The Swipe Society: What Brits Really Think About Dating Apps

London, 03 October 2018: Once - the slow dating app that focuses on quality over quantity - reveals findings from its recent research collaboration with YouGov, investigating what people in the UK really think about swiping on dating apps.

Both British men and women equally find dating apps to be addictive (22% m and 21% f). This addiction steps into personal time too; with one quarter of respondents admitting to using a dating app whilst sitting on the toilet! Men are more likely to swipe whilst on the porcelain throne (30%) compared to women (18%).

Men are becoming increasingly habitual in their usage of dating apps, especially during everyday life and career scenarios, more than British women are. For example; men are three times more likely to use a dating app during a work meeting, twice as likely to swipe at a wedding and nearly four times more likely to do so at the gym. The research shows that men allow dating apps to invade their time on a daily basis much more than women.

When asked to describe the process of swiping and scrolling through a dating app, the sexes have very different opinions. One in ten women in the UK find the experience ‘stressful’, a fifth find it ‘hard work’ and nearly a third find it ‘boring and tiresome’.

Only 16% of UK males find dating apps ‘hard work’ and only 8% state that digital dating is a ‘stressful’ activity. In contrast to this a quarter of men find swiping and scrolling for a suitable match both ‘fun’ and ‘entertaining’.

This trend may be because men are quicker to make judgements based on appearance than women are. With 5% of UK males deciding whether or not to engage with a potential match in just one second of seeing their profile.

Women aren’t slow to judge though. Over a third (35%) of British women will decide whether or not to connect with someone in the first five to ten seconds after viewing a dating profile.

Jean Meyer, CEO at Once says: “The highly-invasive swiping culture makes us extremely picky and impossibly hard to impress. We’re spending too much time on dating apps, and not enough of that time is spent carefully considering a potential match’s profile. Ten seconds is simply not enough time to make an important judgment on someone who might become the love of your life and your potential partner.”

Dating is time consuming in The Swipe Society. Half of all British men who use dating apps spend the equivalent of one whole working day swiping per month. One quarter of us do not recall how much time we spend swiping as we do it so frequently.

The research also looked at the most popular scenarios and places where Brits use their dating apps. Women are most likely to be found looking for a date whilst watching TV (57%) - proving that they are true multi-taskers and adept at ‘second screening’. Whereas British men are most likely to use their dating apps in bed (51%). When looking specifically at age trends – the research shows that British millennials do nearly three quarters (73%) of their swiping in the privacy of their bedrooms.

Jean adds: “The acts of swiping and scrolling are fast and this does not provide for considered decisions. This super-charged approach to modern dating is great for quick hook-ups - but it’s not geared towards finding love. Dating should be an enjoyable experience and the statistics show that many people in the UK find it stressful, tiresome and boring. This is not the best mind-set to have whilst looking for someone and something much more meaningful.”

“Brits need to rethink their approach to dating – if you want to meet someone online, it needs to be much more considered and slower. At Once we deliver one match a day to our users, and if they don’t like that person, fine! Come back tomorrow and spend just a little time looking at our next suggestion. It shouldn’t become this time consuming.”

European Dating Comparisons

The research delved into dating app user trends in six European countries including; United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.

When looking at the trends across Europe, there were some interesting differences between the nations. For example, the Swiss (29%) are nearly twice as likely to use a dating app whilst on the toilet than the Germans (15%).

The French (4%) are twice as likely to look at their dating app whilst on another date than both the Austrians and the Swiss are (2% each). However, the Europeans that are most likely to be swiping for another match during a date are the Italians (5%).

Germans are the most frustrated nation when it comes to digital dating, with one in four (20%) describing swiping in this way. Italians are the least irritated – less than one in ten get frustrated when swiping (8%). Brits hold the crown with regard to digital dating and boredom - with nearly 1 in 3 (30%) stating they find it a ‘tiresome’ activity. The Swiss, Austrians and French appear to find digital dating easier than the Germans, Italians and UK.

Looking at the speed of judgement when viewing a new profile, Austria is the most dismissive nation - with 43% of them admitting to deciding whether to message or match within 10 seconds or less. In contrast, their German neighbours are the least dismissive - less than a third of Germans (31%) judge a potential match in 10 seconds or less.

The amount of time that Europeans spend actively using their dating apps varies considerably between the nations. The Austrians spend the most time swiping with 82% of them using their dating apps for up to four hours per week. This equates to eight and a half continuous days of online dating every year, without a break!

This follows with the Swiss (80%), French and Italian (both 67%) and Germans (66%) spending up to four hours swiping. British daters spend the least time swiping with 62% admitting to up to four hours per week.

Notes to editors

UK data breakdown: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total UK sample size was 2090 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31st August - 3rd September 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

For further information Please contact the Once UK press office at Mash PR

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