What are the most popular dating definitions for 2022

Popular dating definitions - Centres for Health and Healing

In the past two years or so, numerous dating trends have emerged on social media and in real-time relationships.

Whether you are new to the dating scene, just come out of a long-term relationship or simply dipping your toe into the unknown waters of dating, you’ll likely come across dating terms you never imagined existed.

The pandemic introduced us all to a whole new world where social distancing and sticking to our respective bubbles very quickly became the ‘norm’.

However, the pandemic didn’t just change our work and social lives; it shook up the dating world, introducing a whole new dating scene that nobody could have foreseen and one that didn’t exist pre-pandemic.

Dating apps

Dating apps - Centres for Health and Healing

Studies on dating apps around the pandemic show that dating – app use exploded to new levels, soaring way beyond previous statistics on online dating.

In 2020, dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Match, and OkCupid reported a high increase in users and dates.

Moreover, in 2021, the above figures continued to rise, with global installations of dating apps increasing by a whopping 13% in the first three months of that year.

Daters dating differently

Not only did dating app figures rise during the pandemic, but they also significantly changed how people date and how they approach dating once they sign up to dating apps.

Research shows that daters are now looking to partner with people in an entirely different way compared to pre-pandemic days.

Nowadays, online dating apps attract the health-conscious among us, encouraging empowered sexploration, and of course, the golden question that burns on most peoples’ lips is, ”are you vaccinated?”

The dating world has shifted monumentally in the past two years, and dating experts predict that daters will begin to prioritise their emotional wellness and needs to a far greater degree in 2022 (Erica Sloan, Well and Good).

The new way to date someone

The new way to date someone - Centres for Health and Healing

During Covid -19, many people practised reinforced levels of self-care, getting in touch with themselves in a way they hadn’t done previously.

As a result, many people opt for relationships that align with who they are and what they want.

Such a concept continues to spread among daters on and offline, where people feel more empowered toward choice.

There are countless trends and dating definitions thrown about on social media and in our personal lives.

Such definitions include ghosting, gaslighting, simmering, icing and simping, a litany that appears to be growing rather than slowing down!

The intentional dater

As if people don’t already have enough dating trends to wrap their heads around, there’s also the rise of the intentional dater.

The above concept promotes the notion of ‘knowing and loving the self’.

Such a concept is spreading throughout many dating communities; hence people intentionally date, according to their needs and values.

Primarily, intentional daters will be ‘dating like they mean it’ for the foreseeable; essentially, such people have no interest in time wasters and mind games.

According to Logan Ury, a behavioural scientist turned dating coach, ”Intentional dating is about being clear with yourself and others about who you are and what you want.”

Dating with intention

Unlike previous dating app experiences, many daters are more upfront with their intentions and no longer go around the houses.

Whether people are seeking casual hookups, dating, or looking for something more long-term, the shared idea surrounding intentional dating is that daters are honest about their intentions from the get-go.


Surveys conducted on dating app Hinge reported that in early 2021, over half the daters on the app said they were more upfront and honest about their feelings.

Other studies on dating apps like eharmony and Bumble show significant thoughtfulness from users across the board, with 54% of Bumble users taking a more mindful approach to dating.

On the other hand, eharmony users have reported that they intend on asking more questions while online before meeting up with someone.


According to dating expert Logan Ury, daters can expect to see an increase in ‘hardballing’ in 2022, a dating term that means being more direct and up-front about your relationship with someone from the beginning.

The pandemic created waves

Dating apps and pandemic - Centres for Health and Healing

Some research shows that the significant shifts in the dating world are because of the pandemic where people got forced to make some tremendous changes in their lives.

Such alterations included people reevaluating their values, priorities, personal lives, and careers in monumental ways.

Dating is no exception to the above rule.

Nowadays, most people are looking at their relationships from multiple perspectives, focusing on desirable or compatible characteristics.

Other considerations include consciously planning for a relationship built on shared ideas, meaning and values.

Dry dating

The profound shifts observed during the Covid – 19 pandemic followed a significant rise in the ‘health conscious’ dater.

Many people reassessed their health habits during the pandemic, with a proportion of people taking into account their drinking.

For example, a study conducted by Bumble found 34% of global daters are now more likely to consider going on a ‘dry date’ compared to pre-pandemic times.

Another survey reported that 29% of US citizens believe that monumental shifts are taking place within society around drinking and dating.

Many people are opting for a spicy latte and a walk around the park instead of drinking in wine bars with their dates.


Coined by dating app Plenty of Fish (POF), the term ‘hesidating’ broke the records in POF’s fifth annual list of dating trends.

Hesidating refers to a person unsure whether they want to date casually or seriously because of the pandemic’s uncertainty in many peoples’ lives.

Indeed, the pandemic injected a whirl of chaos and uncertainty into the world, with studies showing that singles are mirroring such tension in their dating lives.

Moreover, after two years of anxiety, fear and uncertainty, most people hold onto what they know and what gives them the most security.

Essentially, delving into the murky waters of dating may trigger yet more anxiety and a level of uncertainty that most people would rather avoid.

Hence, hesidating has become more prevalent in specific online dating communities and social media.

Slow dating

Another dating trend that recently emerged is slow dating.

According to dating app Bumble, slow dating emerged at the beginning of the pandemic, with new versions of the dating trend cropping up all the time.

Research shows that 50% of Bumble users are now taking a lot longer to get to know people and take things slow instead.

As a result, researchers have noted a slow uptake in people moving their relationships offline.

Romantic relationships have changed significantly since the pandemic, where people had a lot more time to rethink their lives and what they wanted out of dating.

Real connection

Many daters are now putting a considerable emphasis on self-love and self-care mainly because of the pandemic.

As a result of all this, people take much more time to consider what they want out of potential partners and who is or isn’t right for them.

Mindful dating and self-love are two positive qualities that came out of the pandemic and changed the dating microcosm.


People want to explore more meaning in their lives and relationships and are much more health-conscious than they used to be.

The days of online fitness routines, hybrid working, and digital therapy are becoming neutralised as the world slowly goes back to normal.

However, the pandemic’s emotional, mental, and physical effects are likely to stick around for generations to come.

Dating revolution

Dating revolution because of pandemic - Centres for Health and Healing

Some might say that the pandemic brought about a dating revolution where people are now cultivating more self-love and a genuine connection to others that didn’t exist or wasn’t as apparent pre-pandemic.

Perhaps all these new dating definitions give people more clarity as they set the benchmark for what people are likely to get out of online dating.

For example, being ghosted by someone is a standard modern dating theme.

Moreover, dry dating no longer gets considered ‘niche’, and hardballing is anticipated, especially among more seasoned daters.

It is true that the future of dating has changed in recent years.

While some dating definitions can be unhelpful, others are paving the way for compassion and self-love, which can only be a good thing. If you have any questions or queries related to this article, please contact a team member at Centres for Health and Healing.

Lisa Davies - Program Director of Vaughan Recovery and Kirby Estate

About Lisa Davies

Lisa is the Program Director at Centres for Health and Healing. She lived for most of her life in the Durham region, before moving to Peel five years ago.

Lisa is a Master Hypnotist and is certified in Hypnotherapy (2008), Self-Hypnosis and in 5-phase Advanced Therapeutic Healing. As a Member of National Guild of Hypnotists, she is also specialized in hypnosis training in pediatrics, pain management, neuro-linguistic and stage programming.

Read more

Call now
Ready to get help?
Call for treatment options
Need financing?
Payment plans available