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Chloé Delecolle 02.08.23

2023 : A move to more conscious and diverse relationships (happn x NellyRodi)

NellyRodi collaborated with happn* to conduct a study analyzing the dating attitudes, codes, and expressions to expect in 2023.

*happn is one of most downloaded dating apps in the world. The idea is to let single people who have crossed paths IRL find each other on the app and, if they hadn’t dared in real life, have a conversation!

Attitudes are evolving and our relationships are changing, shaking up our representations of love, gender identity, and sexuality. These three 2023 trends in dating and relationships are the result of this evolution.


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Une publication partagée par happn (@happn_app)


Faced with an uncertain world and motivated by a search for stability, some people don’t want to leave anything to chance. They set up their amorous and amical encounters like others plan their professional careers.

Instead of panicking when confronted with global instability, they shun passivity and use willpower to reorganize their lives. Their goal is to assure their safety and protect their feelings. To fill a need for human interactions and fight against emotional fatigue, they’re looking for absolutely stable relationships.

Rationalism is a shield for their hearts, pragmatism is a compass for moving forward serenely in relationships, and patience is their strength.

The fear of commitment is in the past, and the desire to be part of a couple is making a big comeback. Sexual encounters with no future are being replaced by monogamous relationships. Among the users happn contacted, over half (53%) now want to create serious relationships with mature partners.

To do this, 32% talk about their expectations as early as the first date, which lets them “filter” the people they meet. They organize their relationship deal-breakers into red flags (unacceptable character traits), pink flags (behavior that is acceptable for now, but deserves attention), and beige flags (small things that make someone less interesting). Their search for the right person is built on a list of criteria for a partner who’s a perfect match, even if that means waiting a long time before that soul mate shows up.


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Une publication partagée par happn (@happn_app)


In the search for a healthy relationship, some personality types see dates for what they truly are: a connection between two beings and a time for active listening, dialogue, and seduction. They approach dates as if they were invitations to an adventure with goodwill as the guide.

As aware as they are conscientious, their driving ambition is to build healthy, balanced relationships based on mutual respect. They believe in connecting psychology with romance to better understand the right behaviors to adopt. Sharing ideas lets people break down attitudes they consider toxic and avoid disappointments or misunderstandings. Communicating is becoming the new language of love.

Being comfortable with yourself before being comfortable with someone else is key. When people have better self-understanding, they’re more confident in deciding who’s a good match. To do this, they study different psychological concepts (love languages*, attachment styles**) to better define themselves in relation to others and to determine their desires, needs, and limits.

* A theory from psychology outlining five way of expressing and experiencing love with a partner.
** Four distinct behavior models in romantic relationships.

Motivated by their new awareness and deeper wisdom, these people strive to put meaning back into dating. This search for connection changes their reasons for wanting to meet other people, and they value closeness over sexual relations (20% compared to 13%).

The emotional connection with another person takes precedence over the physical one. For 30% of those interviewed, a person’s values – as well as intelligence, emotional maturity, and empathy – were the most important issues to explore on a first date. The youngest people in the study preferred those they considered “deconstructed,” meaning able to go beyond gender and other socially limiting norms.


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Une publication partagée par happn (@happn_app)


Since there are no users’ manuals for love, why not turn to other less pragmatic or conventional belief systems, like spirituality?

Traditional identity markers (gender, nationality, religion, and age) are losing importance, freeing people to search for new orientations. Beliefs and rituals, such as witchcraft, crystals, and astrology are becoming new components in expressing how they want to move forward in their lives and create their relationships.

After having tried more accepted practices, this group is turning to irrational and esoteric methods as a back-up plan. This makes spirituality a conversation topic starting with the first date – it’s a shared culture that connects and reassures.

As a way to be less controlling, single people are choosing irrationality and superstition to guide them until they find the crush they can’t resist! It’s a new version of destiny: written in astral themes, seen in palms, or read in tarot cards or a fortune teller’s deck.

Since they consider natural elements – plants, minerals, animals, human beings – to have energy, they believe that by interacting with them, they can direct their fate. It’s the manifestation principle, which means transforming an idea into physical reality through thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. The phenomenon is especially used to attract love.

Other rituals let people take back control of their future and put luck on their side. Different crystals are used for boosting self-confidence on a date, for attracting love, for guidance in the right direction, or for protection from people best avoided.

Would you like to know more? Dive into our happn Trendbook created in collaboration with the happn meeting app! 


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Une publication partagée par happn (@happn_app)

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