Seizing the moment could be the key to a more successful dating life.
A new dating trend – dubbed 'sponti-dating' – is encouraging singles to embrace spontaneity and fast track online conversations to IRL dates.
Remember when we used to just 'grab a drink' without weeks of schedule negotiation? That’s exactly what this new trend is encouraging singletons to do.
Dating is meant to be fun, but in 2022, it feels like we’re spending more time planning dates than actually going on them – and it’s driving us to dating app burnout.
Now, sponti-dating is bringing us back to a more traditional approach to finding a match which sees people lining up dates much more quickly and frivolously.
It's a response to dating fatigue – a feeling we know all too well in the modern world.
“It takes a lot of effort to chat to people on apps, on top of the normal nine to five, when we’re already spending so much time in front of a screen,” says Emma Hathorn, dating expert at Seeking, an upmarket dating website and app.
Hathorn explains that the increased sense of dating app burnout also comes with a rise in ‘ghosting’, which reinforces the apathy people may be feeling around dating in general.
“What we’re noticing is people's reluctance to invest time in the dating preamble, especially if they're not using dating platforms properly,” she adds.
“During the pandemic I think many had time to re-evaluate their dating lives and consider how to spend their time more wisely. Daters want more for themselves and their love lives, so are deciding to cut the cr** and be more upfront about things,” she says.
And unlike back-and-forth chats on dating apps, sponti-dating involves a kind of time-saving directness by minimising confusion and mixed signals.
“It cuts out the endless small talk and scrolling and just fast tracks you to meeting in person."
And not only does it save time, sponti-dating is also more playful, as it allows you to be present and live in the moment by being much more open to new experiences.
“Embracing spontaneity is a great way to quickly establish whether you have chemistry rather than investing emotionally in the idea of someone you have never met,” says Hathorn.
How to be embrace sponti-dating
Here's how to add some spontaneity into your love life, according to Hathorn...
Don't overthink it. If you find someone attractive and they make a good first impression, allow yourself to get caught up in a conversation without spending too long ‘getting to know them’.
Be open-minded. We all think we know what we want in a prospective partner but often that couldn't be further from the truth. Being spontaneous allows you to be more open to the idea of meeting someone different from your usual 'type', rather than going through a mental checklist of ‘what you want’.
Give them a chance to shine. Remember some people translate really well on screen and others are much better in person. Just because you don't experience butterflies when chatting online doesn't mean you have to rule them out.
Take the pressure off. Life is all about experiences – if the date doesn't work out and you don't have a romantic connection, it's still a worthwhile interaction, hopefully with some interesting conversation over dinner.
Be bold. If someone is taken aback by you asking them out and rejects you, don't let it bother you. Instead, be grateful you’ve saved yourself the effort of a time-waster.
Stay safe. As always, take precautions with dating. Tell a friend or family member exactly where you're going and always trust your instincts.
Watch: Dating apps see exponential growth over past eight years