VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Dating app Plenty of Fish released insights from a new study that explores the relationship between dating and anxiety, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how singles are leveraging technology to foster meaningful connections. While 7 in 10 singles report feeling more anxious than usual, 72% of online daters believe it is still possible to start a romantic relationship while social distancing, and over half say the situation has inspired them to take dating more seriously.
The Pressure Points: Dating from a Distance report of 2,000 U.S.-based singles reveals the pressures they experienced throughout dating and found that dating-related anxiety can be so overwhelming that some admit to avoiding dating altogether. While singles are indeed very anxious, 84% believe that feeling anxious is normal and relatable – and believe the stigma around it is declining. In addition to using technology to stay connected during COVID-19, the majority of people take steps to ease feelings of anxiety in healthy, manageable ways, such as moderating alcohol consumption (55%), exercising (64%), reading (66%), and listening to music (81%).
Interestingly, 79% of singles will not date someone who doesn’t take social distancing seriously. To help Plenty of Fish members alleviate the dating pressures they’re currently experiencing, the company recently introduced Live!, a new livestreaming feature available to app-users globally, which enables people to date from a distance, and last year implemented a face filter ban to increase authenticity in dating.
“Technology has been crucial in helping single people stay connected during social isolation,” said Stefan Harvalias, Global Head of Marketing, Plenty of Fish. “Our insights show that members are spending more time on Plenty of Fish, and 1 in 5 have used our new Live! video chat feature.”
More than Just First-Date Jitters
According to the study, singles are stressed all the time, and dating pressures are one of the most significant sources of their high levels of anxiety.
- 3 in 5 report feeling some level of anxiety every day and a half say they experience it year-round.
- 82% say their anxiety level is moderate to very high.
Creating Connections During COVID-19
The global pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of daily life, including dating.
- A massive 95% of singles have participated in some degree of social distancing, isolation, or quarantine in the last three months and nearly 8 in 10 say they would not date someone who did not take social distancing seriously.
- 60% report they are more likely to use some form of video chat to connect with potential dates now than they would have in the past (comparatively, before COVID-19, only 26% of singles had video chatted with a prospective date before going out with them).
Sharing is Caring
The research found that singles are looking to normalize feelings of anxiety as related to dating.
- 83% consider themselves to be sympathetic to people who experience anxiety.
- Nearly 3/4 agree that it would make them feel less alone if people were more open about the topic.
“Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of — it’s simply your body’s way of letting you know that you have emotions that need to be processed,” said Sherianna Boyle, anxiety expert and author of Emotional Detox for Anxiety. “Finding ways to manage those feelings effectively helps open people up to the amazing power of a new connection and intimacy.”
The Pressure Points: Dating from a Distance study is the third installment in a series of pressure-focused reports from Plenty of Fish. Visit the Plenty of Fish blog, The Latest Catch, to learn more about this and the other survey data. Join the conversation on social by following Plenty of Fish on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and using #datingfromadistance.
Pressure Points: Anxiety & Dating Study Methodology
2,000 U.S.-based singles ages 18-65+ were polled online in March 2020. 36% of participants identified as male and 64% identified as female. The survey included a qualifying question about experiencing anxiety which yielded more female respondents.
About Plenty of Fish
Plenty of Fish, a Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH) company, is one of the largest global online dating companies and is available in 11 languages and more than 20 countries. Unlike many dating offerings today, Plenty of Fish offers a less prescriptive, low-pressure user experience that allows singles to discover what they’re looking for.
About Sherianna Boyle
Sherianna Boyle is an international coach, speaker, and author of six books, including Emotional Detox and Emotional Detox for Anxiety. Boyle is an adjunct Psychology Professor and founder of Emotional Detox Coaching® servicing clients virtually worldwide. She is also the co-founder of Cleanselife.com, which features her CLEANSE Yoga® virtual video collection, Emotional Detox courses and Group CLEANSES. Find out more: sheriannaboyle.com.
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