The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that has impacted diverse communities like never before, affecting every country, dating journey, and online profile.
One of the notable trickle-down changes in our behaviors is around dating, with remarkable shifts in attitudes towards casual hookups and meeting partners overseas.
Visit any number of BBW dating sites, and you'll find a greater mix of ages, sexualities and nationalities, as well as a rise in online dating as a whole, particularly in NZ dating, where lockdowns have been among the toughest.
How the Pandemic Changed the Landscape of Online Dating
Sticking with british bbw as a good example, we saw socially distanced outdoor dates or video dates becoming the most popular option across all the categories of dating sites.
Now, in a world where vaccination status has become a normal part of a dating profile, there has been a dip in casual dates, even on unconventional NZ swingers sites.
Individuals are more conscious about their health, asking questions about sexual health, for example, before hooking up with a no-strings partner.
While many online dating sites NZ predicted a 2022 boom, as singles finally have the opportunity to travel and meet new people, the reality has been quite the opposite, emphasising committed relationships and monogamy.
The 2022 Online Dating Differences
Around 58% of singles using NZ swingers sites say they are now more mindful about vaccination status and unnecessary risk when deciding whether to go ahead with a new dating opportunity.
There has also been a corresponding dip in casual dating activity as a whole, with 69% of daters saying that they are now more honest and make it clear if they aren't interested in anything long-term.
Perhaps the most telling statistic is that 53% of single people prioritise their relationship search more than they did before the pandemic. This focus is very likely a by-product of isolation, restrictions in socialising and travel bans which impacted single people living alone far more than others.
Online Dating Trends for the Year Ahead
While decision-making factors may be evolving, online dating remains the number one way for singles worldwide to meet new people, so there are no indications that user numbers or market volume is in decline.
The challenge for online dating sites is to ensure they meet the shifting demand, with features including:
Video dates to enable members to chat online before deciding whether to meet.
Vaccination status badges for dating site profiles to make individuals more comfortable choosing whom to match with.
Broader options in relationship dating sites, with a larger proportion of daters now looking for more meaningful encounters.
The good news for all of the recommended dating apps we review is that mindful dating means people spend more time on the site, more effort researching user profiles, and better use the features on offer to make their dating choices with intention.