Online dating etiquette and dating preferences were researched in the second annual State of Dating in America report. An independent research firm surveyed 2,847 U.S. singles between the ages of 18 and 59 to find out how they felt about dating in the digital age.
Online daters as well as non-online daters participated in the study. The report highlights variances between age groups and genders.
Some of the information revealed was exactly what you’d expect — 65% of men like to date younger and 84% of women like to date older. But some of the data was surprising. Almost 10% of men had dated a Las Vegas escort or call girl at least once. And 25% of women are influenced by their pets on whom they date. So guys you better be nice to Fluffy or you’re history.
When asked “What do you find attractive about the opposite sex?” the top answers for women were: Sense of Humor 27%, Intelligence 19%, Integrity 19%, Confidence 16%, and Physical Appearance 12%. Not surprisingly, men are more visual and Physical Appearance came in first at 30%, followed by Sense of Humor 21%, Confidence 17%, and Intelligence 16%. Financial success was last for both groups with only 3% of women listing this as the Most Attractive Feature and only 1% of men, proving gold diggers are rare, but they do exist in both sexes.
Online dating starts out ONLINE but the goal is to get OFFLINE, so it’s helpful if you follow the online dating etiquette tips that are revealed. Note that these apply to men seeking real relationships, not to guys that are looking for love through a Vegas escort agency.
The study showed everyone prefers to be asked out for first dates via a live phone conversation vs. texting — women prefer it 85% and men 82% and in fact, invites via text are frequently misunderstood as to whether the outing is an actual date or not, according to 48% of women and 39% of men, so speak your intentions versus typing them!
Since most first dates are for drinks or dinner, food and alcohol play a big part. The top foods to avoid on first dates are garlic bread — according to 38% of women and 37% of men followed by chicken wings — 26% of women and 20% of men. This is correlated with the Biggest Online Dating Etiquette Food Faux Pas — being a messy eater. Men were even more turned off by this 54% to 46%, so chew with your mouth closed and stick with foods that won’t get smeared all over your face or won’t give you bad breath.
Men and women differ, however, on their views on how much alcohol is OK to drink on a first or second date. One to 2 drinks on a first date was the most popular answer for both men and women, but when asked “If you really liked someone, but they got drunk on your first or second date, would you go out with them again?”, women resoundingly said NO 59%, while men were far more lenient with only 28% saying NO. I guess men don’t mind if their dates get drunk — SHOCKER, no pun intended. Read more in this New York Times article.
The top answers for women were: Hygiene 34%, Unemployment 21%, Smoking 16%, Drinking Habits 16% and weight 5% (guys are always getting a pass on their looks). Men listed: Hygiene 35%, Smoking 24%, Weight 14%, Unemployment 9% and Drinking Habits 9%.
Beliefs about online dating today show it is viewed very positively and no longer has a negative stigma: 85% said Online Dating is socially acceptable, 76% said Online Dating is a great way to meet people and 72% said it is easier to ask someone out online than in person.
When asked, “Who do you ask for input on your online dating profile?”, we discover most people are just winging it. The top answer for both groups was NO ONE: 75% of women and 82% of men. Only 1% of both women and men used a professional dating coach to assist them. It’s no wonder so many people unnecessarily struggle with online dating and those that do employ coaches enjoy so much success.