Lucille McCart, Bumble’s APAC Communications Director. Image supplied.

Should you and your partner share values and beliefs? Discussing the 2024 dating trends with Bumble

Dating app Bumble’s newly-released report of dating trends for 2024 suggests next year "is set to be the year of ‘self’ in dating and relationships, with more people looking inwards at what they value and want." In partnership with Bumble.

As the world has strived to return to some normality following the COVID-19 pandemic, 2023 has undeniably been a huge year.

With travel, entertainment and live events back in the picture, it’s been a year of celebration thanks to monumental sporting and pop culture moments such as the Matildas playing at the Women’s World Cup, and the release of the Barbie movie. It’s also been a time of uncertainty and emotion with an international war, a referendum and more floods and fires around the world. 

Both the positive and negative moments inevitably force us to continue thinking about ourselves, how we view the world and what social and political causes are important to us. Our values shape how we approach various parts of life, including the relationships we form with others. 

Dating app Bumble’s newly-released report of dating trends for 2024 suggests next year “is set to be the year of ‘self’ in dating and relationships, with more people looking inwards at what they value and want." 

Described as ‘Val-Core Dating,' this particular trend indicates that women will be looking for a partner who not only has shared priorities and cares about similar social causes but is also willing to actively engage. 

“Being aware of and open about your values and then having those values shared in dating are more important now than ever. I think that is a reflection of not just how polarising some social issues in the media have become, but also how much more engaged young people are, especially with social causes,” Lucille McCart, Bumble’s APAC Communications Director, tells Missing Perspectives

Bumble’s research shows that women are less open to dating someone with differing political views and for 1 in 3 women, it is a turn-off if someone they are dating is not aware of current societal issues. 

McCart says women being clear on their personal values and what their shared values with their partner are, is important in “establishing a healthy, respectful, long-term connection”. She also emphasises that balance is important. You don’t necessarily need to agree on every issue. It’s about having a conversation with your partner and understanding which values are important to be aligned, and which differing opinions would be deal breakers. 

“It's really healthy to have a debate and different views on things. We don't want to just be with people that agree with us all the time, but your values are something that’s really, really important to share,” says McCart.

Using herself as an example, McCart says feminist values are important for her and so would be sharing those with a potential partner, but differing values about taxes may be an area where she’d be open to more flexibility. 

“I would really struggle to be with someone that didn't share my values when it comes to gender roles and feminism and misogyny… but if someone wanted to tell me that they had different opinions to me on how our tax system should be structured for example, I'm OK if they have a different belief set to me,” says McCart. 

The research from Bumble indicates that more young people are inclined to have conversations about shared values earlier on in the piece, compared to their parents’ generations. They won’t necessarily wait a few weeks or months to express where they stand on issues such as human rights, sustainability and feminism. Nor will they wait a long time to ask a potential partner what their stance is. A sure sign that our generation is sick and tired of playing games. We want to know if things have a real shot from the jump.

“We’re seeing people putting badges on their [dating] profile, saying that they care about the environment or climate change or feminism or trans rights – displaying their values really openly and being less afraid to have these conversations early,” says McCart. 

"You don't want to get quite far down the road with someone and then be like, ‘Oh my God, this guy listens to Joe Rogan every night before bed,” she laughs. 

Another topic that’s captivated many people over the last couple of months is women’s sport, in part due to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup that took place in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year. We saw the Matildas break broadcasting records, with a record 11.15 million people tuning into the semi-final. But it goes beyond home too. We’ve also seen the ‘Taylor Swift Effect’ on the NFL - with Taylor’s attendance at a Kansas City game resulting in a 400% increase in jersey sales and skyrocketing audience figures. 

Bumble’s report states that for 1 in 3 singles, a shared love of sports has now become a ‘must have’ regardless of whether you’re a player or simply a spectator – the trend is referred to as ‘Most Valuable Partner (MVP)’. More than half (55%) of profiles on Bumble include a sports interest badge, and it can instantly be a conversation starter in the dating world.

“This is something that people are using to bond over and make connections and get to know each other – [asking] who's your team and who do you support?” explains McCart. “Mutual interests are really important in a relationship. You don't need to have everything in common but going to see a sports game together is a bonding experience.” 

But it’s not just about finding a partner who loves sport. The idea of aligned and shared values comes into play once again. Many women are after a partner who also has respect for female sports players and their rights to fair representation, pay and opportunities. 

“Something that women are looking for is if you show respect for female athletes – if you've been on board with all of these social movements around the Matildas. That makes you appealing to women as well because women are looking for men that share their values in that way.” 

Ultimately, all any of us want out of our relationships is to be seen, understood, respected and cared for. It turns out the best way young people are working out how to achieve that is through being upfront about their values. If you know who you are, don’t be afraid of it. The right person will stand right alongside you, warts and all.