Post-lockdown dating trend: people have fewer expectations from new relationships

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Hollie Richardson
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Although casual dating can cause much frustration for single people looking for a relationship, the fact that more dating app users are being honest about having “no expectations” can only be a positive thing.

Let’s be frank: if you’ve been single throughout the pandemic, you likely have some ‘interesting’ dating stories to share. From awkward virtual dates to creating a support bubble with someone you’ve known for three weeks and trying to work out if going on a date in lockdown is even legal – it’s been a minefield for many. 

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However, there have also been a lot of positive dating experiences and learnings taken from the pandemic. After losing a year, many daters are now done with gameplaying and just want to be more honest with potential new partners. Some even saw lockdown as an opportunity to prioritise finding a good relationship, after putting it off for so long in the busy pre-pandemic world. 

Pandemic or no pandemic – dating will always have its ups, downs and grey areas. And new research from dating app Tinder has reported a new trend that many will agree is positive: dating with fewer expectations. 

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According to Tinder’s data, Gen Z users are seeking a greater openness to possibility than ever before. They won’t specify whether they’re looking for a relationship or something casual; instead they’re using phrases in bios such as ‘see where things go’ and ‘open to’. The number of daters looking for ‘no particular type of relationship’ was up nearly 50%.

The phrases that have gained popularity in Tinder bios include:

  • ‘no pressure’ – 36% more mentions
  • ‘chill’ – 34% more mentions
  • ‘no strings attached’ – 32% more mentions
  • ‘go with the flow’ – 27% more mentions
  • ‘whatever happens’ – 26% more mentions
More people are dating without any expectations.

“After a year of feeling restricted, our members don’t want to put any limitations on their dating lives and so we have witnessed an increasing trend of dating with fewer expectations,” Laura Wilkinson-Rea, director of communications, UK at Tinder says.

“With Gen Z updating their bios nearly three times as often as they did pre-pandemic, it’s through their profiles that our members are giving potential matches the heads-up that they are open to finding it all on Tinder. Whether that’s making a friend to picnic in the park with, meeting someone that sparks into a relationship, or just reminding themselves how to flirt again.”

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This straight-up honesty is great, because there’s nothing worse than finding out that the person you think you’re getting serious with actually only wants a casual thing. And, after more than a year of barely seeing or touching other people, it’s little wonder that so many single people are still working out what it is they want and just need a bit of fun for now.

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…