11 Things We Learned About Dating In 2017, According To Science
Remember when ghosting was one of the only popular dating trends we had to deal with? While ghosting doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, 2017 brought us even more dating trends to worry about. For instance, breadcrumbing, which was may even be worse than ghosting, happens when someone responds to you just enough to make you think they're interested, but never have any intention of actually following through.
And if that wasn't enough, more annoying dating trends that emerged included haunting, lovebombing, kittenfishing, submarining, and stashing, among others. While you can make the argument that millennials are the worst when it comes to dating, these rude behaviors are really nothing new. We've just managed to do it to people online and IRL, as well as put labels on it.
But if you think that would turn many of us into bitter singles, new research from 2017 found that's not necessarily the case. Over the past year researchers from all over the world conducted different surveys and studies to see how people are really dating today — both online and IRL. So from the new dating trends we had to deal with to the best way to land a second date, here are some things we learned about dating over the past year:
1. We're Addicted To The Process Of Dating
How would millennials describe being single in 2017? It's complicated. According to Match's seventh annual Singles In America survey of over 5,000 American singles, millennials are 125 percent more likely to admit they're addicted to the process of dating over any other generation. But it's not just about going out, meeting new people, and having fun. The survey found that many millennials really do want to find love, and they feel pressure to get married.
2. Millennials Are Still Optimistic About Love
Just because dating today may be a little more complex, that hasn't stopped millennials from pursuing the kind of love they want. In fact, according to a survey by dating app Hinge, 88 percent of singles say they feel "hopeful" about dating and over half of millennials say they believe in love at first sight.
3. Dating Apps Are Actually Making People LESS Picky
If you think dating apps have only made us more shallow or hyper-focused on insignificant details, think again. According to a study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, researchers from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia found that dating apps are actually making people less picky. As they found, people's stated preferences for what they want in a partner had barely anything to do with the people they actually contacted. This happens because online dating has shaped our dating behaviors and who we find attractive. With so many options, people tend to go for people they're interested in, rather than search for their "ideal" partner.
4. Algorithms May Not Be Able To Predict Real-Life Attraction
Another study earlier this year, published in the journal Psychological Science, also found that online dating doesn't work as you would typically think. According to researchers, questionnaires and matching algorithms can't predict real-life attraction. That's why they made the argument that popular apps like Tinder and Bumble are the only ones worth your time. Dating apps can't match you to your perfect someone, but they can help you meet new people. So if you use apps for the purpose of meeting people and not for its ability to be a matchmaker, you're likely to have much more success.
5. Mentioning Your Love Of Guac On Your Dating Profile Will Help You Get More Dates
If you've been dating online and haven't been very successful, mentioning the fact that you're a "foodie" can help you land more dates. According to a recent survey conducted by online dating service, Zoosk, using the word "foodie" can make you 80 percent more likely to find a date online. Saying you like to cook will also increase your chances by 26 percent.
The survey also found that mentioning "guacamole" on your Tinder profile can increase your messages by 144 percent. Your love of potatoes and chocolate can also lead you to more conversations.
6. This Is The Best Way To Impress Someone On A Date
A survey of 1,000 American adults conducted by RetailMeNot found that the best way to impress someone on a first date is to show off your sense of humor. According to the survey, 54 percent of people say having a great sense of humor is the key to impressing them on the first date.
First dates should be fun, so that totally makes sense. After all, laughter is a good way to bond and build stronger relationships with others. Other impressive things include being thoughtful and picking a good date location.
7. This Is The Secret To Landing A Second Date
Another good way to impress your date is to be attentive. According to a study published in the journal Science of Nature, being a good listener can make you seem more attractive. "Listening is the way you actually connect with people," Dr. Jennifer Rhodes, licensed psychologist and founder of the bi-costal consultancy, Rapport Relationships, tells Bustle. "When people talk to someone whom they feel takes the time to listen, they feel safe and understood."
That's probably why a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that asking questions is the key to landing a second date. People like feeling like someone's interested in them, and nobody wants to go on a date with someone who just doesn't seem to care. That's why listening and asking follow-up questions are great ways to indicate interest.
8. "Phubbing" Is The Number One First Date Dealbreaker
Since being a good listener is considered an attractive trait, it shouldn't come as a surprise to know that singles say looking down at your phone is the number one dealbreaker on a first date. According to a survey of 2,000 singles by dating site, PlentyOfFish, 19 percent of people hate being on a date with someone who'll just snub you for whatever's going on in their phone.
"We know it's wrong because we identify it in other people but we haven't made the leap to realize that's wrong too," Celeste Headlee, conversation expert and author, tells Bustle. "We justify the behavior in ourselves, like 'I'm waiting for an email, I need to keep checking my phone.' We just need to say, if it's bad for 80 percent of people, it's probably bad for me too."
Other first date dealbreakers include taking smoke breaks, being rude, talking about exes, and having nothing in common.
10. Your Date's Eyes Can Tell You If They're Into You
So you didn't phub, you were super attentive, and you asked a lot of really great questions. How can you tell if the date's going well and you'll get a chance to see that person again? According to a series of experiments by Function, researchers found making constant eye contact is one way to tell that your date is into you.
"Eye patterns, body language, and other non-verbal cues can reveal 70 percent more than our actual words do," Caitlin Cooper, a New York-based matchmaker at Three Day Rule and dating consultant for the study, tells Bustle. "The dilation of pupils, flushing of the face, deep eye contact, and similar posture or movements are markers of deep engagement and that a date is going well."
11. Meeting Online Is The New Norm
While years ago, online dating may have still felt somewhat taboo, thanks to the popularity (and success stories) of dating apps, it's no longer something people try to hide. Hinge's survey also found that 90 percent say they're not embarrassed to admit they met their partner online and 78 percent personally know couples who've met via dating apps.
While we did have a ton of annoying new dating trends to deal with this year, the important thing is, many of us still haven't given up on dating. Dating will always be confusing, with the addition of technology or not. But if you keep going and remain optimistic, you never know what's going to happen. Who knows? Maybe 2018 could be your year.