By Joe Staples // SWNS Staff
According to a new survey, more than half (57%) of single Americans surveyed feel optimistic about finding “The One” in 2021 and say they’ve opened their dating pool to include people they wouldn’t have been previously interested in.
A survey of 2,000 Americans in the dating market found there is a renewed increase in sentimentality when it comes to dating this year. In fact, nearly six in 10 (58%) say that romantic gestures are more important to them now than they were pre-pandemic.
More than a third (37%) say they are most looking forward to holding hands, first kisses and a flirty smile from across the room (sans mask) once the pandemic ends. A like-minded 39% of people believe ghosting will become a thing of the past in 2021.
Commissioned by Plenty of Fish and conducted by OnePoll, the study also found that despite singles’ desire to find “The One,” seven in 10 single or dating Americans feel less romantic pressure around this year’s Valentine’s Day compared to previous years.
The lower pressure, according to respondents, comes from being more likely to hang out with their “quaran-team” — friends, family, or pets — at home (65%), general expectations of the holiday being lowered (52%) and because they just don’t feel like celebrating (43%).
Overall, 39% of people say they already have plans for Valentine’s Day this year. Of them, romantic plans include having a dinner date at home (54%), a romantic date outdoors (50%) and a virtual date night (46%).
“While Valentine’s Day might look different in 2021, singles have spent the last year learning how to date from a distance by using technology to connect virtually more than ever,” said Shannon Smith, Director of PR, Plenty of Fish. “Tools like video chatting or our livestreaming feature allow singles to get to know each other, in a low-pressure way, from the comfort of their home.”
2020 called for a huge shift in relationships. More than two in five respondents (43%) say they went through a breakup right before or during the pandemic, and almost half (45%) say their relationships ended because they didn’t see eye-to-eye on the importance of mask-wearing, social distancing and other pandemic protocols.
Interestingly, 55% say they would consider getting back together with an ex once life returns to normal, but these pandemic protocols are the new dealbreakers for relationships in 2021. In fact, over half of single or dating Americans (55%) agree that not having intentions of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is enough to turn potential partners away.
Notably, 52% of people would still rather date virtually than in-person and some of the adjustments singles made to connect with others while social distancing in 2020 will stay in place this year. Forty-four percent will continue to have phone dates, 37% remain open to long-distance dating and 32% will continue video chatting.
“The last year has posed some unique challenges for singles navigating dating, but we’re seeing a renewed interest in fostering deeper, more meaningful connections,” said Smith. “Singles are entering 2021 with clarity on what they’re looking for and what truly matters to them, and we look forward to seeing many successful relationships begin this year.”
WHAT IS THE IDEAL POST-PANDEMIC FIRST DATE FOR AMERICANS?
- Dinner and a movie 38%
- Museum or art gallery 36%
- Amusement park 30%
- Meeting for coffee 29%
- Sporting event 27%
- Meeting at a bar 27%
- Going out for lunch 25%
- Concert/live music 22%
- Going out for brunch 21%
- Meeting with mutual friends 10%