Dating app usage spiked last year, meaning the dating pool grew exponentially for singles looking for love (or something like it.) Yes, that means there will be exponentially more photos of men posing with slimy fish they’ve caught, too. Try not to get too excited, ladies.
While dating app behavior hasn’t changed all that drastically ― you’ll still come across people who think “The Office” is a whole personality and read the same played-out pickup lines ― there are some new dating app types you’re bound to encounter. Below, we highlight 13 of them. (In some cases, they’re not new but they’ve grown in numbers and power during the pandemic.)
The COVID Edition Kittenfisher
A kittenfisher is someone who presents themselves unrealistically on their dating profile, usually by using overly filtered or old-as-hell pics. (It’s a play on catfishing.) If you’re mostly using pics from the good ol’ days of 2018 or 2019 and are looking considerably different these days, you just may be a kittenfisher. (It’s OK, you’re hardly alone. Staging impromptu photoshoots and looking hot aren’t at the top of everyone’s to-do list right now.)
The Pseudo Epidemiologist
Move over, Dr. Fauci, the country has a new leading expert on infectious diseases and it’s Kyle from Hinge. (His qualifications? He went to School of Hard Knocks but is also a Student of Life.)
Some of the greatest hits he’s DMing in your local area? “I don’t wear a mask because it causes CO2 poisoning.” “I’m young, I don’t need to get vaccinated.” “Joe Rogan took the [horse deworming drug] Ivermectin so that’s what I’m gonna do if I catch ’rona.”
The “Get Vaccinated Or Else” Type
To balance out all the Kyles in the world, there’s plenty of people on the apps that want you to know that their greatest dealbreaker is not getting vaccinated. They are big proponents of “Fauci”-ing. (To “Fauci” someone, according to Urban Dictionary, means “to end a romantic relationship based on one’s view of social distancing, vaccination views, or other opinions based on the COVID-19 pandemic.”)
The “Please Commit Identity Fraud Against Me” Type
A scammer’s dream, this kind of dater is so desperate for human touch, they’re willing to post their vaccine card or a recent negative COVID test on godforsaken Tinder to get a date. (FYI: The Federal Trade Commission is begging you not to do this on a dating app or any other social media; identity thieves can use the seemingly scant info on your tests and medical cards to open new accounts in your name, claim your tax refund for themselves, and engage in other forms of identity theft.)
The Piner For Before Times
Nineteen months into the pandemic, all of us want to get back to normal (or “normal-ish,” at least) ― but the Piner Fo Before Times can’t keep it to themselves. Every section of their dating app profile is filled with nostalgia for those halcyon, maskless pre-2020 days.
“This year, I really want to: start living again,” they write in their Hinge profile. “I really miss traveling, patios, concerts, movies, comedy clubs, The list goes on…” (Just to drive their point home, five out of six of their photos are travel pics.)
The Pfizer Papi Or Moderna Mami
Remember for a hot second when we all thought it was funny to brag about being House Moderna or a double-dosed Pfizer elite and collectively make fun of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine like major assholes? The Pfizer Papi or Moderna Mami is here to remind you!
The Thirster (aka The Turbo Dater)
For many single people, it’s been a cruel, cruel almost two years of time spent by their lonesome. If someone comes on strong over DMs or on a first date, have some sympathy (even if they are asking you to move in two weeks into dating).
The Slow Dater
As the promise of “Hot Vax Summer” quickly dissipated (thanks a lot, delta variant), we saw the resurgence of the Slow Dater: someone who is a little more thoughtful about who they date, either out of concern for their health and safety or because they actually want to build a bond with sticking power. (How quaint!)
For instance, in a Match.com survey released this year, 63% of users said they spend more time getting to know potential partners these days. The Match users also said they were more honest with people (69%), focus less on physical attraction (61% of Gen Z, 49% of millennials), and consider a wider range of people as potential partners (59%).
The Headless Torso
Disembodied torsos need love, too! A long-time fixture of the dating app scene, The Headless Torso knows that 80% of people on Tinder and Grindr are just looking to get laid ― especially in these “trying times” ― so all they’ll be giving you on the app is Body. Swipe at your own risk.
The Social Media Cleanser
Digital minimalism is all the rage right now ― people are ready to log off social media for good ― and some are taking their “screw you, Zuckerberg” evangelicalism to dating apps.
Case in point, a profile we recently saw on Hinge while doing research for this article: “I’m looking for: someone to join me in a social media cleanse. if we meet and hit it off, we both agree to stay off social media for a month to get to know each other better?” Sure, this man has zero chill, but your iPhone weekly screen time reports will never look better.
The Couple Looking For A Third
Anyone notice a preponderance of “Our relationship is open and we’re looking for a third to add” lines on apps? That makes sense, because apparently more singles and couples are exploring the world of threesomes lately, with mentions of them skyrocketing on sexual exploration app Feeld.
Dog Guy 5000
While all of us were busy social distancing, The Dog Guy ― aka dogfishers, or men who use photos of them with dogs to lure in matches ― took it upon himself to befriend at least 14 new dog owners, which means 14 new usable pics of him hanging out with “puppers”!
The Refreshingly Honest Dater
Let’s end it on a high note because we need one right now: People are getting more honest about their mental health struggles on dating apps! In their Future of Dating report, Tinder found that anxiety and “normalizing” grew exponentially on the app, suggesting that singles want to be fully transparent about who they are before locking it down.