What do the key trends in 2020 tell us about the future of dating?

We may be post-ghosting, but now there's a whole new set of dating trends to navigate. From 'being Kanye'd' and zoning in on the zodiac, to 'yellow carding' dates by calling out BS, Olivia Foster reveals how the landscape is shifting

new dating trends

We may be post-ghosting, but now there's a whole new set of dating trends to navigate. From 'being Kanye'd' and zoning in on the zodiac, to 'yellow carding' dates by calling out BS, Olivia Foster reveals how the landscape is shifting

We all know the stats: there’s currently more single people in the world than ever before. That means more people dating, more people logging on to apps, and more people trying to find love in the 21st century.

While 2019 bought us dogfishing (using someone else’s pup in your pictures to make you look cute) and orbiting (where an ex lurks around your Insta story views, but never actually talks to you), 2020 has it’s own set of game-changing trends to watch out for. Here’s how the dating landscape is shaping up…

Being Kanye’d

They’ve talked about their school, their friends, their art degree and spent 45 minutes reliving that time they went backpacking in Thailand and took mushrooms. But, as you nurse your third glass of wine, you realise they don’t seem to know anything about you. Why? Because you’ve been Kanye’d. According to research by Plenty of Fish, 45 per cent of us have endured a one-sided date - the kind where you could probably write up their CV from memory, but they’re not 100 per cent on your surname. Pay close attention to whether or not they’re truly interested in you, because if they’re only talking about themselves there’s only one question worth asking: ‘Can we get the bill?’

new dating trends

Getty Images

 Star-lost lovers

‘See the thing is, it’s because I’m a Virgo,’ a man once said to me while trying to excuse the fact that he’d cancelled on two of our dates at short notice. Research suggests 58 per cent of millennials believe in astrology – and, yes, that does explain all of the mercury in retrograde memes you’ve seen - but how does this translate in the dating world? Well, with apps like Bumble now allowing you to filter your matches by star sign, it looks like we’re going to have to add, ‘It’s because you’re an Aries,’ to the list of possible rejections you’ll face. 

Digi-date detoxes

From Jenga speed-dating (yes, really), to chatting up that person you fancy in the gym, 84 per cent of people still say they’d prefer to meet people IRL than via a dating app. In 2020, we predict more daters will choose to tone down their tech in a bid to experience their own illusive ‘meet cute.’ The main problem? We’re all going to have to learn how to talk to people without our phones…

new dating trends

Getty Images


We can thank Emma Watson for this one, but 2020 will be the year more women become happy with their single status. Thankfully, we’re already working hard to remove the stigma surrounding those sans partner: research shows that single women without children are now the happiest subsection of society and a new survey by Mintel has revealed that 61 per cent of single women are happy to be flying solo. We can only hope that, over the next year, that number continues to grow.

Yellow carding

Have you ever experienced bad-dating etiquette and wish you’d said something? You’re not alone. In fact, 27 per cent of daters claim to have called someone out on their terrible Tinder form and, providing you do it in an adult, responsible way, this is one dating trend we’re absolutely championing in 2020. Because, ultimately, if more people talked about how bad dating habits affected them, we might be able to adopt better ones.

Maria Coole

Maria Coole is a contributing editor on Marie Claire.

Hello Marie Claire readers – you have reached your daily destination. I really hope you’re enjoying our reads and I'm very interested to know what you shared, liked and didn’t like (gah, it happens) by emailing me at: maria.coole@freelance.ti-media.com

But if you fancy finding out who you’re venting to then let me tell you I’m the one on the team that remembers the Spice Girls the first time round. I confidently predicted they’d be a one-hit wonder in the pages of Bliss magazine where I was deputy editor through the second half of the 90s. Having soundly killed any career ambitions in music journalism I’ve managed to keep myself in glow-boosting moisturisers and theatre tickets with a centuries-spanning career in journalism.

Yes, predating t’internet, when 'I’ll fax you' was grunted down a phone with a cord attached to it; when Glastonbury was still accessible by casually going under or over a flimsy fence; when gatecrashing a Foo Fighters aftershow party was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy and tapping Dave Grohl on the shoulder was... oh sorry I like to ramble.

Originally born and bred in that there Welsh seaside town kindly given a new lease of life by Gavin & Stacey, I started out as a junior writer for the Girl Guides and eventually earned enough Brownie points to move on and have a blast as deputy editor of Bliss, New Woman and editor of People newspaper magazine. I was on the launch team of Look in 2007 - where I stuck around as deputy editor and acting editor for almost ten years - shaping a magazine and website at the forefront of body positivity, mental wellbeing and empowering features. More recently, I’ve been Closer executive editor, assistant editor at the Financial Times’s How To Spend It (yes thanks, no probs with that life skill) and now I’m making my inner fangirl’s dream come true by working on this agenda-setting brand, the one that inspired me to become a journalist when Marie Claire launched back in 1988.

I’m a theatre addict, lover of Marvel franchises, most hard cheeses, all types of trees, half-price Itsu, cats, Dr Who, cherry tomatoes, Curly-Wurly, cats, blueberries, cats, boiled eggs, cats, maxi dresses, cats, Adidas shelltops, cats and their kittens. I’ve never knowingly operated any household white goods and once served Ripples as a main course. And finally, always remember what the late great Nora Ephron said, ‘Everything is copy.’