Tinder’s Year In Swipe in India
Situationships, Shared Values and Social Issues Were the Top Green Flags for a New Generation of Daters That Are Done Wasting Their Time
Let’s be real, 2021 wasn’t the return to IRL we thought it would be - a mask was still your most steadfast accessory and you sought out vaccination appointments like concert tickets. The start of 2022, however, brought new excitement for getting back ‘out there’ with our collective resolve to make up for lost time during quarantine. Social activities like travel and live events rebounded in record fashion, and dating was no exception. Millions of young adults who started their dating lives in lockdown, showed they were definitely out and ready to mingle IRL, and unlike previous generations, they were dating on their terms and were done playing games.
With 2022 drawing to a close, Tinder’s Year in Swipe shares the top flirt flexes of the year. From new relationship labels and stances on social issues, to sober dating trends and the hot new emojis popping up in the chat, here’s the state of the date:
10 Essential Trends on Tinder in 2022
#1. Young singles are owning the situationship as a valid relationship status. Young singles were still down to play the field this year, but they opted for a high-quality roster where everyone was on the same page. More than a hookup, but not quite a traditional relationship, the “situationship,” a casual - yet clearly defined - relationship came to rise in 2022. Tinder saw a 49%1 increase in members adding the new relationship intention to their profiles and over 1 in 102 surveyed young singles said they prefer situationships as a way to develop a relationship with less pressure.
#2. Positivity was a major plus.
Originally known as the parking symbol, has been repurposed to represent Pushin’ P and was the number 1 trending emoji globally on Tinder this year. An interesting shift from the trending emojis of years past ( in 2019, in 2020, and in 2021), members turned to to let the world - and their matches know ‘positivity’ and keeping it real is exactly what they’re looking for1.
#3. The dinner date could soon be dead. It seems the activities we took to during the pandemic are here to stay. Mentions of "Picnic" (15%), ''Stand Up" (10%) and “Coffee Dates” (26%) in Tinder India bios6 all increased this year, suggesting that singles are meeting for more than just dinner and drinks these days. They’re opting for less traditional, more authentic and sometimes sober (see below) ways to get to know one another. Other creative activities like Camping, BBQs, Trying New Things, and Street Food all made it into the top 10 trending global Interests on Tinder.
Bodhi Mallick, 28, on a unique first date idea
Bodhi superliked Stella on Tinder because her bio was full of fun and humor. She’d written - "I love emojis a lot, yet you won't be able to figure out my replies! He was yet to come across a profile as unique! And so was their first date - a 30km bike ride and he knew then that she would be her ride or die. “Stella was preparing for her competitive exams and couldn’t step out often. That’s when it hit me - our first date could be on her commute from her tuition center to her home! She thought I was crazy because I was 26 km away from her. But I still hopped on my bike, and waited for her to finish class . When she saw me, oh man I truly felt complete - her run, her wide smile, her big hug . We rode in comfortable silence until she broke it with the least expected three words ”.
#4. More singles are raising a glass to sober dates. Alcohol-free dates have become a way for singles to be more authentic on dates and challenge traditional dating norms. Over 25% of surveyed young singles on Tinder said they drink less on dates compared with last year2 and 72%1 of members said on their Tinder profiles that they don’t drink or only drink occasionally . In fact, the and emojis each decreased (40% and 25% respectively) on TInder profiles YoY1. . There’s also been a local YoY decrease in popularity of interests in India like Grabbing a Drink, while Tea, Coffee and Outdoors all increasing this year.
#5. Being Funny, Fresh, and Forward was sexy AF. A sense of humor was what members looked for most when reading a potential match’s profile, and 73%2 of young singles surveyed across all genders said they were looking for someone who is clear about what they want and has good hygiene. When asked what the most important characteristics are in a potential date, young singles prioritized value-based qualities like loyalty (79%), respect (78%) and open-mindedness (61%) over looks (56%)3.
