‘Ticks’ and ‘icks’ of dating in 2023

published on 9. Feb 2023

Match has revealed what’s set to be the biggest turn-ons and turn-offs of dating this year, including which emojis should be cancelled

The new year gives us an opportunity for a fresh start and almost one in seven singles (13 per cent) admit finding a partner is top of their resolutions. However, dating app Match is warning singles of the biggest potential turn-offs of 2023 – some of the most off-putting things are making sexual innuendos when messaging a potential partner (39 per cent) as well as using bad grammar in their messages (32 per cent).

A cheesy chat up line (29 per cent) and replying too slowly (23 per cent) is also considered a vibe killer. Instead, opening with a joke (37 per cent) or a genuine question about a person’s profile (25 per cent) are the top ‘ticks’ for a prospective partner and the best way to grab someone’s attention.

Emojis are also a bone of contention for singles; the research reveals that less is more, as almost one in four (23 per cent) believe that too many emojis are off-putting when messaging a match.

The top 20 emojis considered cringey and should be “cancelled” from your digital dating vocabulary are:

  1. 🍆 47%
  2.  👅 30%
  3.  😈 25%
  4.  🍑 22%
  5.  💪 16%
  6. 💋 13%
  7.  💔 13%
  8.  🙈 13%
  9.  🙊 12%
  10.  😝 12%
  11. 😜 12%
  12. 😤 11%
  13. 😹 10%
  14. 👀 10%
  15. 🤐 9%
  16. 🙏 9%
  17. 🥴 9%
  18. 🔥 8%
  19. 💁🏼‍♀️ 7%
  20. 😘 7%

For those looking to kickstart their dating journey this year, there’s never been a better time. Match data reveals that Sunday 1st January, dubbed “Singles’ Sunday”, was one of the busiest ever days for the platform, with traffic to the platform peaking at 10pm. In spite of the cost of living and the January blues, it looks as though January will continue to be a busy month for online dating as singles try to navigate the new year.

Hayley Quinn, dating expert for Match says: “If you’re looking to make the most of your matches in 2023, then you can create some easy wins by avoiding common dating turn-offs – some more obvious than others. Examples being the overuse of emojis, as they now look dated and uncool, and having poor grammar. When doing so, re-read your messages before hitting send to ensure you’re giving off an idea of your best self to a potential partner.

“Although the economic outlook is bleak, singles are more motivated than ever to meet someone. There’s advantages to being in a couple (it’s much easier to save) and more than that, the love and connection we get from relationships is a great buffer against the gloomy news. Expect to see a trend of singles cutting costs by committing to more video-dates, and splitting the bill, more than ever before. However, remember that we’re all on our own dating journeys and finding someone at the right time is as important as finding someone at all”.

Match predicts the dating trends we’ll be seeing in 2023:

  1. Consciously couponing: It used to be considered cringey for a date to use a voucher, but with everyone feeling the financial squeeze, money saving dates are making a comeback. That could be deal hunting, using vouchers, or opting for more low-key dates (remember the lockdown “walk and talk”?) versus doing a more extravagant dinner date. In fact, one in five singles say they’ve been put off when someone has suggested an expensive date, assuming they aren’t financially compatible. Be prepared as this may also lead to a surge in people suggesting “at home” dates too. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, ensure you’re always cautious and meet for the first time in a public place.
  2. Double Dutch: Some people love ‘going Dutch’ on a date, whilst others would traditionally be mortified if their date didn’t offer to pay. However, with inflation through the roof there will no longer be an expectation to be “treated” to a date and going 50/50 will be more popular. By sharing, people are more likely to form authentic connections, and choose partners based on a genuine connection rather than a flashy date.
  3. Conflabbing: Lots of singles have cottoned on to the power of voice when it comes to dating. Adding a voice note to your Match profile is a great way to express your personality to your dates, without typing a far-too-long message to them. Listening to a voice can help know whether you’ll find someone attractive, so remember, this works both ways – upload a voice note to your profile and show a match what you have to offer
  4. Cannonballing: We’ve had too many years of ghosting and breadcrumbing – singles are fed up of idle daters. They’re ready to cut to the chase and dive into the deep end with their potential partner. Gone is intermittent, endless messaging and going to great lengths to postpone dates. Now people are taking a more direct approach, prioritising meeting others quicker than ever before to ensure no time is wasted.
  5. Thawing: Sometimes matches are “frozen” – whether it is due to work commitments, travel, or simply life getting in the way, conversation and messaging might seem like a second thought, leaving a potential good match on hold. However, as a nation we’ve become more empathetic to the struggles of everyday life and now singles are keener than ever to be open and honest about their situation, leaving room to rekindle things with their match. Rekindling may take time, but with a dose of patience and leaving space for the other to rebuild dialogue, singles are hopeful it will lead to a date well worth the wait!
  6. Scrumming: A one-on-one date can be stressful for some: meeting a stranger for the first time and breaking the ice with awkward conversation can make it difficult to navigate how you really feel about a person. To avoid this and keep the act of dating fun (and not a ‘waste of time’), we’ve seen a trend of singles arranging dates with other couples. Helping to break the barrier of first-date embarrassment and creates an environment where they can see their dates interact in a group set up, group dates make it easier to assess compatibility.
  7. Hesidating: “Taking it slow” is no novel approach to dating, but singles today are implementing an extra layer of patience in their dating life. As the slow movement has spread across many aspects of our day-to-day experience, singles take each date and encounter with caution, ensuring their time is kept precious and only used for those they really care about.
Contact Presse Jennie Williamson
About Match Launched in 1995, Match is a leading online dating brand in the UK, offering a wide array of features and services.
Through the Match app, singles have all the means to meet other singles ready for a real relationship, via Live and Audio discovery features, or IRL Singles Events. Combining technological innovation, efficiency, support (during LiveCoaching sessions) and Customer Care, Match continually offers new services to spark real connections.
As a founding member of the Online Dating Association (ODA), Match is committed to providing a safe and confidential community for its members.

Match is operated by Meetic and its affiliated companies in Europe, which are part of Match Group, a leading provider of digital technologies designed to help people make meaningful connections. For more information, visit
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