Where Is the Love: Is Dating As We Know it Still Alive?

Where's the love?

Well hello there, Cupid! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and whether you’re partnered up or free as a bird–swapping stories of first love, sharing those butterfly-in-the-stomach moments or comparing awesome/bad first date stories with friends and loved ones is probably not new to you. It may even be a part of your regular daily life. Regardless of it being the season of love and chocolates, it seems as though the topics of love and romance in today’s age has gone viral.

A day doesn’t seem to go by without hearing or seeing media sound bites pop up: Online dating! Traditional vs. “non-committal” dating! How a new generation of singletons are figuring out love’s rules! Hollywood is right there too, reflecting real life if not helping to define it, in its depiction of the trials and tribulations of modern single men and women with such hit television shows like Sex in the City, Entourage, and most recently, critically-acclaimed Golden Globe award winner, Girls.

Print media doesn’t want to be left out in the cold either. The New York Times recently published the article, “The End of Courtship?” In it, a new dating reality is discussed–Don’t call this a date; we’re just “hanging out”. We decided to investigate this new world of romance for ourselves–Is dating as we know it dead? Using SurveyMonkey Audience, a product used to collect insights from the public, we decided to find out by asking over 250 single men and women to get their thoughts on the subject.

The verdict is in–Men and women agree that the dating world has changed. It’s now evolved (or devolved?) from looking to find a life-partner, to a non-committal culture, or simply–hooking up or hanging out.

Check it out:

While an approximately equal percentage of our singles meet prospects in social settings, 18-29 year olds lead the way in meeting prospects the old fashioned way: through friends and family. Close to 30% of our 30-44 year old singles use online dating services such as OkCupid, Match, and eHarmony, which was nearly double that of our younger respondents:

Lastly, 18-29 year old singles responded that they are more likely to look for dating prospects in the workplace. Hm, a job plus or potential HR headache? You tell us!

It’s clear that there are plenty of opinions and tips on how to date out there and the proof is in the pudding. Various sources such as magazines, advice columns, dating blogs and TV shows add to the cultural library of love. A few golden oldies–Wait three whole days (or two or a week) before responding to that call or text because otherwise you’ll seem too eager, i.e. “desperate”. Take your time and take it slow. People aren’t dating to find a life partner anymore. Have fun, don’t think too much. But what did our respondents have to say?

We learned that both men and women do agree that taking into consideration the amount of time that passes before responding to the opposite sex when dating is wise. When we took a closer look, men were more likely to strongly agree with this statement, while women were more likely to disagree:

When asked what dating means, an overwhelming majority of both men and women defined dating as “finding a lifetime companion”. In other words, just hanging out doesn’t necessarily mean both parties involved aren’t wishing for a “Happily Ever After”.

Even more interesting was that more than 75% of men and women are dating with that intention in mind: Finding someone to share their lives with long term.

Check out our breakdown:

So what does all this mean in the end? While times may be a-changing and the language of love continues to be spoken in many different ways, one thing’s for sure–Cupid can breathe a sigh of relief. People are indeed still looking for love and that, after all, is what makes the world go ’round.

All of us at SurveyMonkey wish each of you a happy and love-filled Valentine’s Day this year. Tell us–what was the best Valentine you ever received? Let us know in the Comments section below!

Interested in getting started with SurveyMonkey Audience? Get started here today!

Image courtesy of BigStock photo

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Inspired? Create your own survey.

Inspired? Create your own survey.

  • http://www.moderndatingrules.com darcy

    Those are interesting facts, as a common complaint from women is that online dating services are cluttered with many men who are looking to hook up. But in the end most of us want more than to hang out. We want someone who understands us, and we can share and learn from. Especially in a large sea of potential mates, we only really need one. I appreciate these surveys as they remind us that what should be important still is. I share similar honest approaches to relationships and encourage subjects like how to get a man to commit Thank you for your endeavors to remind us that we are still human.

    • Kayte K

      Thank you for the thoughtful and insightful comment, Darcy!