Dating and Relationship Advice

2021 brought us Fauci-ing, Submarining, and other dating trends that emerged in response to the pandemic. But now that 2021 is ending, we at iris were curious about what would come next. That's why we conducted a survey of over 700 people from across the United States to understand their love lives in 2022. You may be surprised by the results.

1) Covid is on everyone's minds

Just when we thought the pandemic was finally going away... the omicron variant is here to screw things up. 42% of respondents said that omicron has changed their willingness to go on in-person dates. Additionally...

  • 49% of people are more willing to go on FaceTime dates because of the pandemic. The willingness decreases with age: 63% of Gen Zers said they're more willing, whereas only 57% of Gen Xers said yes.
  • 19% think getting a booster shot is a turn-on, whereas 10% think it's a turn-off. 29% think vaccination status is a dealbreaker.

It seems the dystopian world of Covid dating isn't going away anytime soon.

2) Pop culture feeds into the dating culture

Taylor Swift's release of her re-recorded album, Red (Taylor's Version), made some 20 and 30-somethings reminisce about their own failed romances. Turns out, it's quite a large percentage of them. A whopping 55% of Taylor Swift fans said that her music has made them re-evaluate their own love lives.

The sentiment is most prevalent among Gen Z: 70% of Gen Z Swifties answered that it made them re-evaluate their love life. The figures were about the same for male and female respondents of all ages (52% vs 57%).

Blondie isn't the only one influencing love and romance. A quarter (25%) of Gen Z respondents said that K-Pop has changed their perception of east Asians. Out of those people, 68% said they'd be more likely to date someone Asian because of K-Pop.

Many of us have heard of the OKCupid study that showed Asian men received the lowest ratings out of every racial group. Perhaps broader representation in pop culture can correct these pre-existing biases.  

3) People lie A LOT when dating

Political affiliation is a major source of untruth. 19% of people said they pretended to be more liberal or conservative to get more dates, with 10% pretending to be more liberal and 9% pretending to be more conservative.

23% of dating app users said that they have lied on their dating profile — most commonly by posting an old photo of themselves (42%), faking interests and hobbies (42%), using a fake name (24%), and lying about stats like a job, number of children, etc. (23%).

Many more said they were on the receiving side of these lies.

  • 42% of participants said they've been catfished, meaning they've witnessed someone using a photo of someone else as their own.
  • 55% said they've seen someone using old photos
  • 42% said they've seen someone using fake stats like a job, whether they have children, etc.
  • 39% said they've seen someone using a fake name.

4) Your online presence matters

Have you ever had to pretend like you didn't know details about your date's life, even though you had already found out through social media or a Google search? You're not alone. 43% of respondents said they check out their date's social media before going on the date. 40% said that they even do a Google Search.

But baring it all on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter isn't always a good thing. 27% have canceled a date because of something they found online about the other person. Here were some of the most significant dealbreakers:

  • The most common answers were bad breath (51%) and body odor (62%), even more so than jail time (33%) and religious affiliation (16%).
  • 10% of respondents included cat ownership as a dealbreaker.
  • Addiction was a much bigger deal for women than men. 60% of women said it's a dealbreaker, whereas only 42% of men said the same.

5) People are kind of shallow

Surprise, surprise... looks matter. A whopping 19% of respondents said that they went on an in-person date only to leave before the other person saw them. The results are even among all genders.

What did they see that made them want to run away? For women, eyes (40%), height (19%), and clothes (15%) are what they notice first about their date. For men, it's eyes (39%), butt (10%), and hair (10%).

Although we no longer live in Victorian England, people seem to still care about their date's body count. On average, respondents answered that 8.2 people is the acceptable number for their date to have slept with. 29% said that they would not date someone who has slept with more people than their acceptable number.  The results for men and women were roughly the same.

We also asked participants the age-old question of "does size matter?" (wink wink) Only 35% of men said that it does, whereas 46% of women said yes. In a similar vein, 57% of men have been disappointed in the bedroom, whereas 65% of women said that they have. We'll let you draw your own conclusions from that.

Overall, it looks like we have a lot to look forward to (and not look forward to) in the new year. Since Covid and dating aren't going anywhere anytime soon, we're excited to see what trends pop up next.

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