Almost every month in 2020 has given us a reason to stay glued to our TV screens, and it’s not for season recaps of The Bachelor or college football re-runs. As we all seek to understand the latest headlines – the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming election, a fluctuating stock market, foreign interference with our elections, social unrest, big tech monopolies (we can go on) – life in socially distanced America is different now, and our understanding of this America is becoming a defining factor in one unlikely but key aspect of our lives: romance.
No longer does a first date include drinks at a nearby restaurant; instead it’s a “get to know each other” Zoom call not that far off in awkwardness from a middle school dance. Dating is different now, and the way singles measure potential suitorsis different too. In these times of uncertainty, people want answers. As consumers increasingly turn to the news to understand the world around them we wanted to find out how being more informed about current events is affecting the chance to find love in 2020.
What we found is that people actively want their prospective partners to be knowledgeable about current events more than ever, and that for nearly half of American singles, blissful ignorance of the world around us might mean you won’t get a second date.For anyone trying to understand modern love during the age of coronavirus, we welcome you to our report.
Being informed is now more attractive than ever
With increased media consumption, the news is naturally influencing dating in America and what singles* look for in a partner.
Go ahead, judge a date by their news source
While it’s attractive to have opinions, a potential partner’s dating appeal may be enhanced if they prefer an unbiased news source.
Nearly half (46%) of single American daters report that regularly reading/watching neutral or independent news outlets makes a potential romantic partner MORE desirable.
A person’s primary news source can even be a deal-breaker – more than 1 in 3 (35%) singles would consider ending a relationship with a potential partner that lists Fox News as their primary news source, while roughly 1 in 8 (12%) singles reported the same for MSNBC.
Want a date? Wear a mask
Americans are looking for partners who are taking preventive actions to stop the spread of COVID-19 seriously:
COVID-19 safety is a top consideration for singles participating in online dating, as many won’t go on a second date if their potential romantic partner:
What’s in a vote?
Being informed clearly affects your dating success – but in an election year, we were also curious how dating is being shaped by politics. It turns out, intention to vote is also key to dating success: 53% of singles currently dating say being registered to vote makes a potential romantic partner MORE desirable.
However, that appeal could be quashed if your date belongs to a different party, as 41% of single online daters would not go on a second date with someone whose political beliefs don’t align with theirs.
And a vote for one candidate over another can even up your dating appeal in some instances:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,535 adults, 1,321 of whom are not married or in a civil partnership. Fieldwork was undertaken between July17-21, 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).