Your 2023 Dating Trends Cheatsheet (Because Who Has Time For Goblin Mode?)

In the past several years, a lot of dating trend terms have joined our vernacular. With "ghosting" being used to explain someone you were dating who just up and disappeared, every dating trend that has followed — good and bad — got a label. With so many out there, labels became necessary.


Although we've seen a lot of toxic dating trends, we've seen some positive ones too. This was especially the case as global lockdowns started to lift, and Covid-19 — which the World Health Organization officially declared no longer a worldwide health emergency just last week — put a lot of things into perspective for many people. When you live through a global pandemic, it's hard not to come out the other side with a different view of not just the world, but how you want to live in that world. For singles, it would be difficult not to acknowledge the impact all of it had on the dating scene.

As we come close to the halfway point of 2023, the most common dating trends of the year have become apparent. And guess what? For the most part, they're pretty darn positive! So here's your dating trend cheat sheet so you know what's out there, what to expect, and what your friends might be referring to when they use any of these terms.


Open casting

As much as research has found that, yes, people do have a type when it comes to dating, it doesn't mean you always have to date your type. If you constantly go for the tall, dark, handsome bad boy who may or may not have a proper job and you can never get a straight answer out of him and there are always problems, then it's time for a change. A good place to start that necessary change is by leaning into one of 2023's biggest dating trends: open casting.


Open casting is essentially opening your mind to people who don't fit your usual romantic type and going out with them instead. According to a survey conducted by Bumble about 2023 dating trends, 38% of people are ready to change up their dating patterns and break out of their usual go-to types, and 28% are completely over dating people that others in their life expect them to date. The survey also found that despite the fact that dating apps are very much about looks — especially at first glance — 63% of daters are realizing looks aren't nearly as important as emotional maturity.

Love/life balance

Americans may love to pride themselves on their work ethic, but in 2023 we're seeing more and more people striving for balance in their life. Despite the fact the U.S. comes up second in the world for the least amount of paid vacation days and many don't even take the ones they have out of fear of losing their job, there's definitely been a shift in what's regarded as important and what isn't.


"The trend for 'love/life balance' will see career ambitions no longer top of the list," dating expert Mairead Molloy tells My Imperfect Life. "It started off during the pandemic, when people began prioritizing rest and play, and has continued to grow ... It's becoming more important to be on the same wavelength about finding balance."

According to Bumble's survey, 13% of people won't date someone with a demanding job and 52% reported that they're making more space in their life for breaks and self-care. Maybe those vacation days will finally get used after all. 


As daters move closer toward self-care and a love/life balance, they're also laying down the law and not putting up with things they would have in the past. In other words, daters are over the toxic dating trends that have become so commonplace and are now practicing the vital art of guardrailing — also known as setting boundaries — more than ever. 


While we know that boundaries are important in all relationships, romantic or not, according to Bumble's survey, 52% reported being more active in setting boundaries for themselves and sticking to them. For the survey respondents, the most important area in their life that they're guardrailing these days, at 63%, are their feelings and emotional needs. But as the survey discovered, guardrailing isn't specific to just dating and romantic connections, as 53% cited setting boundaries to avoid not socially overcommitting themselves. Nothing says a perfect Friday night like cuddling on the couch with your dog while watching your favorite movie for the 100th time. 

Intentional dating

The great thing about intentional dating is that there's no one way to do it as long as it involves intention and mindfulness. For example, dry dating, which involves going on dates without alcohol, saw a jump in 2022 and continues to be a common, mindful dating trend. Infla-dating, too, where people acknowledge the fact that life, including dating, has gotten super expensive has also become a big trend. People are being far more cognizant of how they spend their money on dates and what they plan to do together.


A survey by Plenty of Fish found that 48% of Millennials and Gen Z daters are opting for budget-friendly dating experiences, while the Bumble survey found that 28% of daters are setting financial boundaries and 57% prefer casual, low-key dates as opposed to something expensive and fancy. With stats like this, it's no wonder why 59% of those setting boundaries are doing so by being aware of how they put themselves out there so potential love interests will realize dating intentionally is important to them.

Ethical sex-ploration

Although various research has found that people aren't having as much sex as they used to, ethical sex-ploration is on the menu for 2023 as far as dating trends go. With so many ways to experience love and have relationships, it's fantastic to see daters embracing just how important sex is to healthy relationships. According to Bumble's survey, 53% of daters believe it's important to have sex-related discussions early on in getting to know someone, and 40% are on board with exploring sex and their sexuality in new and open ways. On the flip side, 34% aren't having sex at all at the moment. 


While there's a pretty good chance that these dating trends won't be exactly the same by the end of the year, this is what's happening out there right now. No matter how you're meeting people — IRL is also becoming a trend — just remember to have fun with it, stick to your boundaries, stay within a budget, and of course, never be without a condom. Or two.