The Rules of Engagement: Dating in America Study Finds the Dating Game May Be the Same, But the Rules Have Changed

DALLAS, March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With more than 105 million singles in the United States, or one-third of the population, the singles scene remains a competitive playing field., the leading online dating network, has taken an in-depth look at the behavior of singles and uncovered new dating habits based on a groundbreaking study of more than 5,000 single Americans.  This unprecedented research has found that, while some traditional dating do's and don'ts still exist, the playing field has definitely changed.


"It's important for singles to know that the dating rules have changed," says Whitney Casey, Relationship Expert for  "This study finds that dating behaviors drastically differ between the ages.  Younger singles are more likely to friend their date on Facebook, communicate by text after a date, and be evasive about their availability if they're not interested in a second date. Whereas older singles are more cautious when it comes to dating in the digital era."

Specific highlights include:

  • Tradition Still Applies - Men, women still expect you to make the first move and ask a lady out, and although 41% of women would offer to pick up the check on a first date, a majority of men (37%) still feel they should foot the bill.
  • Bailout Plan – Both men and women agree that 15 minutes into the date is long enough to tell if there is chemistry (31%). However, if the date isn't going as planned, only 12% of singles would actually call it a night and leave within the first 30 minutes of the date.
  • Thanks, but No Thanks - If your date isn't getting the hint that you aren't a match made in heaven, most singles feel that honesty is the best policy.  52% of those surveyed agree you should politely explain you aren't interested, followed by 24% of singles who recommend being evasive about your future availability. However, younger singles are most likely to ignore your calls and send you straight to voicemail.
  • Too Fast on a First Date? - 6.5% of singles claim they have frequently had sex on the first date, while 80% of singles disapprove of ending the date between the sheets.  
  • Making the Call – 48% of women prefer men to make the follow up call after the first date. Only 6% of men follow up within the first 24 hours, while the majority of men (68%) will play it cool and pick up the phone between one to three days after the date.
  • There's No Place Like Phone - Although 64% of singles are open to having post-date conversations via text and email, more than 80% of singles still prefer conversations on the phone.  
  • To Friend or Not to Friend? - Younger singles (ages 21-34) think it's OK to add a date as a Facebook friend after 2-3 dates (26%), while 11% of singles between the ages of 35-44 wait to friend a date on Facebook until it becomes an exclusive relationship.
  • Meet the Guys - Yes, it is OK to introduce your new romantic interest to the ones who know you best.  Men are more likely to introduce someone they're interested in to their friends within the first month of dating than women are, regardless of their age group (nearly 50% of men vs. 35% of women).

Additional results and tips for the new rules of dating are available at

About the Singles Study

The study of singles in America was funded by and conducted by MarketTools in association with biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, social historian Stephanie Coontz, evolutionary biologist Justin Garcia and the Institute for Evolutionary Studies at Binghamton University (EvoS).  The study, based on the attitudes and behaviors of a representative sample of 5,200 US single people ages 21 to 65+, is the most comprehensive survey of American singles ever undertaken.  Results are available at


Founded in 1995, was the original dating website and pioneer of the online dating industry.  Throughout its fifteen year history, has been responsible for more dates, relationships and marriages than any other website.  The company's comprehensive online dating services also include, Singlesnet and People Media's 22 targeted websites such as and Senior  Today, operates leading subscription-based online dating sites in 25 countries, 8 languages and across five continents. is an operating business of IAC and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.  For more information, visit