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Reimagining Dating: What People Want and How Innovation Can Make It Happen

February 2024 – George Lee

Theme: Uncategorised

Reimagining Dating:
What People Want and How Innovation Can Make It Happen

Are you tired of swiping endlessly on dating apps, only to find that finding the right match feels like searching for a needle in a haystack? You’re not alone. In a recent survey ran by our innovation team at NICA with our Voice community we explored dating trends across different stages of life, and several key insights emerged, shedding light on the challenges people face and their desires for a better dating experience. 

A screen showing Tinder log in

Photography by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Our survey tapped into the wisdom of individuals across generations, revealing five common themes that hold the key to innovation in the dating realm. These insights, drawn from the lived experiences of people of all ages, offer valuable opportunities to reimagine the dating landscape. By addressing the challenges encountered by individuals of every age in navigating modern romance, these ideas pave the way for a more fulfilling and authentic dating journey. Join us as we delve into these themes and explore how innovation can transform the dating experience. 

 1. The Quest for Connection

Finding someone who truly clicks with you is like finding a rare gem. Whether you’ve been actively dating or taking a break, the struggle remains the same: finding someone who shares your interests, values, and long-term goals. It’s not just about physical attraction anymore; it’s about finding that deeper connection that transcends surface-level interactions. 

Innovation Needed? Dating platforms need to go beyond superficial matching algorithms. They should focus on fostering meaningful connections by incorporating factors like shared values, life goals, and personality compatibility into their matching algorithms. By prioritising quality over quantity, these platforms can help users find more compatible matches and increase the likelihood of forming lasting relationships. 

Many users' express dissatisfaction with the lack of authenticity and trustworthiness on dating apps.

2. Reimagining Online Dating

While online dating has its perks, such as convenience and accessibility, it’s not without its drawbacks. Many users’ express dissatisfaction with the lack of authenticity and trustworthiness on dating apps. From deceptive profiles to inappropriate messages and images, the online dating landscape leaves much to be desired. 

Innovation Needed? Stricter governance and verification processes are essential to rebuild trust in online dating platforms. Incorporating features like verified profiles, user feedback systems, and moderation tools can help weed out fake profiles and discourage inappropriate behavior. Additionally, platforms should explore ways to facilitate more meaningful interactions, such as video profiles or virtual meetups, to bridge the gap between online and offline dating experiences. 


A pink rose against a pink background

Photography by Tirza Van Diijk on Unsplash

3. Bringing Back the Romance

In a world dominated by digital interactions, the art of face-to-face communication seems to be fading away. People crave real connections and meaningful interactions, yet the prevalence of online dating has led to a decline in in-person dating opportunities. 

Innovation Needed? There’s a growing demand for more offline dating opportunities where people can meet and interact in real life. Innovative solutions could include organising local events, speed dating nights, or community meetups tailored to different interest groups. By creating safe and inclusive spaces for people to connect offline, dating platforms can help facilitate more authentic and fulfilling relationships. 

Woman smiling looking at her phone

Photography by Getty Images on Unsplash

4. Navigating the Dating Scene

Dating can be a minefield of social cues, etiquette rules, and unspoken expectations. From knowing how to flirt respectfully to gracefully handling rejection, many individuals feel lost in the world of modern dating. 

Innovation Needed? Dating platforms can provide valuable resources and support to help users navigate the dating scene with confidence. This could involve offering online workshops, articles, or coaching services on topics like flirting tips, communication skills, and rejection etiquette. By empowering users with the knowledge and tools to navigate the complexities of dating, platforms can foster healthier and more respectful interactions among users. 

The world of dating is ripe for innovation.

5. Prioritising Safety and Accountability

Safety concerns loom large in the world of dating, particularly for women who often feel vulnerable in certain situations. From online harassment to unsafe in-person encounters, there’s a pressing need to enhance safety measures and hold individuals accountable for their actions. 

Innovation Needed? Dating platforms must prioritise the safety and well-being of their users by implementing robust safety features and protocols. This could include features like panic buttons, real-time location tracking, and emergency contact integration to ensure users feel secure while using the platform. Additionally, platforms should work closely with law enforcement agencies and advocacy groups to address safety concerns and provide resources for users experiencing harassment or abuse. 

 In conclusion, the world of dating is ripe for innovation. By listening to the needs and concerns of users of all ages and implementing thoughtful solutions, dating platforms can create a more enjoyable, authentic, and safer dating experience for everyone involved. Whether it’s reimagining online dating, fostering real-life connections, or empowering users with the tools to navigate the dating scene, there’s ample opportunity for innovation to reshape the future of dating for the better at every stage of our lives. 


More Information

Would you like to take part in our global insights survey?

If you would like to take part in our global insights surveys, then we would love you to join Voice®.

Voice® is a global community where every one of us has a vital role. We are a community of people from all walks of life, different ages, and backgrounds. Everyone has life experiences worth sharing. And we want to hear yours.  

The Voice community is the driving force at the heart of the National Innovation Centre for Ageing looking at every aspect of our lives as we grow older — where we live, learn, work, exercise, shop, eat, travel, the clothes we wear, and how we have fun and love 

You can find out more information and ways to join Voice here.