young couple embracing after whirlwind romance

Fast-forward dating: will 2022 be the year that brings back the whirlwind romance?

Will 2022 see the death of “taking things slow” while dating? Because apparently all bets are off when it comes to waiting to get to know each other before taking your relationship to the next level. 

2021 was a strange year for dating. First we had lockdown, where dinner dates were socially distanced park walks and Zoom hangouts. Then came the so-called “summer of love”, and we were finally allowed to mingle to our heart’s content. Then, cuffing season began and, like clockwork, our social media timelines became full of new lovebirds, engagements and pregnancy announcements.

From situationships and hard-balling to choosing to remain consciously single, we’ve really been through it all this year. But now as we look ahead to 2022, and cross our fingers for all the freedom it will bring, what will the dating landscape look like?

According to Bumble, the answer is an increase in “fast-forwarding”.

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“For 34% of people on Bumble, the pandemic has drastically changed what they are looking for in a partner,” they explain. “Globally, two in three people say they are now prioritising emotional availability and almost a quarter care less about their partner’s appearance.”

“As we head into the new year, our dating lives are a blank page, and this makes for an exciting time to try something new,” shares Naomi Walkland, head of Bumble UK & Ireland.

“It could be changing what we prioritise in a partner, being more intentional about when we date, or just sharing the activities we love. With half of single people looking to ‘reset’ their dating, we anticipate that coming months will be big for romance.”

But the trend of “fast-forward” dating – partners spending less time getting to know one another and the initial dating period moving along at faster speeds – isn’t strictly a new one.

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The whirlwind romance is the subject of countless classic romcoms, from Dirty Dancing to Pretty Woman.

But it isn’t just an idyllic fairytale. Fast-forwarding enables single people to avoid wasting their time through more selective dating and having greater confidence in calling things a day. Coupled with the fact that more and more people are being upfront with partners about what they want, it really shows how we’re prioritising reclaiming as much of the time robbed from us by the pandemic as possible.

The once-awkward “What are we?” questions are becoming more normalised, and this trend seems set to continue.

In short: people are looking to fall in love, and fast. In light of this, daters can expect that topics like marriage, future plans, children and meeting each other’s families will be coming up a lot earlier than previously “acceptable”.

However, it is of course worth remembering that things can often end just as quickly as they start. It’s always important to communicate your relationship needs and priorities openly and honestly with your partner.

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