From orbiting to multi-apping, seasoned dater Olivia Foster examines the dating trends she’d love to kiss goodbye…
Words by Olivia Foster
Dating. Dating. Dating. If you’ve been on the romantic frontline in this year you’ll know it can be a confusing place. Whether you’re surfing apps full of pictures of people with pets that aren’t theirs (more on that later) or you’re trying to meet people offline, it can sometime feels like you’re stuck in the dating equivalent of Groundhog Day – but with no Bill Murray to cheer you up.
And while there are some positives (more people are meeting online than ever before meaning that swiping might not be in vain) the downside is there are some dating trends that just won’t seem to die (think ghosting, unsolicited dick pics and those poor sedated tigers). So, as someone who has been single for just over a year and has experienced more than my fair share of dating mishaps, here are the six dating trends I think we need to give a permanent swipe left to in 2020. Join me?
For the love of god, for the sake of our thumbs, our phone batteries and our sanity can somebody please make a decision as to which is the best dating app to use. Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, OKCupid, Match…at present it’s thought there are over 1400 apps in the UK alone – talk about a lot of lad-min. It’s little wonder really that research has revealed we’re spending on average 90 minutes a day (that’s 22 days a year!) scrolling through them. In 2020, I’m calling a dating strike until someone can come up with a handy manual as to which apps are the most useful for what (or can we just combine them?!) and I suggest you do the same.
Thanks to Nev Schulman we’re all aware of catfishing. But 2019 bought a far more dangerous and deceptive trend; dogfishing. There you are, scrolling through Bumble when you spot a man carrying an adorable Cavapoo puppy, just one look at the way he’s cradling it and you’ve already mentally introduced him to your Mum (just me?). But no. Just seven short messages in and the illusion is shattered as he reveals that he actually borrowed said puppy off his best friend’s girlfriend (so much for the sisterhood, Sarah). This my friends, is dogfishing and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it is the worst dating trend of all.
Someone call NASA, we’ve got a problem – rogue daters are orbiting in our atmospheres. It might be that you spot them wordlessly watching your Instagram stories without replying to your Whatsapps, or they retweet that hilarious Brexit meme when they haven’t followed through with Date 3. When someone is orbiting you it will feel like they’re simultaneously a part of your life, while not really being in it at all. Awful.com. So in 2020, I’m advocating for our right to send these orbiters spinning off into the solar system – preferably into a black hole – by utilising the block and remove buttons. Sorry guys, but either you want to date us or you don’t.
In 2018 the four words guaranteed to send me recoiling from my phone were, ‘Here’s a dick pic,’. In 2019? ‘Let’s do Tough Mudder!.’ You know, Tough Mudder, the 8-10 mile obstacle course that includes (but is not limited to) climbing up a wall of wood and throwing yourself into a ditch filled with live electrical wires. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for breaking the dating mould in good time, but shouldn’t first dates be about conversation? Not shouting, ‘Wait for me!’ as I struggle in a swamp while my date sprints off to collect his medal. See also, gym dates. Be it spinning, weight-lifting, or Barry’s Bootcamp. Because while I want to meet someone who takes my breath away, I don’t want it to be on an inclining treadmill, thanks.
Two Truths, One Lie
I am convinced that at some point the developers of all the dating apps got together, (probably in a beautifully air-conditioned co-working space with frose on tap) and decided to include the option for you to have, ‘Two Truths, One Lie,’ on your profile. Two truths, one lie always ALWAYS includes something along the lines of, ‘Lindsay Lohan stole my sandwich,’ or, ‘David Cameron once touched my bum.’ And then it’s never true anyway. Two truths, one lie – a game no person in the existence of the human race has ever played in real life. A game that fundamentally must be left in the dating trend bin in 2020.
Dating App Denial
‘We’ll tell our friends we met at the supermarket / pub / IKEA / the local car park.’ Here’s the thing – research revealed earlier this year that 39% of people now meet their partners online, so it’s time to kick dating app denial to the curb. Sorry, but in my (vast…) dating experience, any person who isn’t happy to tell people where you met isn’t focusing on the most important thing. That somehow, instead of getting swipe-induced arthritis, you actually found someone kind, funny and cool. And that, dear friends, is something you should be shouting from the rooftops.