Love & Relationships

2024 Dating Landscape: How Black Singles Are Redefining Dating Norms & Preferences

In 2024, there’s tons of thought and strategy that can go into dating online. While dating apps offer a convenient space to find potential partners, it’s become more complicated by the day to know just how to land a worthwhile match at all. With paywalls, roses, and Super Likes to push past while using dating apps, a common sentiment among singles is: do these apps really want us to find love at all?

Dating hopefuls are taking time to reevaluate their approach to dating as many discussions surrounding online dating are significantly influencing user behavior, particularly among Black singles. According to Jonathan Kirkland, Head of Brand and Marketing for BLK, these conversations shape the thoughts, expectations, and actions of singles and how they engage with dating platforms.

“The Black conversation shapes up the online dating world big time. We’ve seen how discussions around inclusivity, authenticity, and cultural relevance have driven more users to [dating] platforms, where they feel represented and understood,” Kirkland tells xoNecole. “But hey, it's all about personal vibes. Instead of buying into the hype, we're all about our community creating their own stories and shifting the narrative.”

How Online Dating Discourse Shapes Gen Z and Millennial Dating Preferences and Behaviors

Woman-swiping-on-dating-appsIlka & Franz/Getty Images

Across different age groups, distinct shifts in dating preferences and behaviors have been observed. Kirkland tells us that Gen Z prioritizes authenticity, social awareness, and online connectivity, while Millennials are focused on sharing values, pursuing their aspirations, and authentically representing their cultural identity.

These changes are not only shifting how singles are approaching the app, they’re influencing the flexibility in what was once seen as “non-negotiables" in long-term desires that are now becoming plausible considerations.

In a recent survey conducted by BLK, 100% of Gen Z and Millennials who participated in the study said they'd be open to starting a family with a friend. “It’s like, life's throwing them curveballs, and they're flipping the script on what family means,” Kirkland explains.

“Gen Z sees this whole platonic co-parenting thing as a game-changer for how we do families, making things more flexible and diverse. Millennials say it's all about building up your chosen family and locking down those intentional connections. Times are definitely changing.”

As culture evolves and social norms shift, these findings show that daters across generations are embodying a sense of adaptability in order to create the life they desire and love they deserve. That’s why we’ve tapped BLK’s Johnathan Kirkland to put us onto the 2024 dating trends that will help you win at love.

On the top trends singles can look forward to in the 2024 online dating space:  

“One trend is ‘dawn dating,’ where you squeeze in dates before your workday kicks off. This offers a new level of convenience and efficiency,” he explains.

“And since it's an election year, get ready for 'partisan dating.' That's where singles prefer connecting with someone who's vibing on the same political wavelength. And with so many young voters more into the issues rather than the candidates, expect some real deep convos over policy matters.”

“Plus, we’re going to see more of a focus on looking after your mental health while you're dating. Platforms are rolling out initiatives to help you build solid relationships, while also prioritizing your own wellbeing,” he adds.

On the best icebreakers to hit a conversational flow with new matches: 

Kirkland says that while breaking the ice can be difficult, one way to break the ice is to throw out questions that show your genuine interest. “Ask about their passions, where they love to travel, or maybe something cool they've experienced culturally lately.”

“It’s also nice to toss in a fun pop culture question, like, ‘So, are you #TeamMegan or #TeamNicki?’ It's all about getting that convo flowing.” he suggests. "BLK recently rolled out new profile prompts in our app last year to help spark these conversations. They're little conversation starters you can display on your profile, written or even voiced, so people can slide into your DMs without any awkwardness.”

On the best practices for users looking to connect with men who have aligned dating goals and avoid hookup culture:  

“If you're on the lookout for that long-term love, you know it must be with someone who’s on the same page as you. That's where setting intentions in your profile comes in,” Kirkland shares.

“Be crystal clear about what you're after. And when you're scoping out potential matches, keep an eye out for those little signs that they're ready for something serious, too. Look for hints in their profiles, like if they're talking about their future goals or if your interests and values seem to click. But it's not all about what's written down. When you start chatting, keep it real and open. Lay it all out on the table early on—no beating around the bush.”

"Be crystal clear about what you're after. And when you're scoping out potential matches, keep an eye out for those little signs that they're ready for something serious too."

He continues, “Whether it's long-term love, a casual vibe, or just making new pals. No more wasting time on matches that aren't on the same page as you.”

On the advice he’d give to users who want to give dating apps another try, but are discouraged to do so:

“Let’s be honest. Dating apps are like any other technology —they're constantly evolving. So that app you checked out last year may have added new features, cool filters, and better ways to connect,” Kirkland says.

“If you're feeling a bit anxious about diving back into the dating app world, remember this: every swipe, chat, and date is a chance to learn something new about yourself. It's all about growth and discovery. Keep an open mind, but don't forget to set some boundaries and stay true to yourself. And if it all gets a bit overwhelming, take a breather.”

He adds, “Focus on some self-care, hit up your friends for a pep talk, or even chat with a pro if you need to. Because hey, who knows? The perfect match might just be a swipe away — so keep swiping.”

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