What is ‘slowmance’, the newest trend among LGBTQ+ daters?

According to new research published by Hinge, a slowmance is the key to building healthy connections in the world of modern queer dating.

This article is about the new 'slowmance' dating trend. The image shows a queer couple in bed. The person on the left wears a white vest, has short black hair and kissed their partner on the right on the head. The person on the right has dark long hair and smiles with their eyes closed.
Image: Ketut Subiyanto via Pexels

As the dating sphere evolves, so too does its language. While by now, many will be familiar with terms like ‘situationship’, ‘ghosting’ and ‘hard and soft launches’, it’s time to get acquainted with ‘slowmance’ – the newest trend for LGBTQ+ daters.

The word featured prominently throughout a new report published by Hinge on Thursday, June 6. After surveying over 14,000 LGBTQ+ users, the app shared Data, Advice, Trends and Expertise (D.A.T.E) surrounding how to best build healthy connections in 2024 and beyond.

“For LGBTQIA+ daters, modern dating can bring on a wave of unique challenges, from exploring queerness for the first time to disclosing relationships to friends and family. Given that external pressures play a big role in personal dating journeys, Hinge’s 2024 D.A.T.E. Report found that LGBTQIA+ daters are leaning towards a slowmance,” the document reads, defining the term as “Dating someone more consciously by slowing the pace down, putting clear boundaries in place, and setting intentions.”

The team at Hinge states that opting for a slowmance can “help daters build a strong foundation, and make choices that lead to a smoother dating process in a world that sometimes feels far too complicated”.

“It’s an approach to cultivating the emotionally intimate relationships that LGBTQIA+ Hinge daters say they are looking for—relationships built on connection, vulnerability, and trust.”

So, how does one execute a slowmance? Step one: Embrace a soft start. Hinge’s research showed that only 20% of LGBTQ+ users prefer skipping the small talk and asking a deep question at the start of conversation. Therefore, the team recommends keeping initial conversations light, positive and engaging; start slow and take the time to work out what makes you and your match feel at ease.

Step two: Plan low-pressure dates. Go somewhere with a relaxed environment with a focus on getting to know one another better. This allows for a safer and more laid-back vibe where it’s easier to gauge potential chemistry before exploring things further. Clubs, parties and cinemas tend to be lesser preferred first-date spots, while coffee shops emerged as the favourites, followed by bars and restaurants.

Another interesting point to note is the top reasons LGBTQ+ Hinge users would go on a second date. Flowing conversation ranked highest at 72%, followed by laughter at 67%, with just 14% of respondents prioritising a kiss.

The third and final step is to consider how and if you want to soft launch a partner. This term was mentioned earlier, and for those who don’t already know, refers to the publicising of a relationship online. 

“Posting on social media can either build or hinder the development of emotional intimacy and trust in the relationship, meaning that a mindful approach is key,” Hinge says.

“This is especially true when LGBTQIA+ daters face unique concerns around safety and acceptance.”

While some people might be entirely open about their sexuality or gender identity, others may not, meaning that communication surrounding publicly sharing relationship details is essential. According to the app’s research, 77% of LGBTQ+ users believe that people should have a conversation with romantic partners before posting about them on social media.

To find out more about the ‘slowmance’ or read Hinge’s full LGBTQIA+ D.A.T.E Report 2024, click here.

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