Dr. Helen Fisher leads and analyzes the Singles in America Studies carried out by Match.com for the past 7 years. Each year, five thousand participants who are not Match clients answer questions that Helen and others at Match choose. The Match group had specific questions in mind this year, like how are Millenials different from others in their attitudes toward sex? What are attitudes toward feminism? Here is their summary, written by Helen. You can see more on the Match website links at the end of this post.
“The annual Singles in America study has once again demonstrated new emerging trends including men’s overwhelmingly positive view of feminism and feminists, in the boardroom and the bedroom. We’ve captured the great spring forward in gender equality,” says Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and Chief Scientific Advisor to Match. “Millennials are diligently using technology to find love—and building new dating rules and taboos along the way. Moreover, if you want to spur a budding relationship forward, skip the flowers: leave your cell phone in your pocket. And how do you know when a friendship is turning into a romance? Singles still express true love in ancestral ways -- it’s not about revealing your passwords.”
Addicted to dating? Almost one in six singles (15%) say they 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. Moreover, men are 97% more likely to feel addicted to dating than women -- although women feel more burned out by the process (54%).
We’ve come a long way, America. Online dating has continued to increase in popularity, offering a new way to find romantic partners. 53% of single people have created a dating profile. And today, 40% of singles have dated someone they met online, while only 25% met a first date through a friend.
Judgment zone: 42% of singles judge a date first by their social media posts; 42% also say they judge a potential date by their photos. Next comes their grammar (39%), their teeth/smile (37%), and their outfit (35%).
FOMO. 57% of singles say social media has generated a Fear Of Missing Out. 51% say social media has made them feel more self-conscious about their appearance; and 48% say it has made them regret that they did or didn’t do something.
Falling in love? Think that giving someone your iPhone password is a sign of budding love? Think again. Both men and women agree that more traditional moments signal signs of falling in love including: caring for them when they are sick (87%); attending a family event as a couple (83%); mentioning them to your friends (82%); vacationing together (79%); and mentioning them to your parents (76%).
GENDER & THE F-WORD: FEMINISM
What is feminism? Most singles don’t have a clear understanding of this burgeoning social movement.
37% of single men and 46% of single women define feminism as women being equal to men, however 43% of singles think it “means a lot of different things” and 6% don’t know what it means.
Food for sex? 71% of men find it attractive when a woman offers to split the bill. Men think that women who offer to pay are just being polite (65%) or that they don’t want to be mistaken for wanting a free meal (61%). However, only 47% of women offer to pay to be polite or to assert their independence. While 74% of women say they offer to pay because they don’t want to feel obligated for anything – a hug, kiss or a second date.
Men like dating a feminist: 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%). While single women feel that the rise of gender equality “has made me pickier about potential dates (63%),” and “makes me feel more empowered in my dating life (57%).”
Women don’t use their dating power. Men are leading the way in forging our new dating rituals.
Single men are overwhelmingly in favor of women initiating the first kiss (95%), as well as initiating sex for the first time (93%). The vast majority of men are also pleased if a woman asks for a man’s phone number (95%), and is the first to call after a good first date (94%). Yet few women initiate the first kiss (29%); few initiate sex for the first time (23%); and few ask a guy for his phone number (13%).
The appeal of the go-getter: The number one modern turn on for single men this year? Female entrepreneurs (38%)! Entrepreneurs tend to be creative, industrious, self-confident and daring. It’s another step in the emerging global trend toward the double income family, successful business women and men who respect and admire women for their business acumen.
The one-night stand—exciting, fulfilling, or anxiety provoking? 35% of single men and 18% of single women say that casual sex can be exciting; and 29% of men and 15% of women say a one-night-stand can be the best sex. But not all agree: 19% of both sexes say it can be the worst sex.
THE NEW DATING RITUALS
Five first date phone taboos. 75% of singles are turned off if you answer your phone without offering any explanation while on a date. While 66% are turned off if you text someone during a date; 58% don’t want you to place your phone on the table face up; 57% are upset if you read the occasional text during a date; and 41% regard it as rude if you take your phone with you to the bathroom or outside.
It’s a match? Phone compatibility matters. Those who have an Android are 15x more likely to judge you negatively for having an iPhone. And iPhone owners are 21x more likely to judge you negatively for having an Android.
Keep your phone current, silent and screen shatter free. Women are 92% more likely to judge you negatively for having an older model phone. In fact, those who have older models are 56% less likely to get a date in the year. 14% of singles don’t like a cracked screen either. And turn off your audible clicks as you type—this annoys 14% of singles as well.
Modern day turn-offs: 58% of singles are turned off by anyone who complains on Facebook (58%), as well as those who are too active on social media (50%). Singles also dislike those who voted for Trump (44%), those who did not vote in the Presidential election (42%), and those who had lots of job changes or “projects” (37%).
PORTRAIT OF THE MILLENNIAL DATER
Millennial sex monkeys? Far from it. Single millennials are 51% more likely than Boomers to have no interest in sex. But millennials are serious about sex: 28% of them have sex to see if they love someone. And millennials are 40% more likely than those of other generations to believe that an emotional connection makes sex better, as well as the least likely generation to have cheated on a partner.
The sex interview. One in three singles have had sex before a first date. And single millennials are 48% more likely to have had sex before a first date than all other generations. This may mean millennials are using sex to interview someone before committing further energy to dating him or her, or to try to fast track their sex partner into a relationship.
Dating Apocalypse? Think again. Millennials are 30% more likely than any other generation to want to find a relationship in 2017—and they are using technology to do it. They 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’s Singles in America study was conducted in December 2016, and includes survey responses from a demographically representative sample of 5,509 single men and women, ages 18 to 70+ years.
For more detailed 2016 study findings on what U.S. singles seek in sex, love, and romantic partners, visit www.SinglesinAmerica.com and join the conversation using #SinglesinAmerica on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Singles in America
Singles in America (SIA) was funded by Match and conducted by Research Now in association with renowned anthropologist, Dr. Helen Fisher and evolutionary biologist, Dr. Justin R. Garcia of The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University. The 2016 study is based on the attitudes and behaviors taken from a demographically representative sample of 5,509 U.S. singles between the ages of 18 to 70+, and remains the most comprehensive annual survey of single Americans. For more information, visit www.SinglesinAmerica.com.
Founded in 1995, Match was the original dating website and pioneer of the online dating industry. Today, more than 20 years later, Match operates leading subscription-based online dating sites in 25 countries, eight languages and five continents and is responsible for more dates, relationships and marriages than any other website. Match is an operating business of Match Group (Nasdaq: MTCH) and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visithttp://www.match.com.