Untyping: a 2022 trend that wants you to ditch your usual dating ‘type’ for someone new

By Monica Athnasious

Published Jan 28, 2022 at 09:30 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

Kim Kardashian with Pete Davidson? Her sister Kourtney with Travis Barker? Are those somewhat out of the ordinary relationships a reflection of the now-infamous manic pixie boy hype or could they be part of a new dating trend predicted to be one of many to dominate 2022? Well, among the long list of new dating trends set to make their mark this year, one in particular caught our attention: untyping.

What is untyping?

Untyping is a term that has been coined to describe the act of dating people outside of your usual ‘type’. Perhaps it was first established through the unrelenting and determined search by, what some may call, superficial (and toxic monogamous) Love Islanders’ for their ‘she’s my type on paper’ partner. That phrase, once humorous, became an eye roll-worthy meme that left audiences frustrated at the lack of diversity in the show’s casting and dating interests.

It is important to recognise that often physical ‘types’ are ones dictated by beauty ideals of the time—take the end of the BBL era and the emergence of the low rise jeans trend that have left many concerned about the return of the 00s’ toxic body culture. These mainstream ‘types’ cannot escape the racist ideals of society which help define them. Historically, beauty standards have often appeared largely determined by the rejection of women of colour to uphold white supremacist aesthetics as well as periods of co-option and appropriation.

“One of the biggest battles younger generations are facing is comparing themselves to others that they see on social media in regards to dating, relationships, body image and sex… Since [they] have grown up with the internet and social media, it has become a huge part of their lives and therefore a huge influence,” Erin Tillman, a dating expert known as ‘The Dating Advice Girl’, told SCREENSHOT in 2021.

But now, according to Badoo—a social media platform which primarily focuses on dating—2022 could be the year where this all changes; where people throw away their typical ‘types’ and meet someone different. Becoming more open, free and expressive. Often we are boxed in by societal expectations of the dating scene but with gen Z carving a new freedom through ethical non-monogamy, solo polyamory and fluidity, in both sexuality and gender, a long overdue relationship anarchy is on the horizon.

The research into the untyping trend

The app conducted consumer research with OnePoll—a survey-led market research company—questioning 1,000 daters in December 2021. They collectively found that 77 per cent, over three-quarters of their sample, stated a desire to date outside of their typical ‘type’ in 2022. Badoo suggested that this may have something to do with celebrity influence. Cosmopolitan cited the example of Kardashian and Davidson as a reference to people’s changing preferences. Although, some would argue that dating the likes of Davidson, Barker and MGK (not that you’d want to, he has a terrible predatory history) is just the new trending dating ‘type’.

As mentioned, this isn’t just exclusive to physical ‘types’ but also translates into the characters of the people you usually date. Their behaviours, their likes and dislikes, and of course, their overall personality. It is by analysing the personality ‘types’ of your dating history, seeing the correlations, and identifying if you do indeed date the same kind of person that could motivate a change, according to Badoo’s global dating expert Sophie Mann.

This is how she suggests you should start your untyping journey: “Reflect on how your usual type has gone wrong in the past. If your usual type is someone who’s into partying, but you’ve not received enough quality time from them, look for someone a little more introverted or laid back.”

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