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Two dating app alumni deep-dive into Tinder's Year in Swipe 2023 IMAGE: UNSPLASH

Our Honest Opinions On Online Dating Trends In 2023

Tinder's annual Year in Swipe is back, and with it, a series of fascinating revelations about the the state of dating in 2023. As dating app alumni, my colleague, Gwen, and I couldn't help but pore over the trends. Here's our take on what we found the most fascinating: 

Motivations for dating include ‘doing it for the plot’: 

Diane: Let me ask you this, Gwen: have you ever dated someone ‘for the plot’? 

Gwen: This brings back some questionable behaviour on my part, but yes…? I remember going out with someone who showed early signs of being non-committal for a couple of months, but because he was intriguing and a breath of fresh air, I dove in without thinking long-term. It was fun while it lasted though. 

Speaking of ‘doing it for the plot’, I totally tried going out with people of all nationalities, background and ethnicity over my lifetime record of more than 50 Tinder dates 🤡 No ragrets

Diane: Yeah, I feel like it’s more palatable or fun to date people 'for the plot' when you meet them on an app because you can end things at any time when the plot starts getting tired. It’d be way harder to do that with someone you know IRL, where there could be social repercussions, or where you’d probably feel more guilty. I’ve definitely swiped right on matches for the plot because I figured that since they’re a complete stranger, it wouldn't feel as bad quickly cutting things off before either of us got invested. 

Image: 123RF

The number 1 trending interest: horror movies

Diane: Do people really like horror movies or do they just want an excuse to hold hands and cuddle on a first date? But anyway, my now-husband and I watched 'A Quiet Place' on one of our first dates, so I guess I’m not exempt from this.  

Gwen: Ngl, my red flag is introducing potential love interests to the ‘other side of me’ pretty early on in the dating phase. My now-husband (poor him!) had to sit through two hours of a riveting yet brutal Korean film called 'Oldboy', all because I wanted to see his reaction at the end when the plot twist drops. Thank god he didn’t leave me after that. 

Diane: You’re right, ghost movies are nothing compared to 'Oldboy'. Now that you mention it, showing a date your favourite thing early on is a pretty good litmus test for compatibility. I knew my husband was a keeper when he didn’t roll his eyes while watching the Keira Knightley version of 'Pride and Prejudice'. Not that I expected him to love it, but I appreciated that he gave it a chance. 

The top 5 most popular personality types were: 

1. Extroverted
2. Chaotic
3. Introverted
4. Order lover
5. Life of party

Extroverts in the spotlight as the #1 personality type (duh)

Diane: Ugh, what? Justice for introverts! 

Gwen: Wah, how come Tinder is now able to extract data on personality type from users’ bios? During my time (gosh, I feel so old saying this), it was incredibly difficult to find any guy who wanted to do a proper write-up on their bio. Lots of 'carpe diem' and 'do not go gentle into that good night' references though. 🙄 Did you have the same experience? 

Diane: Yeah, what's up with people using quotes as shorthand for opinions or intellect? I’d say that at least half the bios I’d come across on Tinder were blank, with the other half being chock full of cliches like 'Not all who wander are lost' or 'Here for a good time, not a long time.' Also, maybe I'm just boring, but I don’t understand why 'chaotic' is the second most popular personality type. 

Gwen: Chaotic sounds like a walking red flag to me. Someone without emotional stability? Hard pass. 


The top 5 most popular info in profiles: 

1. Relationship Goals
2. Zodiac
3. Height
4. Pets
5. Smoking Habits

Height still matters, but less than relationship goals and zodiac signs

Gwen: It’s nice to see that the superficialness has gone down. But zodiac signs being second on the list…people, do not let that incompatible pairing stop you. I’m also glad to see smoking habits on the list. It’s really a love or hate kinda thing, and good to get this out in the open early on if it’s a deal breaker for some people. Plus, smoker insurance premiums man…

Diane: I’m also pleasantly surprised to see “relationship goals” on this list, as well as smoking habits, but specifying height is a red flag for me! I can't tell you how many guys I've met who made being over 180cm their whole personality. 

