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Is ‘NATO Dating’ One Of The Healthiest Gen-Z Trends Of 2023?

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

Whether you’re in a happy relationship or you’re single and looking to mingle, you’ve got to admit that there’s something special about first dates. The thrill of getting to know someone new, dressing up in your finest, and the endless possibilities that are open to be explored. These are just some of the few things that makes the dating process an adventure.

But most of the time, we’re so busy worrying about whether or not our date couldpotentially be The One, that we forget to enjoy the thrill of the dating process. Thankfully, Gen-Z are not repeating the patterns of their millennial counterparts and adopting a NATO approach to dating.

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What is NATO Dating?

Before you scoff and dismiss this as another ridiculous dating trend, one of the millions that keep cropping up on your social media feeds every other day with a catchier name than the last, hear us out. NATO, which stands for Not Attached To An Outcome, dating is about embracing the journey without fixating on the destination.

According to a year end trend report by popular dating app Tinder, Gen-Z found themselves drawn towards this new approach to dating in 2023. An extension of the generation’s fixation on individualism and highlighting the importance of self care, NATO dating allows the generation to approach dating in a laid back manner and free themselves from the pressure of finding The One.

Why is NATO Dating a healthier alternative to regular dating?

NATO dating does not dismiss the possibility of an outcome where you end up with your partner in a long-term relationship. Instead, it chooses to focus on savouring each moment of the dating process. It can allow you to explore connection and go on a road to self discovery and personal growth. It is a departure from the tradiitonal belief that every date should be a step towards a long-term committed relationship. It’s, however, important to keep the communication channels open so that both you and your date are on the same page.

So what do you think of NATO Dating?