During desperate times, you’ve got to make do with what you have … or whom you have.
A new survey released Tuesday by online dating company Match found that nearly 25% of singles who reported having sex during lockdown did so with a non-romantic roommate, 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% of survey participants managed to spend their quarantine without any sex at all. Among those who did get some action, 45% decided to take the risk and have sex with someone outside of their household, according to the survey.
As for those who went on a date during the pandemic, 20% said they will insist on mask-wearing throughout the date, with Gen Z and Millenials being even more open to the idea. Younger generations also had a higher rate of sleeping with a non-romantic roommate.
The study also found that nearly six out of 10 survey participants using dating apps have shifted toward more intentional dating, with 53% of singles now prioritizing 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 U.S.
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 a been a 25% increase in singles who believe it’s important that their potential partners share the same political beliefs, for a current total of 76% reporting that opinion. In addition, fewer singles today believe they can have a relationship with someone with very different political views — 54% of Republicans and 44% 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% had it with just one partner, 5% had two partners, 3% had three and 5% had four or more
Politics: 30% of singles think that debating political issues with a date is sexy. But more Independents enjoy debating politics (46%) compared to Democrats (33%) and Republicans (29%)
Interracial dating: 24% 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% increase in singles being open to dating people of a different ethnicity
Black Lives Matter: 59% of singles want to know if their date supports Black Lives Matter
Video dating: 19% of singles video-dated during the pandemic. Of those who did so, 59% said they had more meaningful conversations while 63% became less worried about their appearance when video dating
Masturbation: 16% of singles overall said they masturbated more frequently
Breakups: 26% of singles broke up during lockdown, and 22% of singles lost contact with a potential date
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