It may have been the year to swipe left or right, but experts predict 2018 isn’t going to be that much different for love — whether you like it or not.
Apps like Tinder, Bumble and OK Cupid are more than just sites for hook-ups or casual dating, and people are filtering through pools of potentials to find relationships and love.
But the dating landscape in 2018 will see some new trends, says online dating expert Julie Spira, and dating apps will only continue to grow.
“You’ll also see more people meeting through social media on Facebook and Instagram. For that reason, you shouldn’t be shy about your single status,” she tells Global News. “Love will never go out of style, so the desire to couple-up will continue to magnify, bringing more relationship-oriented people to the dating pool.”
Online dating will also continue to make it easy for people to actually meet others, a trend that has been going on for years, says Ceilidhe Wynn, an Ottawa-based matchmaker with Friend of a Friend Matchmaking.
“[It] will continue to make it easier for singles to meet dates quickly through events, video chat, and allow people to show their authenticity through real-time interactions.”
Below, three experts in the relationship realm predict what dating will look like in 2018.
Online dating expert and matchmaker Carmelia Ray, says as the technology on our smartphones continues to change, so will our favourite dating apps.
There are already apps on the market like Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel that have a video chat option, and Ray believes this will only continue to expand through the market in 2018.
She says this partly due to the fact that dating online is shifting from texting to in-face interactions — like dating in previous years. “People want to meet faster, whether it’s through video communication or in person … there is more transparency.”
Social media sites as dating apps
And it’s not just dating apps that are being used to find love, people are also venturing out on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, experts note. Direct messaging someone is just the same as messaging someone on a dating app, and Spira says more people are using this route.
Ray agrees and says social media platforms often give a better insight into how a person actually is. You can see multiple photos (if their accounts are open) and their tweets can reveal things like hobbies, taste and interests. There is also less pressure on social media sites — you often stumble across profiles through people you already know.
No, this isn’t something out of The Bachelor, but Ray thinks dating in 2018 means meeting more people in group settings.
“You’re not only going to see two people go out, you will see 10 people going out to events or dinner together,” she says.
Again, this expands the idea of face-to-face dating, and sites like Tinder already have options where you can join groups of people and hang out.
Dating apps for business
Spira believes some dating apps will turn into platforms to do business. Since people are networking and connecting on social media sites anyway, they will also use dating apps for the same intentions.
“This allows you to cast a wide net as you expand your social circle. Combining business networking with social networking and dating apps will become the go-to place to find a date, a friend, or a business associate,” she tells Global News.
And although causal dating, dating multiple partners and one-night hook-ups aren’t out of the equation in 2018, Spira says people who have been using apps in the last few years are going to move away from these types of relationships.
She adds people online will be upfront about being in serious relationships, as well as their dating fatigue.
Wynn says this also means more people may just continue being single for another year.
“I truly don’t believe that you can be a good match for someone else until you’re a good match for yourself. Hopefully embracing single-dom in 2018 will help people do that.”
Even though she is a matchmaker herself, Wynn says matchmaking will get trendy again because of the online fatigue.
“The number one thing I hear from all of my clients is that they are fed up with online dating. It’s impersonal and disconnected. So while it continues to be the norm, I think we’re going to start to see some pushback against online dating.”