16 December 2021

6 Dating Trends That Made Headlines in 2021

1 – Hot Vax Summer

This was more of a hype line than a real thing that happened. A lot of people assumed more vaccinations would lead to a rejuvenation of dating and sex lives. Hot Vax Summer was going to be a young sexually active person’s Rennaissance. Alas, it was just not meant to be.

2 – Hesidating

This playful term was coined to explain that feeling that daters have where they want to meet someone new…but maybe not yet? Maybe they’re waiting for coronavirus infection rates to go down or maybe they’re just waiting. Just hesidating.

3 – Resigning

The business sector has made a lot of hay out of The Great Resignation where people lived through a pandemic, changed their priorities, and quit their jobs to pursue something different. The dating scene saw something similar. No, not just breakups aka “New Dawn Daters.” Many singles seem to have resigned from the superficial dating field and gotten a little more serious about making a genuine connection. Even if they’re not ready for a long-term commitment, a growing number of young singles say they want more intimacy, more excitement, and something more meaningful from their personal lives. Don’t worry, casual sex is still very much on trend, just with more emotions and communication involved.

4 – Grown-Up Glow Up

Maturity is the new sexy? Some surveys point to yes. This generation of singles has lived through some serious stuff, so it makes sense that their perspectives have changed in a more mature direction. A renewed focus on mental health and self-care is definitely a good sign for the dating scene.

5 – Video dating

Professionals have been saying for years that video calls were the natural next evolution in dating sites and apps, but it took a pandemic to make that prediction a reality. Dating via webcam became a new normal in 2020, and that trend continued into 2021 with many apps adding video and voice functions that allow users to connect in a more personal way without having to meet in person. Is it sometimes awkward? Yup. But is it safer and more convenient? Absolutely yes.

6 – Slow dating

It’s what it sounds like. Daters are more likely to want to take things slow with online matches, first dates, and new relationships. You can chalk it up to risk aversion, emotional maturity, cold feet, or stranger-danger vibes — the point is people seem to be slowing their roll on the personal front and giving themselves more time to ask questions and make a real connection before jumping into the sack or making a commitment.


The bottom line for all these trends is this year has been a journey, and many singles are tired of settling for less. They’ve had more than enough time for some what-am-I-doing-with-my-life introspection, and that has had ripple effects on their relationships and sex lives. Today’s daters are putting bucketloads of thought into their dating choices. They’re exploring all their options and setting up video dates before agreeing to leave their homes. It may not be Hot Vax Summer, but if it means singles are taking care of themselves and getting by, that’s a win for a pandemic year. Stay safe out there! Amber Brooks is Editor-in-Chief at DatingAdvice.com and DatingNews.com. She has written over 1,800 articles on every possible topic related to dating, and she met her match on a dating app in 2019.