Dating App Survey Reveals Traditional Gender Roles Still Apply

Someone using a dating app on their phone.

With the world turned upside down in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the idea of putting yourself out there in the dating world can seem downright intimidating. However, given the need to social distance, the use of online dating and apps that make meeting people easier has never been more prevalent. And while online dating has certainly revolutionized how people connect with each other, the NYC-based dating app iris surveyed 1,000 Americans and found that traditional gender roles and stereotypes still play a factor when it comes to dating. In fact, this survey uncovered quite a bit of interesting information surrounding dating in today’s world, which you can learn more about below.

Financial Interest Trends

A young couple on a first date at a coffee shop.

There are quite a few survey results that point to trends surrounding financial interests when it comes to online dating. Iris cites that many women have the “six figures or swipe left” mentality, yearning to see a potential partner who makes six figures or who at least brings in more money than she does. Somewhat surprisingly, many respondents denoted that they’d prefer to discuss finances before or on the first date, with a whopping 62 percent of those surveyed stating that they feel it’s appropriate to ask about financial status early on—although, men were more likely to do this (according to survey results).

Having debt also plays a part in whether someone on a dating app will “swipe right” or not. Almost 42 percent of respondents said they would be less willing to date someone if they carry student debt while almost 50 percent of respondents would be less likely to date someone with credit card debt.

As far as finances relating to COVID-19 go, women are more understanding than men when it comes to financial troubles as a result of the pandemic. On the flip side, when strapped for cash, 50.3 percent of males said they have cancelled a date due to lack of funds whereas only 28.8 percent of females cite the same.

Furthermore, many men respondents maintain a more old-fashioned view, indicating that they would be bothered by their significant other making more money than them. While 11.9 percent of female respondents said this would bother them, 41.3 percent of men noted this would be a detriment to them.

Other Status Symbols

An airplane making hearts in the sky.

Interestingly, the survey points to a range of other status symbols playing a part in individuals feeling compelled to date or not date someone. Some of these biases are more traditional—for instance, looks still seem to be a factor for some. Over 33 percent of respondents admitted to considering looks and preferring that their dates be professionally groomed. Additionally, more than 65 percent of respondents noted that the type of car a potential date drives is an important factor.

There are also some more modern “status symbols” found to be important to these survey respondents. For starters, it may come as a surprise to learn that your date may be judging you based on what type of credit card you pay with. Nearly 31 percent of those surveys noted they judged someone on the type of credit card they had and males are more likely to make these judgements, with 44.8 percent of men noting it as something they notice and only 16 percent of women noting the same. Also, more than 35 percent of respondents said having a miles-based or travel reward-based credit card positively influences their decision to date that individual while almost 55 percent of those surveyed revealed that they find a potential date more attractive if they’re a frequent flier.

Traditional Date Etiquette

A young couple sitting on a park bench during a first date.

Another item that the survey delved into is a bit of first date etiquette. Something that can be tricky for those in the dating world to navigate is who should pay the bill. According to iris’ survey, men are much more likely to offer to pay the entire bill, as 53.6 percent of male respondents said they would do so whereas only 8.4 percent of women indicated as such. However, women are more likely to make a decision about paying based on who initiated the date in the first place. 51.1 percent of women stated that would help guide their decision while only 24.4 percent of men said the same.

Innovative apps such as iris, which focuses on meaningfully improving the dating experience of digital daters through the AI-powered personalization of the discovery and messaging stages of online dating, have made finding a potential partner from the comfort of your home easier than ever. However, as these survey results indicate, many long-held norms and stereotypes still exist and play a role in the dating world.

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