During desperate times, you’ve got to make do with what you have … or whom you have.
A new survey released on Monday (NZ time) by online dating company Match found that nearly 25 per cent of singles in the US who reported having sex during lockdown did so with a non-romantic flatmate, one of the many ways Americans had to adapt during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 10th annual Singles in America study offers a revealing insight into how singles navigated a year of unprecedented social, economic and political changes and how the ongoing pandemic transformed their approach to dating, love and sex.
Although many singles found a hook-up partner in their own household, at least 71 per cent of survey participants managed to spend their quarantine without any sex at all. Among those who did get some action, 45 per cent decided to take the risk and have sex with someone outside of their household, according to the survey.
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As for those who went on a date during the pandemic, 20 per cent said they will insist on mask-wearing throughout the date, with Gen Z and Millennials being even more open to the idea. Younger generations also had a higher rate of sleeping with a non-romantic flatmate.
The study also found that nearly six out of 10 survey participants using dating apps have shifted towards more intentional dating, with 53 per cent of singles now prioritising their search for a relationship, a trend that also appears to be tied to the pandemic.
“Prior to 2020, no one expected that singles would consider a date’s willingness to wear a mask,” said Dr Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and chief scientific advisor to Match.
“Recent cataclysmic events have led singles to want more from dating: a desire for a relationship over casual dating; more meaningful conversations, and more honesty and transparency during a date,” she said in a statement. “Today’s singles want to know who you are, where you’re headed financially, and what you expect from a possible partnership.”
The Dallas-based Match Group, which also owns Tinder, Hinge, PlentyOfFish and OkCupid, described the survey as the nation’s “largest and most comprehensive annual scientific study,” with more than 50,000 participants across the US.
The survey, conducted in partnership with internet marketing research firm Dynata, also found that video dating during a first date has become increasingly popular during the pandemic while serious topics like politics and social movements are now more acceptable among singles.
In the past three years of the Trump administration, there has been a 25 per cent increase in singles who believe it’s important that their potential partners share the same political beliefs, for a current total of 76 per cent reporting that opinion. In addition, fewer singles today believe they can have a relationship with someone with very different political views, 54 per cent of Republicans and 44 per cent of Democrats, according to the survey.
Other highlights from the survey include:
Number of sex partners: Of those who had sex during the pandemic, 16 per cent had it with just one partner, 5 per cent had two partners, 3 per cent had three and 5 per cent had four or more.
Politics: 30 per cent of singles think that debating political issues with a date is sexy. But more Independents enjoy debating politics (46 per cent) compared to Democrats (33 per cent) and Republicans (29 per cent).
Interracial dating: 24 per cent of singles are now more open to dating someone of a different race or ethnicity since the killing of George Floyd and the ongoing protests for racial justice. In the past 10 years, there has been a 58 per cent increase in singles being open to dating people of a different ethnicity.
Black Lives Matter: 59 per cent of singles want to know if their date supports Black Lives Matter.
Video dating: 19 per cent of singles video-dated during the pandemic. Of those who did so, 59 per cent said they had more meaningful conversations while 63 per cent became less worried about their appearance when video dating.
Masturbation: 16 per cent of singles overall said they masturbated more frequently.
Breakups: 26 per cent of singles broke up during lockdown, and 22 per cent of singles lost contact with a potential date.
– New York Daily News
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