National survey reveals 4 in 5 singles say they’ve changed their ‘dating behavior’ since the end of Roe v. Wade
DALLAS — What’s it like to be single in 2022? A new survey finds more and more people seeking a relationship are “swiping left” when it comes to prioritizing looks over personality.
In a poll of 5,000 Americans singles, commissioned by Match.com, researchers found that many singles are focusing on “conscious dating,” or looking beyond physical attraction to use dating as a way to learn more about themselves. This includes finding a partner that helps someone learn who they are, what they need, and their behavioral patterns throughout that process.
Moreover, recent events have played a major role in how singles across America are approaching the dating scene. Specifically, the pandemic, inflation, and the overturning of Roe v. Wade have many singles rethinking how they go on dates — and who they jump into bed with.
More than half the poll (53%) are now willing to start a relationship with someone who lives over three hours away. Just 35 percent said the same last year. This may have something to do with the 33 percent who say they changed their mind on long-distance relationships during the pandemic.
Despite that, most singles still want to take a more personal approach to getting to know their partner. Forty-eight percent say they prefer to talk to them on the phone, while 43 percent are comfortable texting. Only 29 percent like conversing over social media and just 11 percent chose the metaverse.
Sex and politics don’t mix
Although seven in 10 singles say sex improves their mental health and 71 percent feel better after a bedroom romp, many respondents are actively shying away from making love because of America’s changing stance on abortion. In fact, one in five singles say the end of Roe v. Wade makes them hesitant to have sex. Nearly four in five claim they’ve changed their dating behavior since the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Regardless of what side of the debate they’re on, two in three single women in the poll say they won’t even date someone if they hold an opposing view on abortion. Overall, singles say the ruling is causing them to use condoms more often and have a greater fear of getting pregnant.
Although many singles are fearful of the repercussions of having sex, few people are opting for the digital alternatives. Just three percent say they’ve tried sex using some form of virtual reality.
Not vaxxed? No problem
Interestingly, the pandemic is no longer a major issue for many single Americans. In 2021, 47 percent said they want their date to be vaccinated. However, that number is down to just 40 percent in 2022. Additionally, 36 percent say they don’t care anyone and would date someone who did not get the COVID vaccine.
Despite the fading concern about coronavirus, one in three believe the pandemic is still affecting their dating life.
With that in mind, plenty of singles are searching for someone to give them advice on their next relationship. Nearly half the poll (48%) turn to their friends, while one in three ask their family for dating help.
One in five look for dating advice on YouTube and social media and 16 percent ask their therapist for input. Another 14 percent look for help in the same place they look for dates — a dating app.
READ: Best Dating Apps For 2023, According To Expert Websites
Inflation making for more ‘creative’ date nights
With everything costing more this year, singles are looking to make every dollar count as they look for love. As for their budgets, the poll finds the average single American spends $130 a month while exploring the dating scene. That money takes care of dating app subscriptions ($12), cash for dates ($39), appearance and grooming expenses ($40), and some stylish clothes to impress their partner ($39).
Overall, the survey finds that the cost of dating has increased by 40 percent over the last decade. That may be why a staggering 84 percent say they’re fine if the first date keeps things casual. Three in 10 add that they’re perfectly fine finding date activities which are completely free. Another 29 percent are now more open to finding date night spots which are close to home to save on gas.
If you’re great in the kitchen, here’s your chance to impress! One in four say they’re more open to enjoying a home-cooked meal instead of going to a fancy restaurant. Twenty-four percent are fine finding cheaper eateries around town and 25 percent are really cheap dates and would be happy just meeting for coffee or drinks.
In these stressful financial times, the poll also finds that stability is the new sexy. Three in 10 singles want to find a partner who is financially stable, and 23 percent say they’re more appreciative of people who are “frugal.”
The 2022 study is based on the attitudes and behaviors taken from a demographically representative sample of 5,000 U.S. singles between the ages of 18 to 98. Generations are defined as: Gen Z (18-25), Millennials (26-41), Gen X (42-57), and Boomers (58-76).