Dating Trends 2023: Insights from Choosi's Swipe Right Report

In a world filled with terms like breadcrumbing, submarining, and roaching, you would be forgiven for thinking this article covers anything else but dating.

With a wealth of dating apps and websites at our fingertips and many eligible singles yearning for romance, modern dating can feel like navigating a maze.

And with pandemics in the rearview mirror, international travel booming and the revival of the Australian restaurant, bar and club scene, Aussies are ever adapting and redefining the way they date.

But what does this look like in 2023?

The Choosi Swipe Right Modern Dating Report 2023 is the latest release from the Choosi Research Series and investigates the Aussie dating scene including attitudes and behaviours of dating both online and in-person. The research explores the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of the dating world in Australia, with a focus on the fast-moving online dating scene. The study also explores other aspects of dating, including the time, money, and emotional investment required, as well as the safety concerns associated with meeting people online.

Infographic showcasing online dating data in 2023

Love is in the air down under

Despite all the negatives that can come out of dating in 2023, whether it be online scams, catfishing, dating fatigue or just the strain it puts on our wallets, not all hope is lost! Many Aussies over 18 (37%) are still hopeful they will find enduring love in the next few years. However, patience is key as Aussies currently in serious relationships, who have been actively dating in the past two years, report going on an average of 31 dates to find their partner. And while this may seem like a lot, the good news is that more than half of daters are looking to find true love (57%) or a life partner (33%). Either way, it’s safe to say that love is still in the air for Aussies.

The dating tax

They say love don’t cost a thing, but when inflation is at a 32-year high it certainly can put a dent in the bank. The recent cost-of-living pressures are hitting Aussies hard, but this has not stopped the average Aussie single from spending an estimated $158 on a date, with men estimating they pay $233 per date, and women estimating they pay $101 per date.

Spending money to find the love of your life may be the best decision you ever make but it will come at a cost. The research shows that most (74%) agree that dating has become much more expensive than it used to be before the pandemic, and that the cost of dating is having a significant impact on their finances (50%). And if bills weren’t enough, more than a quarter (37%) said they sometimes charge the cost of their dates to a credit card and don’t pay off the full monthly balance.

When it comes to covering the costs of dates, men often feel they pay for the date (45%), while women tend to split the bill (42%).

However, the cost of dating goes beyond just the date itself and includes several preparation costs to ensure people look their best. In fact, many women cited spending money on clothes and accessories (49%), makeup (49%) and beauty treatment costs (23%).

Dating on a budget is an emerging trend in these hard times. The most common ways Aussies are trying to save money on dates are going for walks and exploring a new area (45%), having a picnic in a park or on the beach (36%), and cooking a romantic dinner at home (35%). Who says wholesome dates have to be expensive?

Infographic depicting the cost of dating in 2023

Catch me on the apps

Despite all the cost-of-living struggles and dating fatigue, Aussies’ dating lives solider on. The cause? The popularity and convenience of dating apps.

It comes as no surprise that dating apps and websites are currently the most common way for people actively dating to meet others (62%), with nearly half (49%) of Aussies using at least one online dating app or website.

We’re all guilty of spending too much time swiping seamlessly on our phones, and it’s no different for those who use dating apps or websites. The average amount of time spent using these platforms is 6 hours per week, with an average of 5 daily checks and an average yearly total of 1,675 checks!

Confidence in dating apps seems to be on the rise, with the majority (62%) of those who actively use or have used dating apps or websites thinking it is likely they will find a long-term partner online. It’s also a great way for introverts to meet new people, with just under two in five Aussies (39%) saying dating apps and websites are a less confronting or awkward way to initiate a connection.

Dating burnout

Not only can dating strain the wallet, but it also affects hearts. Dating fatigue is real and more than half of Aussies have experienced 'burnout' from failed dates and disappointments at least once. On average, over a quarter of active daters report (28%) that the dates they go on are disappointing.

For those who have been actively going on dates for over six months, the average number of unsatisfactory dates in the last year was 6 – over a quarter (28%) of all dates!

When arranging a date, some (36%) had their date cancel on them with less than 24 hours' notice, and a third (33%) had their date come up with an elaborate excuse why they can no longer meet up, or not show up at all (29%). Unfortunately, most (73%) Aussies have admitted to ghosting someone at least once because they just couldn't be bothered anymore, and a similar number (71%) have been the ‘ghostee’. Additionally, over half (57%) found out their date or someone they were planning to date is married or already in a serious relationship. Ouch! This has led to almost a quarter (24%) of singles who are currently not actively dating to cease their dating activity because they are tired of being rejected and things not working out. Interestingly, some Aussies (16%) have lost hope or are not even looking for love at all.

You’ve been catfished!

Catfishing continues to be a common issue when online dating, with more than a quarter of those who use or have used dating apps or websites (27%) admitting to using flattering angles, lighting or filters that don’t completely represent their true image.

Most (83%) people who use or have used dating apps or websites have, at least once, felt that someone they dated did not match the profile they presented. A similar proportion (82%) also felt that someone misrepresented themselves either in their profile or in conversation. Unsurprisingly, more than half (58%) have been 'catfished' or suspect they were. Talk about trust issues!

Infographic illustrating common issues and challenges faced in online dating

Dating 101: How to spot the red flags

Despite what TikTokers may suggest with their red flag emojis, real red flags when you’re dating or in a relationship aren’t merely pet peeves or conflicting preferences, like if you’re a cat person or if you hate desserts. Whether you’re going on a first date or several dates deep, there are some red flags that daters report to have warned others about such as, gaslighting (54%), controlling or pushy behaviour (51%), dishonesty or evasiveness (51%), and negging (44%).

Infographic presenting expert tips and advice for successful online dating

There you have it – the run-down of dating in 2023 – both online and in-person. No matter how Aussies choose to navigate the dating scene, things are certainly changing. The new connections made, romantic or not, are what keep people going in our modern society – or at least make for a funny tale to share!