Thomas Robinson

Prominent Trends and Dating Habits Among Gen Z, According To Hinge

The dating habits of Gen Zs are a mystery to some and a wonder to others. However, their dating habits aren’t always as straightforward as we think. According to Business Insider, today’s young adults, especially young women, increasingly find romance in their friendship groups rather than online dating apps. In this survey, 43% of people between 18 and 29 said they were in a relationship with someone who was first a friend, including an astonishing 50% of women in that cohort. This is double the 21% of people over 65 who reported being friends with their partner or spouse before they started dating. Among older couples, 52% said their significant other was a stranger to them before they got together, while only 35% of young people said the same. However, some still use dating apps to find the one.

Insights into Gen Z Dating Trends

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Hinge has released its latest report on 2024’s most prominent trends and dating habits among Gen Z, with insights from over 15,000 daters. Most Hinge Gen Z daters (90 %) want to find love but have fearful worries about rejection that stand in their quest for romance.

Decline in Teenage Dating Trends

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American Survey Center reports Teens are dating less. A survey conducted by the Survey Center on American Life found that only 56 % of Gen Z adults—and 54 % of Gen Z men—said they were involved in a romantic relationship at any point during their teenage years. This represents a remarkable change from previous generations, where teenage dating was much more common. Over three-quarters of Baby Boomers (78 %) and Generation Xers (76 %) report having had a boyfriend or girlfriend as teenagers. Forty-four % of Gen Z men today report having no relationship experience during their teen years, double the rate for older men.

Impact of the Pandemic on Dating

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We’re still seeing the impacts of the Covid pandemic, as Gen Z singletons are 47 % more likely than millennial daters to say the pandemic made them nervous talking to new people—and 25 % more likely to say the pandemic made them less confident about a first date.

Evolution of Relationship Views

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Although Gen Z is the generation that is open to different types of relationships, such as embracing non-monogamy, celebrating queer intimacy, and exploring gender identity, they are 30 % more likely than millennials to believe there’s one soulmate for each person, and 39 % more likely to consider themselves romantically idealistic or have optimistic expectations.

Embracing Vulnerability

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The report also breaks down emerging trends such as embracing cringe mode, mastering digital body language, and establishing the ‘What Are We’ (WAW) convo; here is everything you need to know, along with advice from Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science, Logan Ury, and Love & Connection Expert, Moe Ari Brown.

Embracing Cringe Mode

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Around 44 % of Gen Z Hinge daters need more dating experience and are worried about coming off as cringy or over-eager in their communication. This fear of being perceived negatively can hinder genuine expression and connection—many individuals in this demographic struggle with finding the balance between authenticity and social acceptance. Embracing vulnerability and accepting imperfection can alleviate the pressure to appear flawless to another person.

Fear of Rejection

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Rejection is a scary prospect, as 95 % of Hinge users are fearful of it, and Gen Z feels it the worst. The fear of rejection can paralyze, leading to missed opportunities and emotional distress. Many Gen Z Hinge daters express concerns about needing to be accepted or valued by potential partners. This fear often stems from past experiences or societal pressures to conform to specific standards of attractiveness or desirability. Overcoming this fear is essential for fostering healthy relationships and personal growth among Gen Zeders.

Consequences of Rejection

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Over half (56 %) of Gen Z Hinge daters say that worrying about rejection has held them back from pursuing a potential relationship—and they’re 10 % more likely than millennial daters to say they’ve missed the chance to be with someone because of it.

Advice on Embracing Vulnerability

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Hinge’s Love and Connection Expert, Moe Ari Brown, noted how most of us experience cringe, particularly when “going outside our comfort zones, doing something that requires vulnerability or risking rejection.”

Building Rejection Resilience

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“The trick is acknowledging the feeling and accepting that you don’t need to be rid of it to date successfully. In reality, you need the presence of something much more deliberate, like courage, to push beyond your worry and show up vulnerably in your dating life.”

Mastering Digital Body Language

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DBL is all about non-verbal subtexts such as emojis, punctuation, message length, and response time. While most (77 %) of Hinge daters say a match’s DBL reveals a lot about their intentions, Gen Z Hinge daters are 50% more likely than millennials to try and play it cool by delaying their response to avoid seeming overeager. Understanding and effectively utilizing DBL can enhance communication and connection in online interactions.

Understanding DBL

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While most (77 %) of Hinge daters say a match’s DBL reveals a lot about their intentions, Gen Z Hinge daters are 50% more likely than millennials to try and play it cool by delaying their response to avoid seeming overeager.

Effective Communication Strategies

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Over half of Hinge daters (56 %) admit they’ve overanalyzed someone’s DBL, and here is some advice on ensuring you have good DBL: Avoid confusion, initiate conversation, maintain consistent messaging with open-ended questions, reduce pre-date anxiety, and provide reassurance for both pre and post-dates. Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science, Logan Ury, also shares four tips on using DBL effectively, including not assuming disinterest from a lack of texting, setting expectations, using positive reinforcement, and requesting more minor effort texts.

Initiating the ‘What Are We’ Conversation

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Regarding DTR (Define The Relationship), 57 % of Gen Z daters are hesitant about having the ‘What Are We’ chat due to worries that it will turn off their romantic interest. However, if you’re seeking relationship exclusivity, 73 % of Hinge daters believe it’s a conversation that must be had. Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science, Logan Ury, provides six essential points to consider before initiating the ‘What Are We’ talk, including anticipating potential outcomes, communicating desires clearly, and understanding that responses may vary.

Navigating Modern Romance

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In navigating modern romance, today’s daters face a landscape shaped by shifting dynamics, evolving societal norms, and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Insights from Hinge’s report reveal a generation of Gen Z individuals grappling with fears of rejection, navigating digital communication nuances, and redefining traditional relationship expectations. Despite these challenges, there’s a prevailing desire for genuine connection and love. Gen Z daters can forge meaningful connections and build fulfilling relationships in an ever-evolving dating landscape by embracing vulnerability, mastering effective communication strategies, and confronting fears head-on. As we move forward, we must recognize the importance of authenticity, resilience, and open communication in fostering healthy and sustainable romantic partnerships.

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