What is 'spread dating' – the new spring trend?

Spread dating is this season's newest dating trend. (Getty Images)
Forget cuffing season, there's a new spring trend for singles – spread dating. (Getty Images)

Say goodbye to the cuffing season, there's a new spring time dating trend that singles are embracing and it's all about hedging your bets.

Welcome to the world of spread dating.

Whereas cuffing involves attaching yourself to a fellow singleton for a short-term partnership during the winter months, the arrival of a new season sees many want to shed their convenient cold weather love interests for something potentially more prosperous.

But in order to try to find that perfect partner, you'll need to put the potential candidates to the test.

"Spread dating is a seasonal dating trend in which singletons ditch their winter cuffing partners, as they look to maximise opportunities by going on multiple dates in order to raise their odds off landing an elite, well-established and attractive partner, instead of settling," explains Emma Hathorn, relationship expert at dating website Seeking.

"It's a tactical approach to dating which involves proactive attempts to land several dates in a relatively short space of time, so daters have options to choose from when it comes to finding the ‘best’ partner."

Read more: The six relationship red flags you should never ignore

Spread dating involves dating a number of different people. (Getty Images)
Spread dating involves dating a number of different people to potentially find your perfect partner. (Getty Images)

According to Hathorn, the trend is a great dating style for social types who enjoy meeting new people and being out and about.

"It's fantastic for networking and can also be a lot of fun," she adds.

And, of course, there are other benefits to this particular style of dating.

"It means that daters can have numerous sexual and romantic partners rather than pinning all their hopes and dreams on just one," Hathorn elaborates.

"It allows them instead to live in the moment and see how things develop, as well as making multiple contacts and connections in order to see what actually suits them."

It also allows singletons to objectively look at the compatibility of each of the people they date.

"The idea is that by being able to compare your connection and experiences with others you will be better equipped at choosing a partner who is right for you," Hathorn adds.

Read more: How long does it take the average person to say 'I love you' in a relationship?

Spring time sees many singles embracing spread dating. (Getty Images)
Spring sees many singles embracing spread dating. (Getty Images)

But this style of dating isn't for everyone, and those who are particularly sensitive or romantically inclined might want to skip this trend.

"People with that disposition might find the prospect of juggling multiple partners stressful, and it might not be in line with their personal ethics," Hathorn explains. "It's all about the individual's head space and approach to life."

If, however, you like the idea of putting potential future partners through their paces, there are some things to keep in mind when you spread date.

"It is important to be mindful of the feelings of those you are dating, so as to not play with their emotions," explains Hathorn.

Watch: Dating survival guide: How to avoid becoming 'cuffing season' casualty

If you can tell someone is really into you, but you aren't serious yourself, Hathorn says it is unfair to continue things on just so you can have different date options.

"Obviously there is a grace period of figuring things out, so this style of dating works for decisive people who have no problem having an honest conversation with themselves," she explains. "The emphasis is on being dignified and respectful with your romantic encounters."

When it comes to being open with partners about the other people you are dating, Hathorn says there is a delicate line to tread.

"You don't necessarily need to go into detail about who else you are seeing but being honest and upfront about the fact that you are dating when asked is key," she explains.

"Be mindful and read the room – if it does not align with someone else's morals it is time to make a decision or call it quits.

"Honest, open communication about your expectations and theirs is the key to not wasting anyone’s time, and going about dating with maturity and respect."

Read more: What is fizzling? This new dating trend is the less painful version of ghosting

The warmer weather also sees many singles want to give their online profiles a glow-up. (Getty Images)
The warmer weather also sees many singles want to give their online profiles a glow-up. (Getty Images)

And spread dating isn't the only singleton trend the warmer weather is likely to inspire with many would-be daters also looking to give their profiles a bit of an overhaul.

Just as the arrival of spring often encourages us to want to clean up our homes and wardrobes, experts believe a similar vibe transfers to online dating with many feeling the urge to give their profiles a glow-up.

"The period post-spring sees singletons revive, rebrand and sex up their dating and online social profiles in the hopes of attracting a date who aligns with your goals," explains Hathorn.

And of course a shiny new profile is also likely to attract some shiny new partners to spread date.

"By refreshing profile photos, rewriting online bios and revving up your wit when it comes to replies, daters can maximise their opportunities of finding a partner – and this is particularly prevalent in spread dating," Hathorn explains.

"It's all about eliciting sexual attention, appreciation of one’s attractiveness and sparking curiosity. It’s the 2023s evolution of the 'thirst trap'."