Is NATO Dating A New Gen-Z Dating Trend?

Let’s learn about the new Gen-Z dating term “NATO”, which is definitely not a political treaty. Read on!

We are living in a fast-paced world where dating norms change constantly. Rather than limiting to relationship labels, Generation Z (Gen Z) prioritizes self-discovery and living in the moment. They embrace flexibility, non-traditional dynamics, and individual authenticity. “Let’s enjoy the journey without being worried about the destination” is their dating mantra. Every day, there is some new dating trend that doesn’t sit right with the millennials. It feels like “repackaging the old wine in a new bottle.”

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Has a guy asked you yet to start dating without worrying about an outcome, well guess what? Gen Z has a term for it now. It’s called “NATO,” which stands for “Not Attached To An Outcome.” NATO is a dating trend, not the political term “North Atlantic Treaty Organisation”. The 18–25 age group of young singles are on the quest for a dating partner, but they’re all about keeping it unlabelled and commitment-free! No tags, no commitments – just thrill of the dating game! In simple terms, they prefer to create moments while getting to know each other without burdening themselves with any expectations.

 

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Although this approach allows individuals to explore more about themselves and their preferences without feeling pressured to conform to predefined expectations or rush into commitment. From the initial stage, Gen-Z is honest with each other about their needs and intentions, which encourages a more relaxed dating experience. (But really) This generation doesn’t commit publicly until they want to settle down; all they say is “We are just good friends,” Just like “Om and I are just good friends”, Khushi stated that her rumoured boyfriend is also just his friend – Vedang and I are just good friends (IYKYK)”

For older generations, including Generation X and Millennials, dating has different meanings. They believe in love at first sight, feeling butterflies in their stomachs, and an adrenaline rush when they love someone. For them, there are only two terms that exist: “committed” or “single.” With the passing years, the millennials witnessed the transition from “just friends” to “friends with benefits,” and so on.

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We first heard of casual dating, meaning no strings attached. But, with each passing day, we saw many fresh dating terms, like situationship, benching, and cushioning. All of these terms have almost the same meaning, which doesn’t make sense for Millennials and Gen X. However, let’s all agree on one thing: today’s generation has a clear sense of their relationship needs. They are aware of signs of trouble and never hesitate to cut ties with things that restrict their progress or are bad for their mental well-being.

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