- Trad Dating Reimagined: UK start-up Pear Ring aims to replace dating apps altogether by helping singletons meet in person. The company sells a turquoise ring for straight singles and a lilac one for queer singles ($25), which is intended to signal the wearer’s single-and-looking status. On TikTok, the hashtag #pearring has 133.5 million views as of July 2023, with eager singletons sharing their IRL dating adventures.
- Thorough Pre-Screening: With 37% of US adults thinking that dating apps offer too many options (Pew, 2023), singletons are also approaching dating more systematically.
Countering superficial online dating profiles, Date Me Docs are gaining popularity. Typically formatted in a Google Doc, Date Me Docs contain several pages of information on a romantic hopeful’s personality traits and values, as well as what they want in a partner. The documents are circulated on social media, small online communities, and friend groups. Recently launched Date Me Directory compiles and filters Docs based on location, values and age – a move that aims to optimise the search for an ideal match.
Meanwhile, US online form builder Jotform contains several Dating Application and First-Date Feedback templates to be used by active daters to gauge compatibility.
These alternatives to online dating show a desire to return to analogue courtship behaviours. It’s influencing entertainment as well: Netflix show Jewish Matchmaking (highlighted in Redefining Faith) and Indian Matchmaking – in which romantic hopefuls are coupled up by an IRL matchmaker – are a great display of how traditional romance is being modernised.
See also 10 Youth Trends to Watch 2023 to learn more about conservative values towards sex among American youth.