‍ constant dating.

Being half-Norwegian, Kristina believes her straightforwardness may contrast with the British politeness ​she’s encountered, where leaving after‍ two ⁢rounds‍ might be seen as impolite.‍ The financial implications of⁣ a vibe check versus a full‌ evening of dining are​ significant, especially ‌with the rising ‌cost of living. Then ​there’s the issue of free ⁤time, ​which can be significantly consumed by a lengthy dinner date. Kristina notes that the ⁤expectation for‍ men to pay for⁢ everything on a first ‍date can add additional pressure.

Alice⁣ Tapper, ⁢a behavioural economist, debt advisor and finance writer, recalls a⁢ friend who went into significant debt due to the ‍pressure of paying for expensive dates. She believes the trend is shifting ⁣towards dating ‍within one’s financial means, prioritising personal ​time, and not succumbing to societal dating expectations.

However, this⁣ may ⁢be changing ⁢for the younger generation. ‍ Studies indicate that ​younger generations are breaking the taboo around money, ‌becoming more comfortable with splitting the bill ‌or discussing earnings. Bumble has reported an increase‍ in low-key dating, with a YouGov survey​ revealing that almost‍ half of Gen Z and millennials ​ prefer cheaper date ‌locations over extravagant dinners or large bar tabs. Furthermore, one in⁤ five people aged 18-34 are more likely to set a ⁤dating budget than they were at ⁤the start of the year. Alice suggests⁣ that people are beginning to‍ understand ‍that time⁣ is valuable and should be​ protected.‍ Spending a significant amount on an unenjoyable dinner when time is limited is becoming less‌ appealing. Opting for a low-key, affordable pre-date such as a coffee or park walk can help manage expectations.

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Dating Now Resembles Shopping: The Role of Pre-Date Questionnaires and Follow-Up Surveys by Lisa

‘He wouldn’t stop talking about his dogs. Two⁤ stars.’

‘Matt is fantastic. He treats me like a queen and even bought me a complete outfit for our ⁤romantic evening.⁢ Five ⁢stars.’

‘We only had‌ one date. He kept talking about ritualistic sacrifice and his ‘master of hounds’. One star.’

The reviews of Matt are not real, but they were featured in a persuasive TikTok video that went viral this week. The video shows ‍someone​ scrolling and swiping on Tinder, using a ‘new feature’ that ⁤allows them ​to see public reviews of potential matches. Many viewers believed the⁤ video was real. “Finally!!! This will be a‍ game changer. ⁣I’ve been saying for years this ‌needed to happen,” one commenter wrote. Another fact-checked before commenting: “I just Googled it, ‌nothing. I would love ⁤ if they had that.”

It’s⁤ understandable that some​ people believed the update was real. In recent⁤ months, stories about pre-date questionnaires,⁤ pre-date vibe checks, and even ‌ post-date surveys have surfaced, suggesting a shift in modern dating priorities towards efficiency and self-optimisation, and away from romance and spontaneity. It’s not a stretch ⁣to imagine that a ⁢feature for end-of-date reviews could become a reality, further Black Mirror-izing the dating process.

Despite forecasts that by 2035 more people will meet their partners online than offline,⁢ many people are dissatisfied with their dating app experiences. The concept‌ of ‘dating app fatigue’ gained traction last year, with users complaining about dull,⁢ formulaic conversations, chats that peter out, and the exhaustion of managing multiple conversations at once.‍ The overwhelming number of ⁣choices available – there are over ​8,000online dating sites with more than 300 million global users – contributes to this. As‍ dating coach Kate Mansfield describes it, this creates a competitive “conveyor⁢ belt” experience, making dating feel​ “very much like shopping”. This has led to the term ‘relationshopping‘, and it’s possible that public reviews could be the next step in this trend.

Using commercial language to describe dating has long been common. When you’re newly single, you’re ‘back on the market’ – ⁢but online dating, which became ⁢widespread after the launch ‍of Tinder in 2012, has made this metaphorical ⁤marketplace a reality. In 2020, a group of artists even launched ⁤a parody Amazon dating site, where you⁣ can shop for⁤ dates and choose their height before you ‘buy’. Now, you can browse, ⁣try out, and ‘buy’ – and sometimes ‘return’ –⁢ potential dates from the ‌comfort of your bed. You can⁢ even filter them by characteristics: over 6ft, non-smoker, vaccinated.

This seems to be making us pickier. “I’ve definitely swiped left on people based on their⁢ height, but I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between 5ft 11″ and 6ft,” says 26-year-old Naomi from London, who recently deleted all her dating apps after a series of bad dates. “Because of the nature of the profile, you’re naturally more likely ‌to swipe left on people based on things⁢ you wouldn’t know about if you met⁢ them in everyday life.”

This selectivity often leads us to view individuals’ desirability as a commodity. As noted by Warwick University professor Carolina Bandinelli in her 2022 study on ‘marketised love’, in the dating‌ app marketplace, each person is a carefully constructed brand. Users, as ⁣entrepreneurs, ⁣are selling themselves – through curated photos, original bios, and witty openers – to potential investors (dates), looking for⁣ those who ​can, as Bandinelli puts it, “invest in me in a way that allows me to thrive as a person”.

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