It's a perfect storm situation: You're messaging with a smart, articulate and seemingly sane person on a dating app, and the moment has come to pick a time to meet. But what is the best time for a first date? Should it be during the day, so if this hottie with a body turns out to be a creep with a sheep, you can pull a U-turn stat? Or is it better to do it at night, when the chances are better that you'll both be relaxed and have the time, energy and (hopefully) inclination to really get to know each other?
And even if you are solid on one or the other, what day of the week should it be? If nighttime is your pick, is Friday better because everyone looks forward to Friday, and so, subliminally, your date will be looking forward to meeting you on Friday? Or is Saturday the pick of the litter, because all involved parties will have had a full 24 hours to deep chill and will be able to really enjoy a first date? Finally, how long should a person stay on a first date? If you're nodding your head violently along with all of these queries, here are the answers, courtesy of Match's new dating survey.
1. Nights Are Ideal For A Date
A whopping 60 percent of singles want to go on a date at night, putting to rest the myth that people would rather have a quick coffee when meeting for the first time. The study, which surveyed 5,500 singles of all ages, ethnicities, incomes and walks of life, sheds light on the ins and outs of dating in 2016.
2. Afternoons Are OK Too
A much more demure 22 percent of singles go with afternoon dates, preferring to meet their potential partners in broad daylight. Match's study, the sixth of its kind in as many years, fills in some questions many of us have about dating — and could potentially inform the choices people make about when to have a date going forward. Now that you know that most people prefer nighttime dates, do you want to go one more?
3. Saturday Nights Are Where It's At
The thinking behind this is probably something along these lines: After a full work week, the last thing anyone wants to do is participate in a date. But by Saturday night, 39 percent of singles are ready. Plus, it gives you another reason to look forward to the weekend.
4. Fridays Are Also Where It's At
As popular as Saturday nights may be, Fridays are just fine as well. Slightly fewer singles said they prefer Friday nights, but 34 percent would rather jump straight in on Friday night, come what may.
5. Date Length Matters
The longer the first date, the better chances of a second date — to a point. This was true until two and a half hours hit, at which time the chances of a second date started going down. So it seems as though 2.5 hours is the sweet spot — any longer or shorter, and your chances at seeing this person ever again start going down.
6. Lunch Dates Are A Thing
As opposed to night or afternoon dates, 16 percent of singles went with "lunch dates" as their preferred time of day for a hang. I suppose an afternoon date could include a quick pick-me-up coffee time at 4 p.m., but lunch dates are very clear: Some of us just like meeting a new fling with mouthfuls of salad, OK?
7. A Scant Few Of Us Are Morning People
At least when it comes to dates. A teeny-tiny two percent of those surveyed said that morning dates are their favorites. I can't imagine asking a first date for some 9 a.m. latte and chill action, but I am impressed.
8. Two-Hour Dates Rule
Though the chances of a second date hit a sweet spot at the two-and-a-half hour mark on a date, most people prefer a good, old-fashioned two-hour date. The survey found that 34 percent of respondents' favorite length of date is two solid hours — no more, no less.
9. Short Is Not Better
Predictably, pretty much no one wants a 15-minute date. A minuscule 0.38 percent of those surveyed went with the quarter-hour as the best date length. I suppose some people would prefer to keep things short and sweet at the outset, but usually such a short date means that there's mutual disinterest, or at least disinterest on one side.
10. Some People Want Epic Dates
A slightly shocking five percent want a date to last four hours, which seems seriously long to me. But I suppose that I would want the best date ever to go on for as long as possible; maybe they're referring to dream dates.
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