Most Americans say dating has become harder

Single-and-looking American adults are mainly open to dating people with a variety of different traits. (Rawpixel pic)

WASHINGTON: While the coronavirus pandemic has profoundly changed the dating landscape, a new report by the Pew Research Centre reveals that American adults have long been dissatisfied with their dating lives and the ease of finding people to date.

The survey was conducted online with 4,860 US adults between Oct 16 and 28, 2019, long before dating apps like Tinder and Hinge saw a surge in popularity as stay-at-home orders influenced the way we meet and mingle with potential partners.

More than half of those surveyed said that their dating lives were not going well, with 75% of them claiming that it was “very or somewhat difficult” to find someone to date.

While single-and-looking men and women report equal levels of dissatisfaction with their love lives, women are more likely to say they have had some particularly negative experiences on the dating market.

Nearly seven-in-ten (65%) say they have experienced some kind of harassing behaviour from someone they were dating or on a date with, ranging from receiving an unwanted sexually explicit image to rumours being spread about their sexual history.

However, women are not the only ones bearing the brunt of harassing behaviours from potential romantic interests, as 19% of men report that someone they have dated has pressured them for sex or sent them explicit images they did not ask for.

Despite these negative experiences, single-and-looking American adults are overall open to dating people with a variety of different traits, including people who make significantly more or less money than them and people who are a different race or religion.

When it comes to being in a relationship with someone who lives far away, half of those surveyed (51%) say that they would hesitate to make the leap.

Many of them would also not consider being in a committed relationship with someone having a significant amount of debt (49%), or who voted for Donald Trump at the 2016 US presidential election (47%).

Although many American adults are dissatisfied with their dating lives, many of them are also content being on their own. Nearly half of single adults who are not looking for a relationship or dates right now say that they have more important priorities than being on the dating market (47%).