If you’re looking for lasting love, look no further — you’re in the right place.
A new survey sponsored by dating website Match found that San Jose is not a city of flings, ranking number one in Bay Area cities for singles looking for long-term relationships. Across the nation, it ranks No. 4 in the top ten cities with the most serious young daters and number one on the list of singles looking for love.
The results come from Singles in America (SIA), which has released its ninth annual survey analyzing how singles feel about dating in the modern world. Nearly 5,000 people of varying ages, sexual orientations and financial backgrounds were surveyed to contextualize the growing trends among those looking for love today.
“We ask over 200 questions,” says Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist that leads the study. “There are some questions we ask every year, and a whole lot of new questions about new trends.’
Since the start of SIA, the rate of American singles participating in online dating has consistently increased.
In fact, dating apps are the most common way singles are finding first dates — far more than any other method, including through friends, work or school. It seems intuitive that singles would go on countless dates rather than settle into a committed relationship with the prevalence and ease of online dating, but this isn’t the case. SIA found that less than 10% of young singles in the Bay Area are interested in casual dating.
The data implies that younger generations are much pickier and more cautious with dating than their parents, many of them looking to develop relationships incrementally, a phenomenon she calls “slow love.”
“Everybody thinks that [younger generations] are engaging in reckless behavior,” says Fisher. “One of the questions we ask is ‘Do you date a lot of people or engage in casual dating?’ And every year we find out that only 10% are. (Millennials) are very responsible daters.”
This matches current social trends, too.
Many of the new questions in the SIA survey focused on the #MeToo movement and how it has changed the conversation
s around dating this year. More than half of the Bay Area singles surveyed said that #MeToo is important to them, and 35% said it caused them to be more reserved when approaching someone new in public. Nearly half the men surveyed said that #MeToo changed how they approach dating altogether.
But in 2019, dating may not be a priority like it was with older generations: 40% of singles said they wanted self-acceptance before love, while one third said they needed financial stability before thinking about dating.
“If you’re not financially self-sufficient, you don’t feel confident in a relationship,” says Gary Kremen, founder of Match.com. “It could affect self-esteem and respect from the other person — or even if they are considering starting a family down the line.”
Not only that but 83% of singles feel that love itself is hard to find.
“It’s the paradox of choice,” says Fisher. “Love is hard to find when you are overloaded with options. All the sites can do is introduce you to people. You need to go out and meet the people and use your own brain to get to know them.”
Contact San José Spotlight intern Yale Wyatt at [email protected] or follow @yalewhat on Twitter.