What’s it like being single today? We asked, and America’s singles answered. Every year, Match’s Singles in America study gets to the heart of the latest dating trends and realities for Americans looking for love. In our 12th annual study, we dive deep into today’s dating world: What’s hot (conscious dating, mental health, sex positivity), what’s not (superficiality, sex in the metaverse, political misalignment), and why acceptance, inclusivity, and open-mindedness have never been sexier.
Superficial is super dated. Now more than ever, singles are invested in conscious dating: Looking beyond just physical attraction to use dating as a way to learn about themselves (who they are, what they need, and their behavioral patterns throughout the process). Age, distance, and other surface-level attributes are taking a back seat to good, old fashioned authenticity. We’ve heard it loud and clear: Singles are dating with intention — and they’re seeking someone with mindfulness to match.
Go ahead and swap those dress jackets and heels for something more laidback and real:
84% of singles say they prefer casual dates over stuffy wine and dines. They’ve also dressed down their expectations, thinking of first dates less as high-pressure first impressions and more as opportunities to meet someone new.
When it comes to dating experiences, 77% say they like learning about new people — and 53% say they find dating a helpful tool to learn how to be their best self, too.
All signs highlight a more honest, introspective approach to building relationships over time:
And we’re all for it.
Friendships bring a long list of benefits. They lower cholesterol, promote laughter, lead to better health — and now you can add provide dating direction to that list.
According to our data, friends are singles’ leading source for advice in love.
For dating advice, 48% of singles lean on their friends. Another 33% turn to their family. YouTube and social media search bars console 21% of today’s singles, while 16% ask their therapist and 14% seek dating advice where they find dates, too: Dating apps.
And it’s a myth that men don’t ask: They seek dating advice just as often as women.
Today’s singles give relationships more time to see if there’s a spark.
In fact, 49% have fallen in love with someone they weren’t initially attracted to (up from 38% in the last decade).
The moral of the story? First impressions aren’t everything.
Take a leaf out of their book and give someone a shot. (You just might grow to love ‘em.)
Today’s singles aren’t quick to judge, but they might be quick to settle down.
Relationship readiness is soaring: And they’re ready for more than a fling.
70% are open to finding a relationship today, with 35% saying they’re keen to meet a partner within the next few months.
Young singles are especially sold on long term relationships, with 80% indicating they’d like to find something that lasts.
The search is on for partnerships: 48% of all singles say they’re more eager to meet a partner now than before.
Really. Our data shows singles believe love can go the distance.
53% say they’d start a relationship with someone who lives more than 3 hours away, compared to only 35% last year.
Perhaps the pandemic has something to do with this newfound affinity for loving from afar: 33% say their stance on distance changed during the pandemic.
With local love no longer the default, singles turn to virtual methods of getting to know one another before they connect in person.
Can you get to know someone in the metaverse? Today’s singles aren’t convinced.
Before meeting up IRL, they’d like to get to know their date — but not their avatar.
Overall, singles prefer their sex live in living color: Only 3% have tried it through virtual reality.
Let’s talk about sex — singles today know the dynamic relationship they seek starts with them. They’re invested in exploring what they want (and how they want it.)
Today’s singles know it’s more than okay to love sex.
Self-discovery isn’t just mental. Over one third (38%) of singles are more interested in exploring their body and sexuality than they were before the pandemic. Gen Z and Millennials top this trend with Gen Z at 54% and Millennials at 47%. We found consistent curiosity across genders — everyone’s finding their own beat.
38% of singles say they feel more sexually empowered this year: And we say, power to them.
For today’s singles, repetition is en vogue. They’re showing a strong appreciation for the classics: 57% report really enjoying missionary position during sex. Another 51% say they don’t mind repeated sexual behaviors. (Maybe we’re seeing that sexual self-discovery pay off.)
The pandemic helped many singles rediscover the beauty of the basics. 31% say their sexual interests became more vanilla since the pandemic, mostly among Gen Z.
COVID also brought self-discovery to a lucky few who found their fetish. 18% of singles say their sexual interests became more kinky since 2020.
While they might favor missionary for knocking boots, singles today are quite open to new sexual experiences.
Polls can take tolls: This year’s biggest political issues exhibit a meaningful impact on how singles balance social responsibility and dating.
Abortion rights aren’t an issue singles — or anyone, for that matter — take lightly.
Today’s daters are thinking critically about how stances on the issue affect their relationships.
Singles share the top three ways Roe’s reversal will change their dating lives:
And abortion rights shook up more than just dating:
It’s no surprise 17% of singles have lost friends due to opposing views.
Today’s daters, especially the younger ones, lead with love and acceptance.
Singles want a partner who is politically aware — but not uncompromising.
COVID's here to stay — but vaccines are slowly fading from singles' top dating concerns.
40% definitely want their partner to be vaccinated, compared to 47% in 2021.
36% said they don’t care.
However, 1 in 3 singles say their dating life is currently affected by COVID.
Singles are spending $117.4B on their dating lives each year.
That breaks down to $130/month, or $1,560/year.
The cost of dating increased 40% over the last 10 years, but that hasn’t stopped singles from dating. They’ve just gotten more clever and innovative with how they swing it.
Money problems, inflation, a recession — these don’t kill love,
however they are forcing singles to adapt.
Today’s top three stressors for singles (everyone but Gen Z) are all financial:
Among Gen Zs, the biggest stressor (at 44%) was mental health,
and we’ll have more on that below.
Being in the red is a big deal when it comes to dating.
For today’s singles, the self-improvement movement is alive and kicking. They realize the importance of putting themselves first to be a better person and a better partner.
And singles are acting accordingly. This year, they’re investing more in themselves to lay the foundation for healthier relationships.
This year sees a large decline in young singles feeling burnt out, almost a 20% drop from last year. But where’s their current burnout still coming from?
Even though social burnout is real, it has little sway over dating in person.