After Spotify Wrapped dominated the feed last week, another annual data report has begun to take hold of social media: TikTok’s #datingwrapped trend. The hashtag has been viewed over 3.4 million times as of Wednesday, with users sharing their year in dating via homemade slideshow presentations and revealing the cold, hard facts of their dating habits.
“I went on 21 first dates — yikes,” said 27-year-old Alexandria McLean in her now-viral TikTok. “I met 66% on Bumble and 33% on Hinge.”
McLean was the first to post her Dating Wrapped slideshow but told BuzzFeed News that she’d had the idea since October. As a longtime Spotify Wrapped fan, she wanted to apply the same year-in-review concept to her romantic endeavors. “I've always kept track and kept notes of my dating life,” she said. “I already recap my dates at work and with my friends, so I thought, Why not just do a full recap and share it with the world?”
Charts on Dating Wrapped TikToks often include how many total dates the presenter went on throughout the year, how they met their dates, how things ended, how many they cried over, and their final relationship status. People have added in statistics for the makeup of astrological signs, how much money they’ve spent, and how many times they had to make an emergency call.
“The current dating landscape is that you do go on so many dates,” McLean said. “It's so easy to swipe right on someone, match, go on a date. Saying that I went on 21 dates, it seems like a crazy number, but it actually isn't. It's also just really fun to explain your dating life, because the people who have been in relationships for so long have no idea about what dating apps are like now.”
She also collected other data, such as one-liner reminders to help her remember each date, to help her recount the story even if that info didn’t make it into the wrap-up. “I have one [note] that just says, ‘finger guns,’” she said. “At the end of the date, he held on to a hug a little long, and I didn't know if he was going to kiss me. So when I pulled away, I just felt really awkward, and just gave him finger guns.”
He ended up ghosting her ("I gave him finger guns, so I understand"), falling under the 19% of dates that were not ended mutually or by McLean.
Amber Smith’s Dating Wrapped involved 18 first dates and two parking tickets; she added that she spent a total of $383.36 on dates. Her TikTok has been viewed over 2.2 million times.
“I think it was really nice for me as a woman in my 20s who’s dating, to see these other people who are like, Yeah, I went on 20 dates, or 22 or 40,” Smith, 25, told BuzzFeed News.
Smith said she’s received plenty of hate comments for posting her year in dating, and they largely fell under the umbrella of men who would accuse her of dating for TikTok or post derogatory judgments about her character. But she said she’s also appreciated feeling connected to people who are going through the same struggles as her. “I've learned that I can laugh about this experience. Sometimes I would schedule three dates in a week and just kind of burn myself out.”
McLean said reflecting on her year made her think about her romantic life in a different light. “A lot of times when you're dating, and you are going on so many first dates, and you aren't having that Disney fairy tale, you kind of say, Well, what's wrong with me?” she said. “And it's like, no, nothing's wrong with you. You just haven't met your person yet. And that's OK.”
Nykia Bermudez, 28, told BuzzFeed News that making her Dating Wrapped helped her realize something: In nearly 70% of the relationships, she was the one who called it off. “I was surprised at how many times I ended it,” she said. “That's what I'm going to talk to my therapist about. Like, why?”
Bermudez said the process of making her slideshow encouraged her to look at her year from more of a bird’s-eye view. Bermudez saw 13 first dates, with 53% beginning as dinner dates.
She added on some lessons at the end of her Wrapped, making a few resolutions as she goes into the new year: Go out more and meet new people at places she frequents, devote herself to one person at a time rather than keep a roster, and prioritize working on her own well-being.
“Once dating starts feeling like a job or a task, or something you have to do, that's when it's no fun anymore,” McLean said. “And I know I had so much fun creating it, so I hope others are having fun as well.”