Gen Z should embrace being cringe to find love, Hinge says from Mashable

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With Valentine’s Day dangerously close, singles may be reexamining their dating habits. Gen Z daters especially — given that Hinge reports that a vast majority, 90 percent, want to find love. In Hinge’s new report of the top Gen Z dating trends, it sheds light on how young daters currently feel, while Hinge’s experts give advice on how to actually find love.

Compared to millennials, Gen Z singles are 47 percent more likely to say the pandemic made them nervous to talk to new people, and 25 percent more likely to say the pandemic made them less confident on a first date. What’s more is that 44 percent of Gen Z daters have little-to-no-dating experience (no doubt partly a result of lockdown during their formative years), but nearly all — 95 percent — worry about rejection. Over half, 56 percent, said that worrying about rejection has held them back from pursuing a potential relationship; all these stats come from surveys conducted in August 2023 of over 15,000 global Hinge users.

Still, this cohort is perhaps more lovey-dovey than millennials: Gen Z daters are 30 percent more likely than millennial ones to believe there’s one soulmate for each person, and 39 percent more likely to consider themselves “romantically idealistic.”

So one piece of advice for these inexperienced hopeless romantics? Embrace being cringe, Hinge says. The app’s love and connection expert Moe Ari Brown said that we may experience “cringe” — embarrassment or awkwardness — when going outside our comfort zones, doing something that requires vulnerability, or risking rejection. Dating comprises all of these things, so cringey feelings are understandable.

Brown said you don’t need to be rid of cringe to date successfully. Instead, acknowledge the feeling and accept it. “I encourage you to shift your focus away from the fear and focus on the potential rewards like making a powerful connection,” Brown said in the report.

No one likes being rejected, Hinge’s director of relationship science Logan Ury said in the report, but many worthwhile things in life require opening yourself up to it — like applying to your ideal college or job. And, yes, finding a partner too.

Other than rejection and cringe sensitivity, Hinge also identified “Digital Body Language,” or DBL, which the app defines as “a type of communication in which the style of digital interaction is used to express or convey information,” as a Gen Z dating trend. Considering Gen Z is made up of “digital natives,” it’s no surprise that they’re fluent in this non-verbal cues like emojis and message length.

“Digital body language” cues daters look for to see if a match is interested.
Credit: Hinge

Gen Z daters are 33 percent more likely than millennial daters to say they’re more comfortable chatting online than IRL, for one thing. They’re also 50 percent more likely to delay responding to someone they’re interested in in order to “play it cool.”

The majority of daters on Hinge, 69 percent, rely on DBL to decide if they want to commit going out with someone. The top three DBL signs folks look for to gauge interest are the conversation initiator, message consistency, and message timing. Hinge advises to initiate and be consistent to exhibit “good” DBL — and also to keep the tone of your messages relaxed yet action-oriented.

Check out Hinge’s full Gen Z dating report for more insights into how the youngest adults are dating.

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