2020 has been a hot mess. From the rise of political movements such as Black Lives Matter taking centre stage to communities coming together to clap for the NHS and supporting Captain Tom, this year was unlike any before to say the least. But the worldwide house arrest didn’t stop us from meeting new crushes, on the contrary, it opened up new ways to date and led to an increase in conversations length with matches on dating apps. Here’s what Tinder’s 2020 Year in Swipe reveals about our dating habits this year and the top dating trends that resulted from it.
When the Dolly Parton challenge became an overnight sensation, Tinder members got involved too, with 26 per cent more mentions of the iconic country singer in bios in January than six months later. On a less glamorous note, Dominic Cummings also made an appearance on Tinder peaking in bios mentions in May, with lines such as: ‘It’s a long drive to Barnard Castle, who’s Cumming with me?’ after his infamous (and illegal) trip.
Other celebrities such as Kanye West, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Boris Johnson, Captain Sir Tom Moore, David Attenborough, Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin were trending on Tinder bios this year for different reasons.
With both our usual on-screen entertainment, Love Island, and the on-stage crowd-pleaser, Glastonbury, being called off in March, there were four times more mentions of ‘cancelled’ in bios, compared to the month before. As a result, when the Eat Out To Help Out scheme launched in August, Tinder users all over the UK embraced it and mentioned it in their bios.
Brits not only clapped every Thursday for frontline workers, but also celebrated them in their Tinder bios, with 122 per cent more mentions of the ‘NHS’ in May than at the beginning of the year, the noise could be heard loud and clear on Tinder too.
Mentions of Black Lives Matter grew by 55 times in 2020, exceeding use of the term ‘hook-up’ by years’ end. Starting in June, Tinder quickly filled with bios that said things like ‘How much do I need to say this? Pineapple on pizza is a must, climate change is real and Black Lives really do Matter’.
Mentions of ‘quarantine & chill’ took off in March, as lockdown woes inspired creative one-liners in the spirit of ‘Let’s be like covid and catch each other’ or ‘Wash your hands so you can hold mine’.
One Tinder enthusiast, Ellie, shared that “Lockdown made me really reassess what I am looking for in a match. Opening lines could be absolute deal-breakers for me. While I did virtually date, I’m excited to get back to real dates as I feel like I bounce off someone more in person. Bring on the 🍷 emoji, so I know you’re up for drinks (outdoors of course).”
Tinder users were ready to mask up and meet up, with mask mentions up nearly ten times in 2020 and ‘wear a mask’ mentioned five times more in July than June, inspiring bios such as ‘Who’s down to meet in the park with masks on?’ and ‘Masks on during sex’. Just make sure you know how to put it on because some users sent warnings such as ‘If your mask is around your chin IDFWU’.
Dating creativity peaked as people were forced to skip dates in bars in favour of Animal Crossing islands. Mentions of the game peaked in May, during which members may have come across bios such as ‘What if we met up to watch the sunset….on my Animal Crossing island. Not kidding.’
Tinder user Aaron told Screen Shot, “Dating virtually was a totally new experience for me and as we were all in the same boat, there was an instant shared connection. Animal Crossing also kept me entertained while at home, and mentions of it in Tinder bios became part of my match criteria. What can I say, I just wanted someone to help me build my island while we couldn’t go for drinks in a bar.”
TikTok videos on Tinder became a way for users to share taste by asking matches to send some all-time favourite TikToks as well as a way to show off their moves by sharing TikToks they’d made themselves. Some Tinder users even bragged that they’re ‘TikTok famous’. TikTok mentions grew by eight times in 2020 and peaked in May more precisely.
Unsure at pretty much every moment of this year, Tinder users shared a collective 🤷. Users showed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement by including 🖤 and ✊🏿 in their bios. United in a clap for our careers, Tinder members shined a 🌈 to say thank you to the NHS. Meanwhile, sourdough baking 🍞 and supermarket shopping 🛒 were the highlight of many during lockdown. Users missed out on graduations 🎓 but they found a way to celebrate from home instead 🍷. Finally, mask-wearing 😷 became the ultimate deal-breaker for dating in 2020.
