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Summer Dating Trends: What's Hot & What's Not

05/24/2014 10:44 EDT | Updated 07/24/2014 05:59 EDT
Tom Merton via Getty Images

We live in a world that is obsessed with binary terms -- especially when it comes to dating and our love lives. This is most clearly exemplified in dating apps like Tinder, where singles are asked to rate potential dates right on the spot. Hot or Not. Yes or No. Swipe right or swipe left. This is just one of the many trends currently on fire in the dating sphere. However, like all trends (platform sneakers anyone?), there are dating fads that are also considered in or out of fashion.

To get a reading on what dating trends are hot for this summer (and what is most definitely not) I've consulted with Canadian Master Matchmaker Krystal Walter.

HOT: Exerdating -- Would you ever consider meeting your potential while doing lunges in your Lululemons? If the idea of working up a sweat in front of your date doesn't totally freak you out, you're in luck. The "work out date" is hot right now. It might seem a bit unorthodox, but the New York Post has said that singles who are ultimate multi-taskers are calling it a match made in heaven. If it doesn't turn out to be worth the second date, not to worry, you can still be happy you got a rewarding workout in."I foresee this trend taking off in Canada very soon now," says Walter, "Especially in cities like Vancouver, I see this being very popular with those singles who are serious multi-taskers or who are very active and health conscious."

NOT: Naked Dating -- This summer VH1 will be airing the reality show Dating Naked, where participants are asked to trip down before considering potential dates. Um, can anyone say awkward?! However, I could see this working for certain segments of the dating population. If you're just looking for casual sex, why not skip all the fuss that comes along with getting undressed and jump right to the chase? Thankfully, for those of us who aren't super psyched about the idea of seeing our date's birthday suit before the appetizers arrive, it's unlikely that dating au natural is going to translate into a real life trend anytime soon. As Walter explains, "I'm sure lots of people will find these risqué types of shows entertaining, but they're not to be emulated. Some trends are meant to stay on TV!" Amen to that.

HOT: Relationship Contracts -- Whether you you've just started dating or are in a long term committed partnership, relationship contracts are the new "it" thing in the dating world. Sometimes we get complacent: promises slide, laziness sets in, and bad habits take over. To keep the peace and avoid falling into a rut couples are opting to write up and sign off on an agreement stating what they want out of the relationship (for example: one date night a week). Doesn't sound very romantic? While the agreements can be made legally binding, Walter says that creating a contract (even just for fun) can help couples communicate better about what they're really looking for.

NOT: the Cougar Phenomenon -- If Ashton Kutcher's divorce with Demi Moore and his subsequent engagement to a much younger Mila Kunis is any indication, the cougar phenomenon seems to have subsided. It's not that cougar dating is no longer a thing (after all, there are still tons of online dating sites dedicated to cougars and the men who want to meet them), it's just no longer a hot topic in the media. As Walter notes, "Cougar dating has been glamorized in Hollywood and on TV shows like Cougartown for some time now," explains Walter, "but as with many dating trends, it has lost popularity as of late." This is great news for people who enjoy cougar/cub style relationships, however prefer to fly under the radar.

At the end of the day, I think we need to keep in mind that trends are just that: trends. When it comes to dating, if something is working for you, don't feel the need to switch it up just because it's no longer in vogue. Trends change so quickly and you should only do what you're comfortable with. Whether that's going on a date in yoga pants or no pants at all -- the choice is all yours.

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