Want to make dating fun again in 2023? This is the trend to know

Written by Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and women’s issues. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time. You can find her on Twitter at @laurenjanegeall.

Get ready for your dating life to (metaphorically) rise from the ashes with the help of 2023’s newest trend.

Name: phoenix-ing

Meaning: to put it simply, phoenix-ing is the process of returning to dating with renewed focus or excitement after experiencing burnout (kind of like rising from the ashes of your old dating self, *wink wink*). Modern dating can be a lot to deal with, but phoenix-ing is all about diving back in with a new approach, with the intention of making things more fun.

Origin: phoenix-ing is a term we coined here at Stylist Extra after noticing the number of people determined to make dating work for them in 2023. It’s no secret that modern dating can be overwhelming – last year, a US-based study found that almost four in five adults aged 18-54 experienced emotional fatigue or burnout from online dating. But thanks to a combination of new dating trends (including the return of IRL dating) and innovative dating app features that make the process feel more fun, there’s a sense of change in the air. 

It’s giving very ‘new year, new me’ vibes. I’m not usually the biggest fan of the whole ‘new year, new me’ message, but if people are rediscovering the joy in dating and meeting new people, then I’m all for it.

There’s just one problem – how do you overcome burnout in the first place? That’s definitely a tricky one, but there are ways to go about it. First things first, you’ll need to identify that you’re feeling burnt out.

Well, I’ve been feeling unmotivated, overwhelmed and generally ‘meh’ when I think about opening a dating app. Does that count? Those happen to be some of the key signs associated with dating burnout. Others include feeling lonely and experiencing confusion over your online and offline personalities.

I’m glad I’m such a textbook case. But what do I do now? There are lots of techniques you can turn to, but probably the most important step you can take is setting some good old-fashioned boundaries. Having notifications switched on for all your dating apps may ensure you don’t miss a message from the person you matched with last night, but it means you have to be on 24/7. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the perfect recipe for feeling overwhelmed.  

I guess so… but what about when I’m actually using the apps? One of the best ways to make using dating apps feel fun again – and therefore embrace the true spirit of phoenix-ing – is to stop treating them like something to do when you’re bored. We’ve all been there, but scrolling through people’s profiles while you’re procrastinating at work or sitting on the sofa probably isn’t going to make you feel good. Instead, why not try restricting yourself to scrolling through 10 or 20 profiles a day and really take the time to look at the information before making a decision? Dating trends such as guardrailing and priori-dating could also make things feel less stressful.

That does all sound pretty chill. Good! At the end of the day, dating should be fun. Haven’t we got enough to stress about elsewhere?

Definitely. Your presence alone is enough for me to deal with. And here I was thinking we were getting along so nicely. 

Image: Getty/Stylist design team

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