New dating trends revealed in Bumble’s 2023 annual report

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It’s tough out there for singles – but it seems those looking for love are finally taking steps to safeguard their hearts while navigating the difficult world of dating.

After being endlessly “ghosted” and falling victim to “breadcrumbing”, a new dating trend has emerged which helps minimize the emotional impact of being strung along by a potential partner.

“Guardrailing” is the new term coined to describe those who are setting boundaries and protecting their energy when dating, according to the annual report from dating app Bumble.

And it’s one of many new trends that focus around mental health and balancing the challenges of life that the dating app reckons we’ll be seeing more of in the coming months.

What did we do before Tinder?  Photo / Northern Advocate
What did we do before Tinder? Photo / Northern Advocate


“The trends we’re predicting for 2023 say a lot about how single people feel after a tumultuous year,” Lucille McCart, Bumble’s communications director, told

“Guardrailing is all about setting boundaries and protecting our energy, while another new trend we’ve dubbed ‘love-life balance’ shows us that people don’t just want work-life balance for themselves but for their partner too.”

Bumble said the return of office culture and busy social schedules has sparked this new trend as it has left a lot of singletons “feeling overwhelmed”.

“This has forced us all to prioritize our boundaries and more than half [52 per cent] have established more boundaries over the last year,” McCart said.

“This includes being clearer about our emotional needs and boundaries, being more thoughtful and intentional about how we put ourselves out there, and not overcommitting socially.”

Love-life balance

McCart said it was “really interesting” to see a shift in people caring less about a career as a “status symbol” and that instead were “prioritizing rest and leisure time” within their relationships.

“More than half of people [54 per cent] care more about their work/life balance than their career status.

“Over the past year, more than half of people [52 per cent] are actively creating more space for breaks and rest.”

However, the research has also revealed there’s one person no singleton wants a relationship with, as “one in 10 will no longer date someone who has a very demanding job”.

Dating can be a source of frustration for some.  Photo 123Rf
Dating can be a source of frustration for some. Photo 123Rf


Other new trends include a phenomenon dubbed “open-casting” which is where people move away from their traditional “type” and instead partner with someone they wouldn’t usually go for.

According to Bumble’s report, one-in-three are now more open to who they would consider dating – this is even more prevalent in Australia, with 42 percent dating outside of their usual “type”.

“With open-casting we are seeing people more willing to date outside their type, and valuing emotional maturity over physical attractiveness, which shows we are less focused on superficial qualities like looks and more focused on who we are emotionally compatible with,” Lucille explained .


With travel back in our lives, it appears singles are keen to mix adventure with romance, as a rise in daters saying that they are now more open to relationships with people who don’t live in their current city.

“The wanderlove trend is no surprise as the return of international travel leaves us all more open to the idea of ​​a holiday romance,” McCart said.

Dating Renaissance

But while some are looking for love, there’s also an influx of new singles in Australia post-pandemic which Bumble describes as the “dating renaissance”.

“One-in-three [39 per cent] of people on Bumble have ended a marriage or serious relationship in the last two years – this is even more prevalent in Australia at 42 percent,” McCart said.

“These people are now jumping into their second chapter with one-in-three [36 per cent] using dating apps for the first time, learning to navigate new dating language and codes.”

For more on dating and relationships, listen to the NZ Herald’s new podcast, It’s a date with Lillie Rohan

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