How to date in 2024: Ditch other people’s romantic timelines and focus on you and only you

By Charlie Sawyer

Updated Jan 5, 2024 at 03:25 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

2023 has been a rough romantic year for me. Personally, I don’t have a single clue how I’m supposed to love myself, prioritise my career, be social, live a life not solely based around a fast food diet, attempt to stay in contact with family members and locate an individual in my nearby vicinity who is funny, intelligent, a good cook, and my perfect mate. I barely have the energy to cook my HelloFresh meals half the time, let alone keep up with the never-ending list of dating trends on my feed.

So, going into 2024, I’m adding some strategy to my dating life. The first element of this plan of action is to wave a big ol goodbye to Hinge. Aside from the maybe two or three success stories I’ve heard, it feels as though this app does nothing but dent egos and attract toxic people. “Designed to be deleted,” my ass.

Next, we prioritise. Loving Rihanna might be a bonus, but engaging in the same social issues and political crises is a must. In 2024, I want to prioritise dating people who truly align with my personal values.

According to Bumble’s insights, one in four people, or 25 per cent, find that it is key that their partner actively engages with politics and social causes. In fact, it makes them more attractive. This makes complete sense to me. A three-quarter zip or a particular fascination with Horrible Histories, I could deal with—I mean, we all have our guilty pleasures. But someone who legitimately enjoys or agrees with the politics of Boris Johnson, David Cameron, or Rishi Sunak… I just couldn’t hack it.

Gen Zers are incredibly politically and socially engaged, and so if you include in your Bumble bio the fact that you’re a raging liberal who loves queer cinema and had the Barbie soundtrack included in your 2023 Spotify Wrapped, there’s a high likelihood that you’re going to get a like from me.

Another thing I’ve noticed recently is that despite being a tiny child of a human—24 is still young, okay?—I feel this mammoth pressure to lock something long-term down. As Broad City’s Ilana Wexler once graciously pointed out, “I’m only 27, what am I, a child bride?!” I’m three years younger than Ilana and I still feel as though society is expecting me to start popping out babies any minute now. I partially blame this narrative on the prominence of Christian TikTok but we move.

Anyways, 2024 is going to be all about setting my own timelines, and not feeling as though I have to comply with others’. One in three women using Bumble say they are no longer focused on adhering to traditional timelines and milestones. For nearly a third of women globally, this means only dating people who have the same perspective on timelines and milestones. Plus, for 16 per cent of these women, this means actively avoiding friends and family who put pressure on them.

Finally, as a girlie who struggles with her fair share of anxiety, self-care and mental health are massive priorities for me as I sashay into 2024. Bumble, a girly-first brand, has found that almost one in three singles are actively slow-dating and being more considerate about how much they are dating to ensure quality over quantity. If I’m going to drag myself out of my bed, it’s going to be for someone who will be understanding and attentive to at least 80 per cent of my brain’s needs.

Ultimately, I want to go into 2024 with a ‘me mindset’. None of this pandering to the wants and cares of people who don’t actually care about me. Let’s collectively agree to leave the losers in 2023 and bring some fun back into the dating world. You don’t have to date solely to find a soulmate—although that would be nice. We can mingle and keep it casual while also staying far away from the political mindf*cks of the world.

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