New Bumble research reveals New Zealanders dating intentions as we begin to emerge from lockdown 

Bumble, the dating app where women make the first move, has today released new data that shows how single New Zealanders are preparing to reignite their dating lives as the country prepares to emerge from lockdown and restrictions over the coming months.  

With Auckland having been in lockdown since mid-August together with restrictions in place across the country, key themes include sober dating, meaningful relationships, and conversations around vaccination status becoming critical to the courting process.

Lucille McCart, APAC Communications Director Bumble said, “With the end of lockdown in sight and restrictions starting to ease as we head into the warm summer months, it appears the majority of single New Zealanders are up for a coffee over a cocktail when it comes to dating, and are also being more cautious about first time sex and instead looking to find more meaningful relationships.”

“What we do know is that putting yourself out there again after a dating hiatus can be nerve wracking, but also empowering. Our new research shows that single Kiwi’s will have to navigate a myriad of unfamiliar conversations, changed priorities and new behaviours and expectations this summer as it comes to finding love post-lockdown.” 

As we get prepared for more freedoms across the country, here’s what we can expect to see in a post pandemic dating world. 

Sober dating is on the rise 

Bumble’s research revealed that only one third of Kiwis say they would rather meet at a bar or restaurant for drinks (35 per cent) than meet at a café or restaurant for coffee (65 per cent) if they were going on a date.

A further six out of ten Kiwis say they feel most comfortable on a date if no one is drinking alcohol. 

These findings come at the same time that Bumble has introduced a new ‘sober’ badge allowing users to celebrate their drinking preferences and sobriety on their dating profiles.

Previously the Bumble community had the options of ‘frequently’, ‘socially’ and ‘never’ within the feature, however people who never drink are not necessarily sober.  

“It is very clear that the pandemic has brought about new dating behaviours for single New Zealanders. Our research shows that many people have reevaluated their relationship with alcohol as we have navigated the pandemic, so as a result, it felt important for Bumble to give our community who are interested in sober dating an easy option to share that,” said McCart.

Casual is out, relationships are in 

The rise of the relationship is quite apparent with Bumble user data** showing that nearly half (48%) of single Kiwis are looking for a relationship, with only 11% looking for something casual. 

Over the course of the pandemic, Bumble witnessed a rise in ‘slow dating’ which is where New Zealanders are drawing out the courting process by taking more time to get to know each other and build a meaningful connection before advancing the relationship.

Another key trend identified by Bumble is ‘new dawn daters’, a rise of people who broke up with their partner during the peak of the pandemic after re-evaluating what they were looking for in a relationship, and who are single for the first time since before the pandemic and acclimating to dating in a new world. 

“There has been so much anticipation about what life and love will look like after lockdown, and you can almost feel the excitement in the air. Our data shows that Kiwis are really valuing relationships as they emerge on the other side of the pandemic which showcases meaningful connections are important as we seek normality in our lives,” said McCart. 


It turns out that age, location, height and now vaccination status is a must-know when it comes to dating this summer.

To support the conversation around vaccination status, earlier this year Bumble launched a new badge feature to allow the Bumble community to share their vaccination status with potential new partners.

This came off the back of a 45 per cent increase between May and June 2021 in Bumble users asking potential dates if they had had the vaccine or were experiencing Covid symptoms before meeting in person.  

Dating options as we emerge from lockdown are also shifting away from virtual dating as the main preference, though Bumble believes video dates will remain part of the dating toolkit in the post-pandemic world.

Internal Bumble data shows that 60 per cent of the Bumble community in New Zealand say they want to date IRL, while just 16% want to go on socially distanced dates (such as with a mask or maintaining physical distance) and almost 25 per cent want to date virtually only. 

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