On my way to work today, I listened to this NPR episode on Valentine’s Day and it caught my attention. The show invited Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and chief science advisor for the online dating company Match, to share the latest trends from the 11th annual Singles in America study. The findings are, I have to say, astonishing. As a psychologist specializing in relationship and sex, I have been sensing the trends change as a pandemic began and later progressed through my clinical work, but I couldn’t really lay my finger to pinpoint what’s been different.
The research from Singles in America: Match Releases Largest Study on US Single Population for 11th Year confirms my observations through the past three years of love in pandemic:
What singles want in a long-term partner:
84% someone I can trust and confide in
84% can communicate their wants and needs
83% open-minded and accepting of differences
83% can make me laugh
83% is emotionally mature
82% comfortable with their sexuality
80% has a life of their own
79% confident and self-assured
78% physically attractive (vs. 90% in 2020)
You would probably wonder, isn’t that quite obvious? Don’t we all want that? You will be surprise just right before the pandemic, how many of my clients turn people away just because they’re not “cute” or there’s no “spark”. The pandemic has helped a lot of my clients realize how important someone (or their own)’s emotional maturity matters! Before the pandemic, questions on emotional wellness, self-care, and work/life balance were not valued as much as now. In other words, people are becoming more intentional and mindful of the multi-dimensions of their own needs in finding the “ideal partner”.
Are you surprised by these findings? Hope you all have an intentional Valentine’s Day!
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