eharmony Researches ‘Casual Dating Cycles’

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Research from eharmony investigated the dating habits of British singles, and found evidence of ‘casual dating cycles’.

One of the key findings was that 15% download a dating app within a week of becoming single.

Another was that around 40% see dating as a ‘numbers game’, and try to date as many people as possible in an attempt to find connection.

Singles with such habits often find themselves in what Market Insider describes as “a cycle of never-ending and unsatisfying dates”. This, the researchers suggest, may have several stages.

First, ‘the sign-up’ comes as individuals decide to join an app shortly after a breakup. 44% take this option within three months.

Then, they become stuck in ‘the quantity fallacy’, thinking that going on several dates per month will lead to a romantic relationship.

Associated with ‘the quantity fallacy’ is ‘the Hollywood complex’ – 77% of users rank physical attractiveness as one of the top three most important variables in deciding between potential partners.

Rachael Lloyd of eharmony comments: “While in the short-term picking someone purely on physical attraction might seem exciting, our research shows that selecting a partner based primarily on looks and superficial traits tends to lead to disappointment.

“It also tends to spur casual dating cycles as people spin between options.”

The short term dating can lead to a series of short term romances, dubbed ‘mini-mances’, which rarely last longer than six months.

Long cycles of casual dating can cause ‘rejection dejection’ and ‘dating burnout’, making users negatively frame the amount of effort they are putting in to finding love and dating apps.

Read more here.

Scott Harvey

Scott is the Editor of Global Dating Insights. Raised in Dorset, he holds a BA from The University of Nottingham and an MSc from Lund University School of Economics and Management. Previously he has written about politics, economics and technology for various online publications.

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