In time for Valentine’s Day, online dating service Match released its seventh annual Singles in America study, the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind.
This year’s focus was a little different from previous studies, exploring new dating rituals, shifting gender roles, and the impact social media has had on the dating culture.
First, thanks to mobile apps and the accessibility of online dating, almost one in six singles (15%) of those surveyed by Match feel addicted to the process of looking for a date. Millennials are 125% more likely to say they feel addicted to dating than older generations. And men are 97% more likely to feel addicted to dating than women – although more women feel more burned out by the process (54%).
Another interesting trend is the influence of feminism on dating culture, indicated by shifting attitudes of both genders, although many men in the study (43%) said feminism means “a lot of different things.” Regardless, 59% of single men think that feminism “has changed the dating rules for the better,” saying that dating is now safer (55%), more enjoyable (54%), and easier (49%). Single women feel that the rise of gender equality has had a positive impact, too. Sixty-three percent claimed it has “made me pickier about potential dates,” and 57% said it “makes me feel more empowered in my dating life.”
Interestingly, digital manners are still a priority with most singles. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed said they are turned off if their dates answer their phones while they are together. Sixty-six percent don’t want you to text on a date either, so it might be a good idea to keep your phone in your purse or pocket.
Your behavior on social media makes a difference to other daters, too. Fifty-eight percent of singles are turned off by anyone who complains on Facebook, and 50% are turned off by those who are too active on social media.
Politics seems to play a bigger role than ever in attraction and decision-making, especially in light of this past election year. Of those surveyed, 44% disliked those who voted for Trump, and 42% disliked those who did not vote in the Presidential election.
And what about America’s ambivalence when it comes to new relationships? As it turns out, singles in the Match study aren’t interested in just hooking up, with Millennials being 30% more likely than any other generation to want to find a relationship in 2017. Plus, they are using technology to do it. Millennials are 75% more likely than Boomers to have dated someone online, and 57% more likely than those of other generations to have created a profile on a dating app.
“Every year our Singles in America data reveals evolving trends on how singles are connecting,” says Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of Match Group North America. “1 in 2 single people have created a dating profile on an app. That is a huge shift from seven years ago, which clearly indicates the stigma of online dating is officially dead. Yet 55% of singles say technology has made dating harder, which makes data like this crucial to better understand the modern single and how we can bring more people together in the real world.”
Match interviewed more than 5,500 singles in 2016, ages 18 to 70 and above.