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Singles in America

Match Releases Largest Study on U.S. Single Population for Eighth Year (Sponsor: Match)

Match, the world's largest relationship company, recently released findings from its eighth annual Singles in America study — the nation’s largest, most comprehensive annual survey of 5,000+ single people living in the U.S.

The Future of Dating

Hanging Out

“Hanging out” has become a new path to find companionship and 29% of singles who have been hanging out with someone have had that relationship turn serious. Many singles believe that a wider array of behaviors are appropriate when hanging out than when on an official first date, including:

  • Asking you out the day of is more acceptable when hanging out (48% approve when hanging out versus 27% approve on a first date)
  • Splitting the bill is more permissible when hanging out (48% approve versus 29% who approve of this on an official first date)
  • Inching toward physical intimacy. Only 37% of singles say kissing is OK when hanging out, while 64% believe this is appropriate on a first date.

The First Date

Fourty-four percent of singles went on a first date in 2017, and today there’s new significance placed on this occasion. Singles have stricter rules about what is appropriate on an official first date compared to when in a Friends with Benefits relationship or Hanging Out, including:

  • Asking you out 2-3 days in advance is appropriate first date behavior (54% approve compared to 27% approve of asking you out the day of).
  • Having a first date at a nice restaurant is more acceptable on a first date (59% of singles approve compared to only 22% believe fast food is OK for that first date).
  • Perfect Ending: Half of singles approve of just a peck on the cheek while on the first date and 64% of singles approve of kissing.

New Etiquette on Social Media

Nearly two-thirds of singles use social media at least once a day, although women use it more than men (72% of women; 59% of men). But there are rules emerging:

  • Before the first date — create boundaries: Less than one-fifth of singles say it’s OK to friend someone on Facebook (19%), follow them on Instagram (17%), add them on Snapchat (19%), or Like a photo or post (20%) before the first date.
  • After a few dates — start to be more social: 36% of singles say it’s time to start following a date on Instagram; while another 33% say they’ve already started; 75% of singles are also friends on Facebook and 76% are direct messaging.
  • Committed Relationship — making it official: 52% say it’s acceptable to friend their friends, 66% say it’s time to make it Facebook official (although 13% say they’d never do this), 66% say it’s acceptable to change your profile picture to a photo of you two; and 64% say changing your phone screen to a couple photo is fine when in a committed relationship.