In a notable shift away from traditional relationship timelines, a growing phenomenon termed “timeline decline” is gaining momentum among women, according to the 2024 annual dating report from Bumble.
The data reveals that 1 in 3 women are no longer focused on adhering to societal milestones and are prioritizing finding the right partner over rushing into traditional goals.
Lucille McCart, the communications director for Bumble in the Asia-Pacific region, stated, “Women are increasingly looking around and wondering why they feel the need to follow an outdated rule book when it comes to their dating journeys and relationship milestones.” She highlighted that 31 percent of women are no longer focused on traditional relationship timelines.
The “timeline decline” doesn’t signify a diminished importance of romantic relationships, as 72 percent of women on Bumble are still seeking long-term relationships. However, only 23 percent actively seek marriage as a goal. Bumble, founded on the idea that traditional gender roles are outdated, sees this shift as an exciting revolution for singles.
Among those embracing the timeline decline, 1 in 8 singles admitted to actively avoiding friends and family who exert pressure on them. In Australia, this trend is more prevalent, with 1 in 4 women avoiding those who disagree with their choices.
Bumble’s data also highlighted new trends in dating preferences. An increasing number of people prioritize emotional intimacy over physical connection, with 32 percent of singles focusing on emotional intimacy for safety and security. Three in four women emphasized the importance of partners understanding both emotional and physical intimacy.
Another noteworthy trend is the rise of open-hearted masculinity.
One in four men reported actively changing their behavior when dating, becoming more vulnerable and open. For a quarter of men, this newfound openness positively impacted their mental health, and for 1 in 3, a lack of vulnerability became a dating deal-breaker.
Bumble also identified “Val-Core” dating as a rising trend, where individuals value engagement on issues that matter to them, such as politics, climate change, racial injustices, and wealth disparities. Discussing such topics on a first date or even earlier is becoming more common among young people.
Additionally, Bumble noted trends like “Betterment Burnout,” where singles rebel against constant self-improvement, and a spike in sport as a popular commonality among daters. The evolving landscape of dating preferences suggests a broader shift away from traditional expectations and a growing emphasis on individual choices and values.