We're in Our Betterment Burnout Era: Here's What It Means For Your Dating Life


Whether you’re in a relationship or not, chances are February 14th is marked on your calendar. If you’re in love, perhaps it means a fancy dinner where you can attempt that hairstyle you saw on TikTok. If you're single, maybe it means a girl’s night out, or a self-care night in. Well, according to the female-forward social network, Bumble, 2024 is the Year of the Self...and here’s what it means for your dating life. 

Bumble's studies show that after all of these years of working on ourselves, we’re finally over it. Alas, we’re ready to be ourselves! Even further, your single friends, or you (and definitely me), are rebelling against the need to be the best, with more than two in three women taking proactive steps to be happy with who they are now. The cherry on top? 40 percent of women also said they are only interested in dating people who aren’t trying to change them. Welcome to the Betterment Burnout Era. Ahead, we tapped Bumble’s sex and relationships expert, Shan Boodram, for the latest dating trends to look out for this season, and how they can impact your love life (no reservations required).

Meet the Expert

Shan Boodram is a certified sex educator and intimacy expert with a M.S. in Psychology. Boodram is Bumble's Sex & Relationships Expert, host of the top podcast Lovers and Friends, best-selling author of The Game of Desire, and a mother of two. 

On Betterment Burnout in Dating

“Our surveys at Bumble have shown that people are burnt out when it comes to self betterment. People are exhausted from trying to be better, or thinner, or prettier, or funnier, or more woke, less woke, whatever. People are ready to accept themselves,” Boodram provides. “It’s the Year of the Self.”

“What I love about this trend too, is that it's not singular: to me the 'Year of the Self' isn’t just about radical self acceptance, it’s about excitement meeting the dating force as who you are, not who you aspire to be–and giving potential partners that grace, as well,” Boodram affirms. 

“The overarching message in this trend is for people to focus on their 'To Feel' list this year, opposed to their 'To Be' list. What do you want to feel like when you’re alone; when you’re with a partner? It can be really difficult to figure out what you have to be or what they have to be in order to have a unique and fulfilling relationship," Boodram says. "But when you focus on the feeling, it becomes a lot more clear.”

On Love Bombing

“Love bombing is an age-old phenomenon. I’ve heard about it happening all throughout my career. Many of us may have been love bombed before, but didn’t have the language to describe it,” Boodram shares, when asked about the popular phrase circulating the dating vortex.

“To me, healthy intimacy is gradual, it’s mutual and logical. Love bombing is not mutual – it’s this one sided, pouring of attention. It’s not gradual, it’s upfront and it's definitely not logical. This person is showing grand gestures of love, or professing their feelings very early on in the relationship. Because we all want to be loved, and feel lovable, this idea that someone knows immediately how they feel about us and that we are someone magical is intoxicating,” Boodram adds. “People buy into the fantasy. It’s what we see in Disney movies." Ultimately, it’s what we learn love is – and the way to dodge a love bomb, is to remain true to our boundaries from the beginning.

On Attachment Styles in Relationships

Regardless if you are single or coupled up, identifying your attachment style in relationships can be hugely beneficial for navigating communication, challenges and a future with your partner.  “Attachment styles are developed during childhood and can impact our intimate lives as adults,” Boodram explains. 

“Most of us don’t have one fixed attachment style; you might have secure attachment with friends, anxious attachment with your parents, and avoidant attachment with your romantic partners because of what you experienced in those other relationships,” Boodram tells us. She adds, “It’s actually more accurate to assess your attachment style in each individual relationship.”

When identifying your own, there are a few clues to look out for. Boodram says, “Anxiously Attached and Avoidantly Attached people tend to be attracted to each other, because everybody wants to confirm what they already know. Even if what they already know about themselves is unhealthy," Boodram says. The best thing you can do, is determine if your insecure attachment style is consistent and something you can shift with professional support, or if it's simply that this person does not bring out the best in you. As always, self awareness in relationships is key – don't be afraid to ask yourself the hard questions.

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Freelance PureWow Editor