For years, people have suggested dating apps create a version of Spotify Wrapped, calling for an annual summary of all the matches, first dates and bad messages they’ve encountered. While no dating app has taken up the suggestion yet, TikTok users started making and sharing their own “Dating Wrapped” slideshows this year.
Dating Wrapped videos feature users sharing self-reported statistics including how many first dates they went on, where they went out, what kind of activity they did on the date and the average amount of dates they went on with a single person.
A few TikTok creators have made similar year-end dating summaries for their Bumble or Hinge profiles in the past. However, Dating Wrapped videos blew up this year, and the hashtag #DatingWrapped has amassed more than 10.3 million views on the platform.
Alexandria McLean, the first to post one of these videos on Dec. 3, shared that she went on 21 first dates this year. McLean said she initially made her video because she is a fan of Spotify Wrapped and enjoys sharing her dating stories with friends. She got the idea to make her slideshow in late October and had “teased” the drop to her co-workers and friends for months. She said she posted her video close to the release of this year’s Spotify Wrapped to capitalize on its hype.
McLean said she thinks the videos make people feel less alone in their romantic pursuits. While the videos are mostly funny, many users have also shared the more unfortunate parts of dating, such as pictures of the times they cried over matches or the number of people they’ve had to block on social media.
“Dating can feel so isolating and almost upsetting sometimes. … I think it’s really cool that people were so vulnerable and open to sharing,” McLean said.
Margie Zank, a TikTok creator who participated in the trend, went on eight first dates this year.
She agreed that seeing other people post their statistics made her realize that everyone has dating problems.
“Dating is hard and it’s not sad, but it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, I wonder why this stuff didn’t work out.’ But it’s good to know that it didn’t really work out for a lot of people with higher or lower numbers [of dates],” she said.
Many of the videos had similarities, with a number of users sharing a preference for Hinge, dinner dates and ending the relationship first.
“I think the pattern we all shared is that we all ended up alone,” Zank said. “Like I haven’t seen a single one where the ending is like, ‘And now I’m happy in a relationship.’”
Still, most people had very different experiences, depending on their personality, desires, goals and sexuality.
Dannie Dupone, who uses they and she pronouns, hopped on the trend after seeing it on their For You page. Dupone made a “Queer Edition” of a Dating Wrapped TikTok on Wednesday after she said she was mostly coming across videos made by straight people and wanted to create something she could relate to. She said she was happy to LGBTQ representation to the trend. A few more LGBTQ users have since posted their own dating recaps in the past two days.
“Straight relationships are so different than gay ones,” Dupone said. “So I was like, I need to make my own because I don’t really relate to most of this.”
One difference, Dupone said, included the distinction between first and second dates. Dupone added a slide for “multi-night sleepovers” in their Dating Wrapped, which they felt was more common in queer relationships.
Dupone also added categories for astrology and gender expression (such as feminine or masculine) because they thought it would resonate more with a queer audience. These incorporations did appear to resonate with Dupone’s audience. Dupone said commenters were especially interested in Dupone’s taste in zodiac signs.
In addition to being a source of entertainment for viewers, McLean said preparing her Dating Wrapped video allowed her to reflect on what she wants and needs romantically. She took a break from dating in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic, so this year, she wanted to put herself out there. While she’s still single, she said her dates helped her better understand what she finds important in a relationship.
“I’m so grateful because I learned so much about myself from all those experiences,” McLean said. “There’s so many men who I went out with this year where we were like, ‘You know what, I don’t feel a romantic connection, but let’s stay friends.’ And I think it’s really important just to reflect on your dating life.”
Meanwhile, Dupone said they discovered more about their own patterns in dating that they want to work on in 2023. In several cases, Dupone said they felt like they didn’t give their potential partners a “fighting chance” and they hoped to “let things play out” more moving forward.
Dupone said they want to find their “perfect person” next year, but they are also excited to continue meeting new people.
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