POF Survey Reveals Conversation Trumps Attraction When It Comes To Chemistry

POF (Plenty of Fish)
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What’s a bigger turn off: a sloppy kiss or sloppy grammar? According to the second annual “Conversation Nation” study from Plenty of Fish, adult singles consider lackluster conversation a greater offense than lousy sex.

POF took a deep dive into the communication habits of daters across the U.S. for Conversation Nation 2018, surveying 2,000 men and women over 18 years of age to discover how singles connect in the digital era.

“Singles are prioritizing conversations over physical attraction,” dating expert Shannon Smith told Metro. “We’re seeing again and again from user testimonials and data that relationships start with a great conversation.”

Today, 74 percent of singles identify good conversation as the single best indicator of great chemistry on a date, and 60 percent believe it’s possible to start falling in love from the very first exchange.

In fact, conversation is valued so highly that singles say bad grammar is worse than bad sex. Fifty-eight percent of Conversation Nation respondents said they couldn’t live with subpar grammar, and 83 percent said they’ve found someone less attractive after having a conversation with them. Fortunately, 87 percent also said they’ve found someone more attractive after chatting with them.

The trend holds true whether you meet in person or via an app. Eighty-three percent of singles agree that great conversations on a dating app can lead to better conversations on a date, and app users place conversation well above reading profiles and swiping through photos as the most effective way to identify a compatible partner. The messages most likely to get a reply refer to a shared interest or experience, followed by a compliment on photos or appearance, then a joke or a funny story.

Don’t have a way with words? Don’t worry. “Conversation” doesn’t have to involve any language at all. Singles identified five other ways they love communicating online:

  • Photos/screenshots (38%)
  • Emojis (32%)
  • Memes (13%)
  • GIFS (12%)
  • Bitmojis (5%)

Should you go the emoji route, be careful which you choose. The wink face, kissing face, and heart eyes are favorites, but singles are less impressed with the fire or peach, and a whopping 75 percent say the eggplant is their biggest emoji turn-off.

In the current controversial political climate, your beliefs could also make or break a budding relationship. The survey found 59 percent of singles won't start talking to someone whose dating profile promotes a political opinion contrary to theirs. Across party lines, 52 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of Democrats won't start a conversation with a political opposite.

Is there hope that opposites could attract? Can conversation bridge the divide? Survey says yes: 84 percent of singles say the best way to work through these differences during dating is to discuss them openly with each other.

"This study highlights the fact that singles value authentic connections and conversations," says Celeste Headlee, conversation expert and author. "Plenty of Fish focuses its efforts on helping singles spark meaningful conversations, alleviating the awkwardness of the first approach, which is one of the top barriers to talking to someone you're interested in. These in-app conversations can lead to better first dates."