Could Contra-Dating Be The Hot, New Way To Find Love in 2024?

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There’s a NEW viral dating trend on the block – contra dating. But what is it? And could contra-dating actually be the hot, new, secret way to finding love? In this post, we’ll explore it all. So let’s start from the top…

How Did Contra-Dating Come About?

So first up, I know what you may be thinking… Contra-dating?! How did that even come about?! Well it seems like it’s come from the dating app, Plenty of Fish.

Now although this may not naturally be one of the best serious dating apps for finding love, they are undoubtably very committed to encouraging users to explore all options…

Hence why contra-dating is now being encouraged and shouted about!

Contra Dating Trend

So, What Is Contra-Dating?

According to Plenty of Fish, contra-dating is one of the top dating trends of 2024 and they define it as:

Contra-dating (/con-trah-day-ting): Dating outside of your usual ‘type’/those you are typically ‘compatible’ with to broaden horizons and remain open-minded.

It essentially means that, if you deliberately date someone you wouldn’t usually, in order to see if – actually – they could be a good (or perfect) match for you, after all.

Now Please Note: This doesn’t mean you have to go against your core values, morals or ethics. It just means – when the core foundations match – you can open your mind to others that don’t fit the other standard “credentials” that you usually go for.

When done properly, contra-dating is incredibly positive as it gets you testing what you think you know, and trying new things (or should we say, different dates!)

Let Me Give You a Few Examples

So for example, contra-dating would be:

  • An entrepreneur who typically dates other business-minded, ambitious individuals… Dating someone who isn’t as career focused, is more care-free, but still shares the same family values that are fundamentally the most important thing to the entrepreneur. (They just share different passions, interests and career choices, and the entrepreneur believes more in creating financial stability vs the care-free date who believes in emotional stability.)
  • A woman who is fixated on “tall, dark and handsome”, who instead tries dating someone who is still just as funny and charismatic as the men she is usually attracted to, but instead – this guy is the same height as her and bald. (There are ways to find someone more attractive, remember!) Or…
  • An outgoing extrovert who thinks she needs someone who is just like her, instead dating a calm introvert. (Who know what will happen, right?! You may well be surprised!)
What is Contra Dating

How Popular Is Contra-Dating?

Well, Plenty of Fish’s polls show that:

59% of you have admittedly started Contra-dating, with 36% making a conscious effort to move away from their “type” and 33% switching things up after being unsuccessful when dating their “type”.”

But it kind of makes sense when you think of it, right?

Why Contra-Dating Could Be a Good Idea

With the billions of people on the planet, it is – for sure – important to know what you’re looking for. But the problem is, when it comes to “types”, this is usually based off:

  1. Physical appearance. After all, it’s the first initial judgement you can make before properly taking the time to get to know someone.
  2. A list of things that you think your ideal partner should or needs to have.

But let me ask you a question… How often have you gone for your “type” and it’s not worked out, or things have gone – pretty horribly – wrong?

This raises the question of, are you being attracted to the RIGHT people, anyway?

And could you be missing out on some truly wonderful people, by restricting yourself to this set type you have in your head?

I think most people can agree – the answer is most certainly, “yes!”

Contra Dating on dating apps

How To Try Contra-Dating on Dating Apps

So then comes the question of how to actually give contra-dating a go, starting with dating apps, you want to:

  • Follow one of our fundamental dating app tips to finding love and SWIPE SLOWER! Instead of ruling people out too fast: Stop. Think. And Consider. “Could this person be a good contra-dating experience?! Am I kind of intrigued to get to know them a little better?!”
  • Look at the things you DO like about a person and swipe right instead of left. It doesn’t mean you definitely have to meet up with them – start by seeing how the conversation goes.
  • Don’t restrict your profile by stating very specific things that you’re looking for in a partner. It’s good to say what your intentions are (e.g. I’m looking for a relationship), but try not to attract your set type by the things that you say.
  • REMAIN OPEN-MINDED. This is fundamental for contra-dating and don’t you forget it! There’s no point even speaking to someone, yet alone meeting up with them, if you already have in your head, “this isn’t going to work, this isn’t going to work!” So let go of any of that thinking!

Can You Try Contra-Dating In Person?

Absolutely! It’s simply about speaking to people you wouldn’t usually, approaching people you wouldn’t usually, and maybe hanging out in different places to see who you might meet.

Feeling Convinced?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below, and be sure to SHARE this with a friend, who actually needs to give this a go!

Good luck. And have fun.


What is Contra-Dating
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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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