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Tinder’s 2020 Year in Swipe brings you the top dating trends of 2020

By Alma Fabiani

Dec 7, 2020


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.

1. Celebrity mentions in Tinder bios

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.

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A post shared by Dolly Parton (@dollyparton)

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.

2. Festivals were out and feasting was in

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.

3. The UK’s serial daters made some noise for the NHS

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.

4. Support for the Black Lives Matter movement became a must

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’.

5. COVID-19 pick up lines took over Tinder

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’.

Tinder’s 2020 Year in Swipe brings you the top dating trends of 2020

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).”

6. Masks became a dating essential

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’.

7. Animal Crossing kept it flirty during lockdown

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.”

8. Tinder really matched with TikTok

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.

Top 10 of the fast-growing emojis on Tinder that capture how we flirted and dated in 2020

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.

Top 10 trending songs on Tinder 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