Romance, as experience has doubtless taught most of us, can be a fickle mistress. The ins and outs of the dating game are never explicitly stated and are often more complex than trivialized popular culture would have us believe. When searching for that special someone, whether you’ll hit it off or fizzle out is as extemporaneous as chemistry.
Current statistics on dating and relationships uncover some of the facts behind how our current generation deals in romance. We do things differently from the times of paying dowries, shotgun weddings, or reciting poetry from balconies – now, going on a date and even taking someone home is as easy as paying the right compliment or swiping the right way on Tinder. In our modern word of casual hook-ups and laissez-faire attitudes towards sex, not everyone wants to end up in a monogamous relationship. After all, the popularized image of the independent and highly sought after bachelor or bachelorette reminds us that marital bliss isn’t everyone’s paradise.
Whether you’re looking for a hook up or marriage, though, you’ve got to have some game. Trying to uncover the riddle of how men and women maneuver through the dating world has produced endless theories, step-by-step strategies and self-help books. Ultimately, though, the only thing we can do to get ahead on the dating playing field is to learn a few universal facts about human behaviour and interactions. Here, we’ve listed seven facts on dating and the way men and women view romantic relationships in the US, based on the most current studies, to lend a more accurate understanding of how the dating realm really works. It bears mentioning that for the sake of brevity this particular compilation of facts generally deals within a heteronormative context.
7. 44% of the American population is single.
In the US today, approximately 44 percent of people are single. The ratio of single men to single women is 86 to 100 and peculiarly enough, the state of Idaho has the lowest ratio of single people in the country, at 40 percent. It’s not surprising then, that 40 million Americans also actively use online dating.
6. It takes 15 minutes to impress a man; to impress a woman it takes 1 hour.
We’ve all heard the stereotype that men are easy to please whereas women have to be won over through great toil and effort. Studies show that it takes a mere 15 minutes to make an impression on a man but to make an impression on a woman it takes an hour. This could be due to the fact that, as generally more detail oriented creatures, women often rely on a variety of factors in order to find a person or given situation to be agreeable. Men may be more readily inclined to take things as they come, whereas women take a piece by piece approach and rely on slight details that make up the bigger picture – and that ought to take time to work out.
5. You won’t find romance at a bar.
Practically everyone’s guilty of it; we dress up for a night on the town and hit the scene with the hope of meeting someone fun and engaging. It seems, at times, like this is the point of a bar to begin with. But statistics show that only 9 percent of women who frequent bars in search of a mate actually find a lasting relationship. For men, it’s 2 percent. Those aren’t great odds!
4. 88% of women say money does matter.
What makes a person attractive, apart form their physical attributes, is certainly their level of success. And what’s a better marker for success than a person’s net worth? The crude stereotype of women as gold diggers isn’t assuaged by the fact that 88 percent of women consider money to be very important in the relationship. But perhaps this is due to the fact that financial stability is in anyone’s interest and when coupling up, money woes brought to the table by an unsuccessful or irresponsible partner aren’t an inherently desirable thing. With that said, it’s understandable that the number one relationship argument is over money.
3. Women date older, men date younger.
Studies show that 76 percent of women date men who are at least five years their senior; unsurprisingly, then, for men it’s the other way around — 80 percent date women who are at least five years younger. It’s theorized that levels of emotional maturity are what contributes to attraction, since women typically mature faster than men, it’s easy to see why an older man would be most compatible, and vise versa for men.
2. A smile is the most attractive feature.
This makes sense: A smile is welcoming, warming, enticing. A smile incites a sense of comfort and perhaps more importantly, friendliness and approachability. We are attracted (most of the time) to things which we find pleasing to behold and this is probably why 53 percent of singles consider a smile to be the most attractive feature of a person.
1. 63 percent of married couples met their spouse through a friend.
Looking for lasting love? Tell a friend! Statistics show that 63 percent of married couples in the US met their significant other after a friend introduced them. It seems proximity breeds compatibility, so the search for the right partner could lead (figuratively speaking; don’t hold your breath) right next door.