Christmas Dating Trends for 2020

Christmas is a time where we sit back and reflect on the year that was… and maybe consider what may be missing in our lives. As a single female, the lack of a meaningful romantic relationship is highlighted over the Christmas period, and I start to revisit my neglected online dating accounts…

We spoke to Sharon Draper, relationship expert at eHarmony about the latest Christmas dating trends for 2020.

Chimneying  – Taking inspiration from Santa’s own descent up and down the chimney (drop in and get away quickly!), over one  in ten singles (14%) are keen to have a seasonal fling. Research indicates their motives include missing sex due to lockdown restrictions (35%), as well as looking to feel less lonely after a tough few months on their own (28%). 

While Chimneying may be tempting (and hopefully fun!), there is no chance to explore emotional compatibility, and these relationships will probably melt like snow by the new year.  

Darcying – Australia has battled lockdowns and ongoing social distancing this year. Even beachgoers were warned to stay a ‘towel-length apart’. But there was an upside. With intimate contact  off the table, many singles embraced Video Dating and old-fashioned outings like taking a socially  distanced walk in the park or along the shore together. This trend has been dubbed ‘Darcying’  by dating experts, taking inspiration from the chivalrous characters in Pride and Prejudice.  The great thing about this is that it provides an opportunity to get to know each other slowly in a safe space, rather than rushing into physical relationships.  

Partridging  – In many ways, 2020 was the year of single empowerment. Research suggested that while  some battled loneliness, over a quarter (29%) realised they are happier alone. This newfound happiness has been coined ‘Partridging’ with Aussies becoming more comfortable being the only partridge in the pear tree – much like in the Twelve Days of Christmas carol.

Turbo relationships  – It’s been an intense time for couples living together in lockdown. Research found that 7% of new couples feel their relationship had been fast-tracked in 2020 as a result of Covid-19, which created a wave of ‘turbo relationships’.  In addition, over a third (36%) of people newly living with a partner believed the first couple months of lockdown felt equivalent to two years of commitment.

PandemEx During the first lockdown back in April, the term PandemEx factored into singles’ conversations. This is because many singles found themselves either contacting or being contacted by an ex. In the lead up to Christmas, nearly one in ten (6%) have since admitted that the challenging landscape this year has also made them want to revisit a relationship with an ex. This festive behaviour is known as Marleying, which is a reference to the ghostly Jacob Marley revisiting his former love and friends in Dickens’ celebrated tome, A Christmas Carol.


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