Contra-dating, micro-flirting among biggest dating trends in 2024

Micro-flirting, contra-dating and slow-dating are said to be 2024’s biggest dating trends.  According to a relationship expert, age-gap relationships could become more common.

Relationship coach Jonathan Hartley from the Positives Dating site has revealed the top dating trends of 2024. This year, trends focus on mental health, well-being, and trying new things.

These trends can help you understand the mindset of the dating pool and prepare you for potential connections in 2024. 

Contra-dating: dating ‘above’ or ‘below’ yourself

This is the term used when you want to broaden your horizon and contradict yourself and the usual type by going for someone you would not usually go for.

Having a type when looking for a romantic connection is very normal. However, this can narrow down the dating pool and decrease your chances of finding a potential partner.  

Furthermore, dating someone not your type may indicate to yourself that what you want is not what you necessarily need. You may experience a different outlook on life and relationships or even be exposed to activities, foods, or hobbies you usually would have passed on.

Age is just a number   

The year 2024 is the year to experience connections with people older or younger than you. According to Bumble, a dating app, users are widening their age range filters. Over 63% of people surveyed revealing that age is not a defining factor when dating.    

Though an age gap may seem daunting, remembering that some celebrity couples have significant age gaps may make the idea of dating someone younger or older more desirable. 

Micro-flirting to test the waters

“Micro-flirting” is a fairly new term, used to describe flirting in a subtle, not-so-obvious way. It is usually done to gauge if one person is interested in the other.

Micro-flirting will be on the rise in 2024 as highlighted through search volume data. Worldwide searches for micro-flirting have increased over the last month, according to Google Trends. 

Some examples of micro-flirting include noticing small details that have changed. Subtle changes in body language when the other person is around. Or becoming defensive or protective of the other person.


New red flag 

Ghosting is used when someone suddenly ends all communication with you. Ghosting can leave people feeling confused, irritated, and unwanted, negatively impacting self-confidence. Therefore, it should be considered an immediate red flag and a sign of poor communication.   

There are numerous reasons why people may “ghost” you.  These range from emotional unavailability, attachment styles, or just feeling overwhelmed. 

Taking things easy in ‘slow-dating’

Experiences such as ghosting can impact mental health, and the dating experience can become very draining. About 58% of users are becoming more self-aware and cautious when dating to protect their mental health. This is in line with a survey that the dating website Bumble conducted.

The survey found that 31% of users surveyed are “slow-dating”. The term is used for when one is more considerate of how often they go on dates. Also, generally, take things slow to build an emotional connection in a pressure-free and relaxed environment.

The build-up to creating a connection with a partner can be overwhelming. If it does not go well, it can be mentally draining, which is why slow is best. 

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