#6. Stances on social issues could make or break a match. Three-quarters (75%) singles were looking for a match who is respectful of or invested in social issues2. In fact, so many Indian Tinder members mentioned LGBTQIA+, the environment, mental health, Ukraine and feminism in their bios this year, that they all rank in the top 5 local1 issues. Additionally, the Activism and Voters Rights Interests both increased (84% and 37% respectively) in Tinder profiles this year1.
Sumeet, 25, on the importance of having a stance on social issues - LGBTQIA+
Sumeet found a match on Tinder and instantly started talking. Not only did they bond over their love for coffee and Bollywood music, but they also learnt that they’d both experienced heartbreak because people who they liked had not come to terms with their sexuality because of society’s homophobic norms. “He told me something that I remember, “Sumeet, we have a voice, use it till nobody has to think twice before loving anyone, but only do it after you know what love is, and that comes from loving yourself.” I haven’t stopped using my voice against homophobia ever since.
#7. Nostalgia stanning was a flex. Young singles are getting inspo from 90s and noughties dating trends. The fastest growing interests on Tinder were blasts from the past like 90’s Kid, Anime, and Sneakers. Even everyone’s favorite new old song, Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill'' made a comeback and was in the top 10 Spotify Anthems noted on Tinder profiles1. Tinder's modern take on the traditional Blind Date also launched for the hotter months. The Blind Date feature on Tinder paired members before allowing them to view each other's profile and was used 200,000 times a day on average4. It’s been a tough few years, and it looks like singles are turning to the authenticity and good vibes of a pre-smartphone world.
#8. The (red flag) & (gaslighting) emojis were trending for good reason. Toxic relationships aren’t new, but all of the tips and psychoanalysis on social media show that young singles are more clued up about the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to dating. Nearly two-thirds (58%) of surveyed young singles said they were confident they could identify a green or red flag2 when dating. In 2022, singles have finally had enough and are dishing on what they consider red and green flags, and all of our BS radars have gotten better because of it. A true public service. In fact, more than 65%** of young Indians feel that “being your true self” and “being vulnerable” are waving green flags. Tinder members can check out more on green flags, consent and healthy dating here
Dr. Chandni Tugnait, Life Coach & Tinder’s Relationship Expert “Young adults are feeling more confident, recognise what healthy dating looks like and know what positive signs to look out for when swiping. They are able to focus on the positive characteristics and attitudes that they believe will keep them happy, content and feeling valued throughout their relationship. So while they may go on blind dates, they no longer turn a blind eye to red flags and increasingly look for green flags or positives in a match or a relationship.”
#9. Revenge travel racked up the miles on Tinder. After two pandemic-filled trips around the sun, singles were finally able to get back to exploring new horizons with fewer or no restrictions. 18-25 year olds passported on average 95 times a month with top passport destinations for young singles in India including London, New York City and Los Angeles1. This year, Melbourne has entered the top 10 Passport destinations for Indian members, knocking Moscow out of the top 10. Interestingly, Hyderabad has been crowned the chattiest city for video chats on Tinder India this year, followed by Chennai and Bangalore, all using the feature to connect with others around the country, and world.
#10. Amidst uncertainty and a triple mercury retrograde in 2022 singles were looking to the stars for guidance. Star signs were the most popular type of descriptor added to Tinder bios behind smoking preferences, pets and diet. Leos, Scorpios and Cancers were the signs most likely to include their sign in their bios, and surprisingly, all star signs were most likely to match with the exact same zodiac sign1.
Aahana Dhar, Director of Communications for Tinder India “ Indian daters are wasting no time in reshaping the dating world in their image, once they could return to IRL dating. We’ve seen singles be incredibly intentional in both who they choose to date and how they choose to date. Moving over icebreakers, young daters have also been looking for casual activities and shared experiences to get to know each other and make their first dates count. As we shift into gear for 2023, the trends of 2022 will definitely guide the way Indian daters navigate the world of dating, friends, connections and relationships – and we can’t wait to see them continue to embrace situationships, spontaneous trips and sober dates!”