The top 3 most attractive interests, ranked: 

1. Otaku (Japanese for anime or manga stans)
2. Cheerleading
3. Pilates

Tinder users stan otakus, apparently

Diane: While I enjoy the occasional anime, I can’t stand grown men who keep talking about schoolgirl-aged waifus, so I’d definitely swipe left on otakus, especially if they stan anime/manga with a lot of fan service. My now-husband wasn’t into anime at all when I met him - which was a point in his favour - but the joke’s on me because after I introduced him to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Attack on Titan, he started watching anime almost every month, if not every week 🤡 

Gwen: This finding takes me by surprise. I remember telling my friends that my now-husband is an otaku and their first reaction was that of concern (lol). I was like, bo pian, he already trapped me. It took me 3 months after we started going out to discover that he was secretly a closet otaku who hogs Gundam merch and has boxes of trading cards in his bomb shelter. 😩


Singapore ranked #2 in ‘countries who reply the fastest’, second only to South Korea

Diane: Here’s a question: does this mean Singaporeans are responsible texters or are we just desperate?

Gwen: This result is incredibly sus, because ghosting seems to be a favourite pastime of people on dating apps. Or caspering. Tbh, i’ve done my fair share of it too. It’s just too burdensome to have to tell more than 5 matches in one go “I’m sorry but this isn’t working” and explaining to them why it isn’t. 

Diane: I can somewhat believe this result. I’ve matched with guys who reply incredibly quickly, only to ghost just as fast once they lose interest. (But I’ve also done the same thing so I can’t really get mad.)  IMO replying consistently is better than replying quickly. It’s a little weird when people disappear for two weeks after initially replying quickly, only to “resurrect themselves” afterward with a barrage of texts. They might explain themselves by saying it’s due to “being busy at work”, but inconsistent replies always gave me the impression that they were going back to me after another match didn’t work out. 

Gwen: I think there’s no going back after the first round of ghosting, tbh. It’ll never be the same ever again. 

Love styles, in order: 

1. Time together
2. Touch
3. Thoughtful gestures
4. Compliments
5. Presents

Real life is just as important as reel life 

Diane: I don’t know how accurate this is. No one would put gifts or compliments as their number one love style on their bio. Quality time feels like a way more wholesome choice and way less likely to put off matches. 

Gwen: I guess quality time together transcends generations, lol. Speaking of which, I wonder if there are any unspoken rules on the longest time someone should wait before asking a match out. 

Diane: Oh, for sure. I find it a little sketchy when guys ask you out the same day you match and start talking. Some might call that cutting to the chase, but I find it a little pressuring. Call me old-fashioned, but spending at least three days talking before agreeing to meet sounds about right. What do you think, Gwen? 

Gwen: I’m on the same page as you on that, Diane. Asking someone out the same day you start talking definitely screams 'other purposes', IYKWIM. Seven days of continuous talking feels like a safe yardstick for me. 


Trending Interests in Singapore: 

1. Travel
2. Movies
3. Music
4. Gym
5. Sports

Gwen: It’s been a good six years since I deleted the app (for good), and I wonder if people are still big on showcasing their travel photos on their bio. 

Diane: Likes to travel? Groundbreaking. What I’d really want to know about is my date’s actual travel style. As someone who doesn’t do well without Wi-Fi and indoor plumbing, I’d be hard-pressed to date someone whose idea of romance is roughing it out in the wilderness with only a backpack and a collapsible tent. But I guess one could always figure that out after meeting up in person. 

Most Attractive Interests in Singapore: 

1. Festivals
2. Bubble tea
3. Korean dramas
4. Self care
5. Concerts

Diane: Now I REALLY feel old because I don’t remember festivals being a prominent interest when I was still using Tinder. And TBH I don’t know anyone IRL who is that into festivals either. It seems like something you’d bring up just to make yourself sound more cultured or interesting. 

Gwen: I can’t believe boba is an attractive interest either. All that sugar and no nutrition. I guess that’s why some Tinder matches are full of sweet nothings. *mic drop*

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