‘Blinding Lights’ – The Weekend
‘The Box’ – Roddy Ricch
‘ROCKSTAR’ (feat. Roddy Ricch) – DaBaby
‘Life Is Good’ (feat. Drake) – Future
‘WAP’ (feat. Megan Thee Stallion) – Cardi B
‘Toosie Slide’ – Drake
‘Roses’ (Imanbek Remix) – SAINt JHN
‘Godzilla’ (feat. Juice WRLD) – Eminem
‘For The Night’ (feat. Lil Baby & DaBaby) – Pop Smoke
‘Dreams’ (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac
The end of summer has dawned and with the new 10 p.m. curfew came the start of cuffing season. Dating can only be described as a complicated dance but with the pandemic evolving and an increase of app usage set to occur, astrology app The Pattern saw this as an opportunity to officially announce its upcoming dating feature. Connect uses natal charts to help others decipher love languages and find companionship through sign compatibility. Could astrology be the answer to all of our dating dilemmas?
Until recently The Pattern was described as a “hyper-personalised social experience bringing astrology into the 21st century.” All you had to do was to enter your date, time and place of birth. Following the app’s success, The Pattern came out with two new developments aiming to regenerate the dating world this fall: Bonds and Connect.
Bonds offers users a chance to explore how one’s chart uniquely matches with a fellow friend, romantic interest and even a celebrity. Someone bragged about being extremely compatible with Edgar Allan Poe. Meanwhile, Connect is a service that utilises The Pattern’s methodology to allow users a new, authentic way to seek and match with like-minded connections. In short, Tinder for astrology fans.
It’s not uncommon to know or have a friend presently going through a ‘Mystic Meg phase’; seeking every opportunity to tell you that the cause of your mishaps is due to a retrograde or point you to the nearest tarot reader when they sense a tear forming In fact, the age of Aquarius encourages us all to find the appeal. Between the second lockdown, burnout and excessive usage of social media, an increase of anxiety and depression plagues our generation. So much so that it came as no surprise to me when astrology resurfaced and started integrating itself into internet culture. It has given people a sense of comfort like no other, hence why astrology now falls under ‘self-care’.
Rina, from Serbia, first created her astrology meme account @Astrhology as a vessel for information but its purpose shortly shifted, “Astrology is my method of escape and a way of justifying and understanding other people’s actions”, she explained. Whereas, Saint, from Miami, loves the comfort her account @Sassygyalsag brings to her everyday life, “As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, I look to astrology as a tool of learning more about myself.”
Still, with growing concerns over the accuracy of AI apps, The Pattern and Co-Star beg the question: how effective can they be when it comes to online dating and if so, is it worth joining the ever-present waitlist?
Simone, a London-based healing arts practitioner, yoga teacher and owner of spiritual business Mystik Bones has signed up to Connect three times, out of confusion and enthusiasm. “I reference astrology every day of my life because it’s accessible and there’s always something going on. I tend to check it either at the beginning or end of my day so I can understand or get up-to-date with the collective energy or simply my planetary alignment,” she tells Screen Shot. “I think it’s important to observe someone’s Mars, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Rising and Sun signs to gain an all-round perspective of who they are on a soul level and what to expect when investing into their energy.”
Wanting to gain a sufficient amount of information before deciding to step into a situation is not peculiar, in fact, it’s highly encouraged—hence why so many turn to online dating. It’s rapid, it’s effective, and most importantly it’s less confrontational. So, for those, who date based off requirements, Connect simply fulfils another human need, but with the future of dating heading into astronomy, what factors should we consider?
Trainee clinical psychologist Lola Kotun believes the rise of interest from millennials stems from the need for instant gratification, “I’m slightly apprehensive about the truthfulness behind these birth charts because what makes sense for one person doesn’t make sense for another. As well as this, how true can an app be in understanding the family circumstances someone was raised in or the culture one’s come from that aid and shape a person and therefore influences what one wants in life?”
These differences in life experiences could actually sway two traditionally highly compatible signs, such as fire signs with other fire signs, in polar directions of each other and no app would be able to anticipate that.
The way technology has integrated itself into our everyday lives, especially given our social situation was inevitable. However, as astrology continues to gain momentum it’s important to remember that immoderately using these applications for dating won’t actually address the hidden differences that come with dating—it requires self-work.