British millennial dating report

Once Research Shows There Are Too Many Time Wasters, Liars, Fake Profiles and Unauthentic Photos in British Digital Dating

  • Over half of British women want to rate their dates after a meet-up
  • 41% of men would be more honest about body shape and will use more realistic photos
  • 15% of women are disappointed at a suitor’s first sexual performance

London, XX February 2018: Once, the dating app that gives women the power to rate their dates, reveals the results of a recent research collaboration with YouGov. The survey looked into the issues surrounding authenticity in digital dating, such as catfishing, fake profiles, inaccurate profile images, time wasters and blatant lies.

Almost half of all British women (49%) have been let down by a lack of chemistry on a date and a third (34%) of all British adults have been on a date where there was no spark. With such high levels of disappointment there is clearly a problem and Brits need to improve their dating prowess to fix it.

One in six of us (17%) say that we know of a date where the person from a dating app or website did not look like their profile pic. Almost a fifth of women (18%) have been on a date where a man has blatantly lied about his physical appearance before meeting in person. This indicates that a significant proportion of digital daters do not have realistic photos on their profiles and are not being authentic with their descriptions. This alone is set to cause a huge disconnect from the start.

Saskia Nelson, of HeySaturday!, a boutique photo consultancy specialising in dating profile images, says: “If you want to secure that all important second date, it’s really key that you aim to intrigue and delight your date while creating a sense of trust. Using a profile picture that makes you look better than you do in real life is basically sending your date a powerful message that you’re untrustworthy. It tells them that you have gone out of your way to deceive them before you’ve even met them and there’s no coming back from that however fun you try to be on the date.”

“Instead, try using profile photos that capture a relaxed, natural-looking you, but you on a good day. You’ll not only attract people to your online profile but on the date too, as they will start to see you as someone trustworthy, genuine and worth their time. You’re much more likely to be able to arrange that second date with confidence then,” Saskia Nelson advises.

Out of all British women, 45% find it an appealing opportunity to rate authenticity following a date. When looking specifically at millennial women, this figure rises to well over half (56%). Men do not appear to be as welcoming to the idea of being rated by their female dates. When questioned on how they would change their behaviour online if women could rate them, less than half (47%) of heterosexual British men said they would not change their behaviours. This may be due to the fact that change is needed, as revealed in our female data and insights. Men may not wish to admit this though.

Jean Meyer, Founder at Once says: “It’s time for men to make a change in their attitudes and approach towards dating – for too long women have endured provocative chat up lines that have been spammed out to hundreds of other women at the same time, and not to mention unsolicited pictures! I want Once to be a dating app for genuine users, where our male users have a reputation as gentlemen, not creeps. We are all about serious relationships and connecting people in a safe way.”

Of those men that would adapt their behaviour in light of being rated, almost a third (31%) said they would be more likely to use an accurate and current photo on their dating profiles and they would be more honest about their physical appearance. Which could imply that a third of men embellish their six packs whilst they compile their dating profiles!

We asked millennial men what they would do differently if they knew they were being rated. 41% said they would use the most accurate and current photos on their profiles. Nearly a fifth (18%) said that they would be more likely to pick up the bill on a date and 41% agreed that they would be honest about their physical appearance.

Dating coach and relationship expert, James Preece says: “Being a gentleman is a dying art, but learning to be one can dramatically improve a man’s chances when dating. Men aren’t intentionally unchivalrous, it’s just that they are clueless about what they need to do to attract women and what women expect from them.”

James Preece adds: “Now they know they will be rated, they will be on their best behaviour and treat women with respect. They are more likely to dress well and make the effort to get to know someone slowly. This will have the added bonus of boosting their confidence. Little things like holding doors open, paying the bill, and being true to your word can all make a big difference in the dating game. These will help men stand out from the competition and the best men will be remembered for the right reasons.”

Donna Dawson, independent behavioural psychologist comments on the gender differences in dating: “Research indicates that while women are looking for ‘honesty’ in online dating, men are seeking to ‘impress’. This can lead some men to exaggerate, lie or to use outdated photos. The reasons for such male behaviour are due to both nature and nurture: first, the hormone testosterone makes men generally more competitive and sexually driven than women; and second, society continues to reinforce and approve of such stereotypes as ‘Jack-the-Lad,’ and behaviour such as bedpost-notching.”

Donna Dawson adds: “The internet itself tempts people to dishonest behaviour, because it cannot be immediately challenged. Millennial men seem more willing to modify their online behaviour, probably because of their desire to get on the relationship ladder in the first place, and because they are not yet set in their ways.”

One third of millennial men (32%) would be honest about what they were looking for from the start (relationship, hook up, casual friendship etc.). 28% would make a more conscious effort with their manners on a date. And only 4% would bring a gift if they knew they were being rated.

So, how do millennial men measure up? We asked women aged 18-34 about their most common dating disasters and hurdles. One third (33%) have endured an uncomfortable date with awkward silences or inappropriate questions and 15% of women admit they have been let down by a date’s sexual performance.

The disappointment goes further than the bedroom. One in ten women have been left to pay the bill, 14% have been stood up and a fifth have experienced a date with bad manners. Alcohol consumption on dates also raises its head as nearly a tenth of women (9%) have experienced a date being too drunk - which might be why 9% of women have witnessed the man they are with eyeing up another woman.

Donna Dawson, summarises: “We all want to end up in loving relationships, whether for many women this is ‘sooner’, or for many men this is ‘later’. The only way for both sexes to get what they want in the dating game is with complete honesty from the start, both in photos and intentions, followed by appropriate behaviour on an actual date. If women need to lead the way in curbing any male tendency towards dishonesty through rating their dates, then so be it. Those men who have been honest from the start will not be put off by this, while dishonest men will either be weeded out or forced to change their ways.”

Data for this report was collected from a representative sample of 2,000 GB respondents. Research conducted by YouGov, 26 to 29 January 2018. Full data breakdowns and further insights available from Mash. once@mashpr.co.uk

About Once Launched in October 2015 (2016 in the UK), Once is a slow dating app that focuses on quality over quantity by picking the perfect matches for you every day at noon! With more than six million users in seven countries, and nine million dollars raised to date, Once is the clear leader of serious mobile dating in Europe. Because finding true love takes time, Once offers meaningful matches in a world of countless swipes.

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