Feral dating is here to get rid of those Hot Girl Summer expectations

Need a breather? Feral dating is all about authenticity, and we're waving the dating green flags as we speak

couple outside on city streets on a date
(Image credit: Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images)

Be honest: are you tired of everyone interfering in your love life?

Between pesky relatives, nosy friends and societal expectations, finding your person has become a group affair. Now more than ever, it's crucial to shut out the little voices in your ear and embrace embrace feral dating. 

What exactly is this trendy term, you ask? It's about adopting the "you do you" mentality when searching for your match. Now that's a dating green flag we can get behind. 

"Feral Dating is all about dating in a way that feels good to YOU, not in a way that looks good to others," says love coach Persia Lawson. "This is not about casting aside all boundaries around dating, but instead deciding what you actually want for your love life and then determining which boundaries YOU feel will best help you achieve your goal."

If you're thinking about swiping right and could use a little motivation, read on. 

The lowdown on feral dating

Badoo did a bit of sleuthing into 2022 dating trends and uncovered that social media-savvy slang has influenced daters a little too much. Take for example Hot Girl Summer—looking your best during the warm-weather months. According to the dating app, this pressured 87% of women to look a certain way and it affects 71% of daters. 

Instead, let's focus on a trending hashtag on TikTok that is all about authenticity. Feral Girl summer is about living your best unfiltered life, so why not transcend that mindset while on your quest for love? Badoo further reports that 63% of single girls are ready to embrace feral dating because it allows them to be their true selves and there’s no pressure to look good.  

Anyone else feel that weigh off their shoulders? Let's enjoy a collective sigh of relief.

Couple embracing on urban rooftop

(Image credit: Getty)

How to embrace feral dating

"The key is first to be honest with yourself, and then be honest with the people you date. Romance becomes much easier when you forget about all the pointless game-playing and just own what does and doesn’t feel good to you, unapologetically," Lawson says.

How refreshing! Wouldn't it be lovely if we can finally do away with pesky things like cookie jarring, haunting and like the like? Isn't it so much easier to be straightforward? If we're going to have trending dating terms, might as well add feral dating into the vernacular so people can embrace their truth. 

If this sounds intriguing, Lawson has come up with tips for successfully mastering feral dating:

  • Be yourself 
  • Encourage your date to be themselves 
  • Date how you want
  • Listen to your gut
  • Forget the timeline

Happy lesbian couple romancing standing against blue sky in summer

(Image credit: Getty)

"Let go of this BS narrative and decide to just enjoy the journey of your love life, one day at a time," Lawson adds. 

This is not to say that this approach will change the dating landscape or help you find a match quicker, but it will make things a little less hectic: you can be true to yourself and do what makes you happiest without the fear of living up to standards. With this in mind, it's time to focus on what's really important...like what's on their Netflix queue. (Kidding!)

We wish you luck during this Feral Girl Summer, dear readers!

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.