'Open-hearted masculinity': Bumble reveals top dating trends in 2024
MANILA, Philippines — Bumble, the dating app that empowers women to take charge of their own dating life, has just revealed what the top dating trends are going to be in 2024.
The popular dating app gathered insights from 26,849 Bumble members (who are single) from all over the world to identify trends that will define dating and relationships next year. Research, using internal polling, was conducted by Bumble from September 21 to 26, 2023.
While Bumble’s 2023 trends focused on navigating love abroad, dating beyond one's type and establishing new boundaries between partners, work lives and finances, the dating app’s prediction is that 2024 is set to be the year of “self” in dating and relationships, with more people looking inwards at what they value and want.
This personal prioritization sees singles rejecting the constant strive for perfection, discarding outdated timelines, challenging "job-ification," and placing more value on emotional vulnerability, self-acceptance and shared priorities.
Heading into 2024, there is an air of optimism and clarity for the "year of self" as Bumble’s research shows that more than half (63%) of Filipino women (based on those surveyed) are going into the new year with a clear view of what they want from their romantic lives.
Bumble’s dating trend predictions for 2024 include:
People, especially women, continue to feel a constant pressure to follow traditional relationship timelines. Going into 2024, the trend sees the decline of timelines in favor of women choosing to actively build their own path, with one in three (31%) Filipino women saying they are no longer focused on adhering to traditional timelines and milestones.
This is reflected in intentions with nearly three in four (76%) women looking for a long-term relationship and less than one-third (31%) seeking marriage. For nearly half (43%) of women, this means dating only people who have the same perspective on timelines and milestones. And for a quarter of women (25%) in the Philippines, this means actively avoiding friends and family who put pressure on them, especially during holiday celebrations.
Building on "dating beyond your type," there has been an increase in cross-generational relationships.
Singles on app are increasingly open to connections both older and younger. For two in three (63%) people surveyed globally, age is not a defining factor when dating, with more than half (59%) of women saying they are now more open to dating someone younger than them.
In the Philippines specifically, four out of five men are now more open to dating older women. Also changing is how they view others’ relationships, with more than half of Filipino men (50%) and women (59%) stating they have become less judgmental towards age gap relationships over the last year as compared to their global counterparts (34%).
Singles today are looking for shared priorities and expect their partners to not only care about social causes but to actively engage. Val-Core refers to the rise of people valuing engagement on issues that matter to them.
For almost half (48%) of the people on the app in the Philippines, it is key that their partner actively engages in politics and social causes; in fact, it makes them more attractive.
Specifically, 84% of Filipinos say their potential partner engaging in Human Rights issues is important to them, followed by sustainability (73%) and politics and voting (72%).
When it comes to dating, the research shows that Filipino women are less open (63%) to dating someone with differing political views as compared to men (52%), and for one in three (36%) women, it is a turn-off if someone they are dating is not aware of current societal issues.
For people today, and particularly women, it seems attraction comes down to one key thing: emotional intimacy.
Filipino singles are focused on finding security, safety and understanding, with 44% of those surveyed believing that emotional intimacy is now more important than sex and that it’s actually more attractive than physical connection.
When it comes to dating, an overwhelming majority (78%) of women in the Philippines say it’s key that their partner has an understanding of both emotional and physical intimacy. In 2024, it’s time to get in your feels.
This year’s prioritization of self-care and mental health has led to more than half (58%) of singles around the world being more open about their mental health and making a concerted effort to slow down.
In the Philippines, single people are reframing how they date to better protect their mental health, with almost half (49%) of those surveyed locally actively "slow-dating" and being considerate about how much they are dating to ensure quality over quantity, even more so among women (56%).
In fact, almost half (46%) of Filipinos are actively seeking people who practice and value self-care. This is bringing back a trend that Bumble identified in the pandemic, challenging the “job-ification” of love with one in four (26%) Filipinos actively deterred by anyone who treats a date as a checklist exercise.
The year has been filled with global conversations about masculinity and gender roles in fashion, media, music and film.
When it comes to relationships, close to one-third (30%) of Filipino men state that they have actively changed their behavior, becoming more vulnerable and open with people they are dating than ever before.
For 42% of men, this new-found openness has had a positive impact on their mental health and for whom a lack of vulnerability is now a dating deal breaker.
From biohacking and starting your day at 5 a.m., to plugging into self-help podcasts, there has been a rise in people "self-optimizing" — striving to become a perfect version of themselves.
This has led the majority (55%) of singles surveyed globally to feel pressure to constantly look for ways to better themselves, with this number being even higher in the Philippines, with 69% of Filipinos feeling the same way. This leaves more than one in four (26%) feeling unworthy of a partner.
Looking ahead to 2024, singles are rebelling against the constant self-improvement, with more than two in three Filipino women surveyed (69%) taking active steps to be happier with who they are here and now. In fact, 38% of women will now only date people who will not try to change them.
Lucille McCart, Bumble’s APAC communications director, said: “In 2023, dating themes centered on travel romances, the importance of clear and healthy boundaries (a term that was hijacked by a certain Hollywood star earlier this year), and dating outside your type. We know that social and cultural movements are incredibly intertwined with our dating and social lives, and this year we saw many conversations come to a head on social issues including misogyny, therapy speak, women’s rights, among others, which have left many people — especially women — feeling exhausted.”
This is all having an impact on how people on the app are dating in the Philippines and around the world — people are assessing what is important to them, feeling more empowered in their sense of self and seeking out people who value the same things as them — whether that is social causes, lifestyle choices, or even as simple as their favorite sports team.”
She added: “We are also observing a really exciting phenomenon that sees singles rewriting the rulebook and unpacking expectations around age, the pursuit of perfectionism and relationship timelines. People are looking inward more than ever before, becoming more accepting of who they are, and showing up to their dating experience as a more vulnerable and authentic version of themselves. We predict that 2024 will usher in a year of the self, with Filipinos feeling empowered to prioritize what they value, be fearless about what they stand for, and have a renewed sense of clarity about what they want in their romantic lives.”
To empower singles to make the most of 2024, the app launched a new featline: Dolly Dures including “Best Bees,” a curated daily set of four compatible profiles to help users find more relevant connections faster. Its new “Compliments” feature allows users with the same passion to connect.