Top dating trends for 2023 – including returning to an ex-partner


This is known as “Ekin-sU turning”, a phrase inspired by the “recoupling” of Love Island winners Davide and Ekin-Su.

More than half (51 percent) of respondents referenced “unresolved issues” to be a reason for wanting to return to an old flame.

And half simply realised the error of their ways, while 28 percent claimed to have “too much history” to let go entirely.

The research was commissioned by dating app Plenty of Fish, to take a deeper dive into the newest dating behaviours to launch its annual dating trend predictions.

It also revealed another top trend to be the “180-Dating” trend, whereby 63 percent have rebounded following a break-up – and ended up dating a younger, unexpected partner.

Relationship guru and script consultant on Netflix’s Sex Education, Alix Fox, said: “Despite dating having been around since the dawn of humanity, our dating habits are hugely impacted by current affairs, technological advances, and cultural trends, putting a whole new spin on age-old instincts.

“Whether it’s an economic recession, the latest TikTok trends, environmental concerns causing greener mindsets, or celebrity affairs making headlines, the ways we connect are ever-changing.

“One piece of advice to singles that’s consistently helpful is to be authentic and honest – with yourself as well as others – to allow for a more low-pressure dating experience.”

The study also found three-quarters of daters (74 percent) are “Bae Realing”, and saying “no” to photo editing and filters on dating apps spurred on by recent social media trends.

However, more than two-thirds (69 percent) admit to having used a photo filter on a picture when online dating in the past.

As many as 87 percent also admitted to having all the intention to go on dates, but not actually following through with meeting up – kicking off the “OnlyPlans” trend.

The research also revealed the criteria singles have curated when looking for love, with 39 percent wanting someone who is family-orientated, while 28 percent look for someone with a sense of humour.

However, two in five (39 percent) are “Eco-Dumping”, saying they would only date someone with a keen interest in the environment – while physical appearance is a key attribute for just 23 percent.

And only seven percent care about their potential suitor’s profession.

The study, conducted via OnePoll, also found 23 percent reckon online and virtual dating will surpass in-person dating in the next 10 years.

And nearly half of singles (46 percent) are open to a virtual reality date before meeting someone in real life.

It also emerged 52 percent are being impacted by the rising cost of living, and opting for cheaper dates instead of spoiling a new love interest.

And three-quarters (73 percent) are avoiding or cancelling plans with a potential partner due to the cost of a date, resulting in the “Cost of Loving”.

Kate MacLean, resident dating expert at Plenty of Fish, said: “Our dating lives are impacted by the world around us, from the reality TV shows we watch to more serious environmental issues.

“We want dating to feel more natural, and that’s why it’s great to see the rise of people embracing their true, authentic selves with Bae Realing, or giving loved ones a second chance by Ekin-sU Turning.”

A full list of the dating trends can be found here.

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