These will be the biggest dating trends of 2021

'Slow dating' will be one of the biggest dating trends of 2021 (Getty)
'Slow dating' will be one of the biggest dating trends of 2021 (Getty)

It’s safe to say that dating in 2020 hasn’t been great. During the first lockdown, Zoom call dates were cute, but this novelty soon wore off.

Now that we’re back in lockdown 2.0, you’d be forgiven if you’d sworn off dating for the rest of this year.

It seems, however, we might be in the same boat in 2021, as the experts at online dating site OkCupid have revealed what they predict to be the biggest dating trends – including outdoor dates and ‘slow burn’ romance.

Read on to see the eight biggest dating trends for 2021.

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As the name suggests, ‘Thunberging’ takes inspiration from climate wunderkind Greta Thunberg.

According to OkCupid, 85% of Millennials and 84% of Gen Z are concerned about the climate crisis, something the dating experts predict will become a big talking point for potential couples next year.

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Outdoor dates have become the norm in 2020 and, according to predictions, they are here to stay.

Wilder-dating will see couples meet up for socially-distanced hikes, a run in the park or other adventure-based activities.


More than 340,000 people on OkCupid consider themselves to be ‘activists’, including 48% of Gen Z women and 41% of Gen Z men.

Advodating refers to the bonding over shared moral causes, for example Black Lives Matters or campaigning for climate change.

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Inner-Party Dating

It seems dating within your own political party is the done thing, with 64% of respondents saying cross-party dating doesn’t work in modern relationships.

This was a steep rise compared to 2019, when just 53% say they couldn’t date someone with an opposing political view. Perhaps a certain recent election had something to do with it …

'Wilder-dating' (read: hiking) will be big in 2021 (Getty)
'Wilder-dating' (read: hiking) will be big in 2021 (Getty)

Borderless love

Long-distance love has seen a surge during the pandemic with OkCupid citing many of its users are updating their location preferences to ‘everywhere’ and 1.5 million of its users are ‘open’ to a long-distance relationship.

Slow Dating

An antidote to the dating app generation, slow love will see potential couples focus on deeper conversations and more romance, building the foundations of their relationship while meeting in person remains limited.

The majority of respondents (84%) think it’s important to have an emotional connection before a physical one.

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For those who don’t want to slow date, speed rooming is the option for you. OkCupid predicts that couples will be moving in quicker than ever before as the pandemic has accelerated relationship milestones.


While dating app photos usually consist of a slew of travel pictures or pictures with animals, 2021 could see the selfie reign supreme as daters remain stuck at home.

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