With 2022 drawing to a close, Tinder has released its Year in Swipe sharing “the top flirt flexes of the year.” This covers everything from new relationship labels and stances on social issues to sober dating trends and the hot new emojis popping up in the chat.
According to Tinder “dating games are dead’ with 18-25-year-old singles that make up a generation of daters that are done wasting their time.”
As Tinder puts it:
“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.”
10 Essential Trends on Tinder in 2022
Tinder release the following insights for their Year in Swipe findings for Southeast Asia.
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% increase in members adding the new relationship intention to their profiles and over 1 in 10 surveyed young singles said they prefer situationships as a way to develop a relationship with less pressure. In Southeast Asia, members in the Philippines (53%), Singapore (50%) and Thailand (44%) also said they were in the mood for “casual dating”.
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 for.
Southeast Asian daters also share this sentiment, with the majority feeling “hopeful” (61%) and “excited” (67%) about their dating future. Some of the popular emojis used by young Southeast Asian singles to express their positive vibes on Tinder include ✨ in Indonesia and Singapore, and 🙌 in Thailand and Vietnam.
The dinner date could soon be dead
It seems the activities we took to during the pandemic are here to stay. Mentions of “Beach” (10%), “Picnic” (23%) and “Coffee Dates” (25%) in Tinder bios 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. Across Southeast Asia, “simple dates like taking a walk or grabbing coffee” is most commonly cited as the ideal first date activity in Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Singaporean Tinder member Gerald says he favours a chill cafe where he and his match can “have a meaningful conversation, rather than constantly asking each other to repeat what they’re saying with the background buzz of a restaurant or a bar”.
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 when describing their drinking habits 72% 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 YoY.
Being Funny, Fresh, and Forward was sexy AF
A sense of humour was what members looked for most when reading a potential matches 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. Young adult daters across Southeast Asia also added that they are seeking matches who “they can trust and confide in” (69%), “are open minded and accepting” (69%), and “can make them laugh” (61%).
“Kuala Lumpur is the top Passport destination for Singaporean singletons, while Singapore is a favourite for the Indonesians. On the other hand, young Filipino and Malaysian singles look further across the pond, setting their sights on London as the top destination to find new connections.”
Filipino Tinder member Victoria said, “When I’m seeing someone exclusively, there will always be that idea of taking the relationship to the next level. So, it’s imperative to establish a deeper sense of trust and understanding while dating because, further down the road, it’s one of my foundations of a healthy relationship.” Thai Tinder member Bee adds, “Trust and being able to confide in each other is a great sign of intimacy.”
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 issues. In fact, globally, so many Tinder members added the Ukrainian flag to their profiles in support of Ukraine this year, that it ranked within the top 10 trending emojis on the app at one point.
Additionally, the Activism and Voters Rights Interests both increased (84% and 37% respectively) in Tinder profiles this year1. In Southeast Asia, young adult singles named “sharing the same values” (52%) and “fighting for what they believe in” (38%) as some of the most important qualities they look for in matches.
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 favourite new old song, Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” made a comeback and was in the top 10 Spotify Anthems noted on Tinder profiles. 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 average. 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.
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. Over half (58%) of surveyed young singles said they were confident they could identify a green or red flag 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.
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. On Tinder, 18-25 year olds passported on average 9 times a month. When jetting off virtually to look for their perfect match, Indonesian and Singaporean daters tend to go for their “neighbours”.
Kuala Lumpur is the top Passport destination for Singaporean singletons, while Singapore is a favourite for the Indonesians. On the other hand, young Filipino and Malaysian singles look further across the pond, setting their sights on London as the top destination to find new connections. Meanwhile, the K-Wave seems to have swept over the Thai and Vietnamese daters, securing Seoul a top spot as their go-to Passport destination.
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 sign.
Tinder’s Head of APAC Communications, Papri Dev, said “Post-pandemic, we’ve seen young singles everywhere in the world, including Southeast Asia, be much more intentional in both who they choose to date and how they choose to date. They’ve also become more authentic in the ways they express themselves, and more creative in their choices of dates, looking for new and interesting activities to experience together. As we shift into gear for 2023, the trends of 2022 will definitely guide the way young daters in Southeast Asia navigate the world of dating, friends, connections and relationships.”