Is Emotional Connection The End Goal For Dating In 2022?

To be able to open up to each other mentally is far more difficult than having sex per se.

Trisha Majumder
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dating in 2022
Dating in 2022 has changed drastically compared to the dating culture a decade back. Emotional compatibility is now the goal and the most intimate part of the relationship while physical intimacy is the first base. What is dating really about now?

The rose-tinted perspective of two people in love who get a happily ever after is not so fascinating or even realistic today. Gen Z is very particular about what their dating life doesn't include and is still figuring out what actually is a normal course of a relationship. Dating can be about different things for different people- casual sex, dating exclusively, open relationship, committed relationship, situationship and many more.

What are the different types of dating?

Casual sex as the name suggests is a temporary situation where the partners are involved physically but their involvement doesn't have any emotional connection. An open relationship is where the partners are not exclusive to one another with consent. A situationship, as the term suggests, is a bit of a mess where the people in it aren't sure if they are in a relationship or not. But the two people involved do share both emotional and physical intimacy.

Dating exclusively and a committed relationship sounds similar but the latter is a little more serious than the former. In a committed relationship, the partners are expected to have labels such as boyfriend and girlfriend whereas dating exclusively means they are not involved with anyone else at that point in time emotionally or physically, but they do not want to put a label on their relationship just yet. Another factor that differentiates these two is the emotional connection, when dating exclusively may not be emotionally involved just yet. In a committed relationship, the two are definitely in a better state in sharing an emotional bond.

A pretty accurate depiction of the current dating culture was tweeted by a woman called Melissa Ong, she said, "updated bases for dating in 2022: 1st base: fucking raw 2nd base: kissing on the mouth outside of sex 3rd base: opening up to each other about your biggest life traumas and how they impacted you 4th base: hanging out in public in the daytime."

The tweet explains how the first base is just plain sex without any emotional connection and then it progresses into kissing sometimes without the sexual intimacy. Then slowly the emotional bond grows by opening up to one another and being vulnerable about the past and expectations. And the final stage is when the couple decides on a label for each other and is comfortable being together in public.


Is an emotional connection more intense than a sexual one?

This is definitely a contradictory chronology to dating culture earlier where people connected by mutual friends or workplace and with time grew an emotional bond. And sexual intimacy was considered to be the most intense and serious part of the relationship. But people have realised now that creating an emotional bond is far more complicated and tiresome than having any sort of sexual relations. To be able to open up to each other mentally is far more difficult than having sex per se.

Nilam Das* has been in a couple of casual relationships and she said, "There is a lot of freedom in casual relationships, I don't need to woo someone." She added, "But then it's very very unfulfilling and you need to keep your head clear as it's quite a hollow feeling afterwards." She mentioned that she wants a committed relationship with a deep emotional connection but she finds it hard to get a person who thinks the same way. She said, "I am all in for a fully involved relationship but to be honest everyone is emotionally sealed off and it becomes tiring." So choosing a casual relationship makes things easier for her.

Ridhima Mainkar who is not looking to date anyone currently said, "I feel unless you have major emotional trauma related to your body, physical connections are way easier." "The sort of person I am, I am an open book but also very guarded at the same time. I'd personally take a longer time to be emotionally vulnerable," she added.

Suggested Reading: Online Dating Fatigue: Why Some People Are Turning To Face-To-Face Apps First


There is no right or wrong or a set rule to decide how you want to navigate your relationship and your dating life. Every person gets to choose what works for them and that perhaps, is the best part about the dating culture in 2022.

Feature Image Credit: Nishanth Avva/ Unsplash

Views expressed are the author's own.

*name changed on request

sex and relationships women and dating dating culture