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Zoosk Reveals The Biggest Online Dating Trends Of 2017

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We are welcoming the new year 2018 today, so it’s time to look back on the highs and lows of 2017.

The dating world has been busy over the last 12 months. We saw big breakups (Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen, Chris Pratt and Anna Faris, Fergie and Josh Duhamel) and even bigger hookups (hey, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle). We said goodbye to tiger selfies on Tinder. Plenty of Fish and eHarmony embraced embraced digital assistants. The League turned profile pictures black and white. Bumble took a stand against hate groups. And even a rhino tried to swipe for a mate.

To make sense of it all, Zoosk reviewed dating from more than 40 million members, and reviewed the biggest dating trends of 2017. What’s in: lunch dates, higher education, nice guys, guac. What’s out: sluggish messaging, mocking vegans, too many filters. Check out the highlights below.

Research Indicates Online Dating Is Creating Stronger, More Diverse Marriages

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Online dating has been accused of ruining romance, fueling hook-up culture, spreading STDs, promoting superficiality, undermining marriage, eroding traditional values, and that’s just a scratch in the surface of the critiques levied against modern matchmaking.

But for all the complaining we’ve done - and likely will continue to do - about online dating, it’s not all doom and gloom. Recent research suggests the rise of digital dating services could be behind stronger marriages, more connections between people from different social circles, and an increase in interracial partnerships.

Economists Josue Ortega at the University of Essex and Philipp Hergovich at the University of Vienna in Austria set out to examine how today’s tech-savvy singles are changing society.

New Study Finds almost Half of American Singles Prefer to Meet IRL, Not Over an App

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Most everyone in America has heard of Tinder, even if they haven’t used it. Many more swipe-friendly dating apps have followed in its popular wake, but still, singles are finding the dating app scene to be a little daunting, more than a little tiring, and would just like to meet someone more organically.

A new study by YouGov Omnibus found that almost half of American singles would prefer to meet a romantic partner in real life rather than through an app like Tinder. According to the study, even Millennials – the generation that brought online dating into the mainstream – prefer to meet potential dates at a bar, coffee shop, or even being set up by friends and family members over swiping right on a dating app.

Researchers surveyed over 1000 single Americans across the U.S. to find out how many have been set up on a date by friends or family, how many would like to be set up again, and how many would rather meet online.

A Psychologist Says These Are The Only Dating Apps That Matter

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For information on the science of attraction, few names carry more weight than Eli Finkel.

Finkel is a professor at Northwestern University who studies interpersonal attraction, marriage, conflict resolution, and how social relationships influence goal achievement. In his role as director of Northwestern’s Relationships and Motivation Lab (RAMLAB), he has published 130+ scientific papers and is a regular contributor to the Op-Ed page of The New York Times. He’s also the author of a best-selling book, The All-Or-Nothing Marriage, and was called "one of the leading lights in the realm of relationship psychology” by The Economist.

So when Finkel makes a pronouncement about dating, we listen. His most recent research has looked into dating services and matching algorithms, in hopes of answering the most important question of all: do they actually work?

How Many Singles are Investing in Online Dating?

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Online dating is one of the most popular ways to meet people, thanks to free apps and services like Plenty of Fish and Tinder. But many daters opt to be more particular in their search, and are willing to pay for a more curated experience, whether it’s online dating, matchmaking, or even “casual dating” services, like escorts.

According to a new study done by Statista for the Digital Market Outlook (DMO), the United States has the largest share of adults worldwide who are actively paying for a dating service. More than a quarter – 26 percent - of daters in the U.S. are paying for dating services, followed by the UK at almost 21 percent and Germany with 17 percent.

Daters in France, China and Saudi Arabia were the least likely to pay for a dating service according to the study, with 13%, 11% and 5% of daters respectively who were active paying customers at the time of the study.

Match Offers New ‘Bucket List’ Feature

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We’re headed into summer, and online dating company Match conducted a survey to assess how many singles feel more adventurous this time of year. The results are in – 85% said that a potential date’s sense of adventure was an attractive quality, and 76% said they’d like to try something new in the coming months.

In fact, the results were overwhelmingly clear – singles crave a sense of adventure. Seventy-three percent said they would actually be more attracted to someone if they had a bucket list item in common, and 66% of singles said they would likely check off one of their bucket list items on a date.

Because of this, Match decided to create a new feature on their dating app called ‘Bucket List’ to highlight potential dates’ sense of adventure.