DETERMINED to curb the loneliness that set in during the pandemic, 24-year-old Manila-based graphic designer Diane put time and effort into meeting people via dating apps, having conversations over chat, and eventually going on dates IRL (in real life).
“Though I was happy making friends in Tinder and Bumble, I knew that I really wanted to find someone for a serious relationship. I have friends who were able to do it,” shared Diane, who gave only her first name, via direct message on discussion site Reddit.
After two years in a pandemic, young daters have come to prefer flexible and practical modes of communication and bonding. For Diane, who’s in a serious talking phase with someone she’s dating, affection comes in the form of streaming a movie, playing a game while on voice call, or having food delivered to the other’s doorstep.
Gen Z Filipinos are now developing a new dating style and veering away from traditional conventions and expectations, according to dating app Tinder, which conducted a survey in the Philippines with users aged 18 to 25 years old.
“They factor in many considerations in their dating choices, and their preferences reflect their lived experiences and pop culture influences as diverse as Hallyu Wave to Hollywood,” said Papri Dev, Tinder’s senior communications director for Asia Pacific, at a July 1 roundtable that presented the survey’s insights.
“I think what we’re seeing is they’re not just fluid about their own identity and sexuality, but they’re also open to many different kinds of relationships,” she explained.
SIMPLE YET MEANINGFULTinder’s survey found that 73% of Filipino young adult daters prefer simple dates like grabbing coffee or strolling in urban spots, with food dates coming in second and movie dates coming in third.
Still, over 60% said they can create meaningful connections with someone through virtual dates, with many claiming they can tell the connection is genuine via video call.
Ms. Dev explained: “They find joy in doing simpler activities for their dates and meeting new folks with similar interests that our newest feature Explore is based on with sections on Foodies, Coffee Date, Thrill seekers and so on.”
Tinder’s Explore feature is a way of helping the 56% who don’t like making the first move and the 43% who feel awkward doing so.
The latest upgrade will allow our members to tag up to 20 interests in their profiles.
And when it comes to showing interest, Gen Z daters employ techniques across the board: 78% will frequently message through chat, 59% will ask out their matches to spend more time with them, while 57% send memes, stickers, and GIFs.
Most importantly, 86% of young Filipinos shared that they are looking for “the one” or, at the very least, a long-term relationship.
This is the same for Diane, who told BusinessWorld: “Over the pandemic I started to see that it’s not just me and my friends. There’s really a growing number of Filipino women my age who are hopeful about meeting someone meaningful online.”
She also echoed the recent insights of dating app Bumble, which found that 73% of Filipinos value respect and equality in long term relationships. Over half (63%) of women in particular even said it’s important to address equality early in dating.
“It’s really a priority nowadays that both parties are not just compatible and open with each other and having fun, but also very respectful and aware of each other’s needs and wants,” Diane said. — Brontë H. Lacsamana