DALLAS, July 30, 2019 -- Today Match released findings from its ninth annual Singles in America study – the nation's largest and most comprehensive annual scientific study of 5,000+ single men and women living across the U.S. This new data reveals surprising current trends, including how America’s singles are looking for love, yet are fatigued by the process - as well as their current attitudes around sex and dating. It also uncovers the sex habits of Gen Z and Millennials, how men are responding to the #MeToo movement, and how singles of all ages are rewriting America’s love story.
"Modern love, sex and romance are thriving in America—from Millennials to seniors. The current fear that the young don’t care about love and commitment is just plain wrong. They are simply having a hard time finding it and feeling burnt out by the search,” says Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and Chief Science Advisor to Match. “Moreover, this year’s Singles in America study gives a first-of-its-kind look at the positive impact the #MeToo movement has had on single men — on dates and in the office.”
Most fascinating, perhaps, is the feeling of dating burnout from singles of all generations who are fatigued by the search for a meaningful relationship. 83% feel that love is hard to find, while 43% reported believing that technology has made finding love more difficult. Furthermore, when singles were asked their feelings about dating today, their top descriptions for dating included: “overwhelming,” “sexual,” “transactional, ” and “unkind.” Yet still 75% of singles are hopeful that love is out there, and nearly 60% are motivated to find romantic love and a long-term companion. Only 9% of singles are looking to date casually.
YOUNG SINGLES AND DATING
MORE THAN JUST A FLING: 70% of Gen Z and 63% of Millennials are searching for romantic love. Moreover, only 14% say pressure from friends or family is the key reason they seek a long-term companion.
OPTIMISM REIGNS: Millennials and Gen Z singles are the most optimistic daters in America today. 75% of Gen Z and 69% of Millennials believe they will find the kind of love they want, while only 46% of older singles believe they will find what they are really looking for in a partner.
SAYING “I LOVE YOU”—AND MEANING IT: Only 27% of Gen Z and Millennials have said “I love you” spontaneously the first time. Instead, they plan it—taking these words more seriously than those of other age groups.
SLOW LOVE: 40% of young singles feel they need self-acceptance before they seek love; 23% say they need to reach a certain point in their career; and 20% feel they must reach a certain income level before committing to a serious relationship. In fact, more than any other cohort, 1/3 of today’s young singles say their financial situation has held them back from pursuing romance.
DATING DIGITALLY...AND CAREFULLY: Today most singles meet through dating apps, rather than in a bar, through friends or relatives (26% of singles overall met their last first date online). More than half of young singles have created a dating profile and 68% say they carefully evaluate profiles rather than flipping through rapidly.
EMBRACING FIRST DATES: Gen Z and Millennials went on an average of 5 first dates in 2018, while those of older generations averaged 2 dates in the year. And 48% of young singles have dated someone they met online.
SINGLES STILL DEAL WITH BAD BEHAVIOR: Of young singles who have dated in the last year, 40% have been ghosted; 21% have believed a relationship was exclusive when it wasn’t; 30% have received a generic greeting with no follow up (For example: “Hey”); and 28% had someone try to initiate a booty call.
SINGLES WANT TRANSPARENCY: DTR is in, particularly among young singles; they are 2X more likely to stop dating someone who doesn't want to define a budding relationship vs. singles in other age groups (33% vs. 16%).
GENDER ROLES: Although women are fighting for equality in other aspects of life, many still want men to take the lead in courtship. 73% of young men are comfortable when a woman is the first to say “hello” on a dating app, yet only 28% of young women take the lead. 89% of young men are happy to have a woman ask them for their phone number, yet only 22% of young women do. 63% of young men would be comfortable if a woman offered to split the bill on a first date, but only 41% of young women regularly offer. And 87% of young men would be delighted if a woman initiated the first kiss, but only 23% of young women often do. These patterns tell us that it’s women, not men, who still feel bound by old-fashioned courtship traditions.
MILLENNIAL WOMEN ARE STEPPING UP: 39% of young women (43% Gen Z; 35% Millennials) have been the first to call or text after a good date (while only 27% of women in older generations reach out first).
#METOO’S POSITIVE IMPACT ON DATING
MEN AND #METOO: Half of men (51%) say the #MeToo movement has caused them to act differently overall; specifically, nearly 40% of men are now more reserved towards female colleagues at work and 34% of men said they act more reserved on a date because of the movement. Millennial men are leading the way here, with 37% acting more reserved on a date, compared to Gen Z men at only 16%.
SINGLES, DATING AND #METOO: 59% of today’s singles say the #MeToo movement is important to them (46% Men; 69% Women); and almost half say it has sparked necessary discussions. It has changed behavior too: Overall, both men and women are more reserved when approaching someone new in public (35%), as well as when on a date (33%), and with what they post on social media (28%). Additionally, when with a new potential partner, 19% of singles think twice about the jokes they make, the topics they discuss (15%), and about inviting that person to come home with them (15%).
A WELCOME CHANGE: Only 14% of singles (19% Men; 10% Women) think the #MeToo movement has made dating more challenging.
FAKE NEWS ABOUT SEX
A SEX DROUGHT? Americans believe Millennials can’t be bothered with sex. Not true. 49% of Gen Z and Millennials are motivated to find a sex partner, while most Millennials, as well as Gen Z singles, reported being sexually active within the last week. Moreover, when asked how often they’d like to have sex, the majority of both Gen Z and Millennials said 2-3 times per week.
NSFW: 55% of young singles have been asked to send a nude pic (the most of any age group) and 52% of young men have been asked to send a d*ck pic. Moreover, 52% of young singles have received a nude photo and nearly ¼ of young singles have shared a sexy photo they received.
DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL: 65% of singles say they are unlikely to ask about their partner’s “sex number;” while only 12% say they are very likely to ask how many former lovers a current partner has had.
GREAT SEX...WITH LOVE: 32% of singles believe you have to be in love to have great sex (28% Men; 36% Women); and 84% of singles say sex is better when you are in love.
About Singles in America
Singles in America (SIA) was funded by Match and conducted by Dynata in association with renowned anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher and evolutionary biologist Dr. Justin R. Garcia of The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University. The 2018 study is based on the attitudes and behaviors taken from a demographically representative sample of 5,001 U.S. singles between the ages of 18 to 70+. Generations are defined as: Gen Z (18-22), Millennials (22-38), Gen X (39-54) and Boomers(55-74). Singles in America remains the most comprehensive annual scientific survey of single Americans. For more information, visit SinglesinAmerica.com.
Match, the dating app that believes in love for all, is available for download on iTunes and Google Play. Users can experience Match in eight languages with membership available in 25 countries across five continents. Founded in 1995, Match is the #1 destination for singles looking for a long-term relationship and Match has created millions of love stories. Match is an operating business of Match Group (Nasdaq: MTCH) and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.