Smartphones drive our dating habits according to new report

We depend on our mobile devices to woo each other - and break up with our dates by text. Mobile devices add a new list of etiquette rules to follow when it comes to finding that special someone.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Navigating our relationships in the mobile world has a new set of rules. According to a new study, Mobile’s Impact on Dating and Relationships, released by online dating sites ChristianMingle and JDate we have changed the way we court our partners.

The study, based on an in-depth survey of 1,500 singles, looks at the habits of singles and their smartphones. It reveals an increased dependence on technology and surprising expectations around how people prefer to communicate. 

We are so unwilling to part with our smartphone that we use it everywhere from the shower to the sack. We are also more likely to have an iPhone accident if we have sex more than once per week or have tattoos.

“Mobile devices, especially smartphones, have had a profound impact on dating and relationships”.  ~ Greg Liberman, CEO of Spark Networks.

The dating report shows some interesting findings about the way we define our relationships using our smartphones.

Younger singles, ages 21 to 26, expect more instantaneous text responses compared to singles ages 43 to 50 (14 percent vs. 7 percent).

While they sleep, nearly 20 percent of all singles not only keep their phones on, but also in bed with them. That number is highest among those ages 21 to 26 (25 percent).

And getting to know someone becomes easier with a mobile device. Although both men and women use their devices to woo each other we use our devices in different ways. 

More men (44 percent) than women (37 percent) believe mobile devices make it easier to flirt and get to know someone.

Approximately one-third of both men (31 percent) and women (33 percent) agree it’s less intimidating asking someone on a date via text vs. making a phone call. Respondents aged over 43 would prefer to ask someone out by phone instead of text.

More than 50 percent of singles said they would consider breaking up with someone they were casually dating via text and an incredible 24 percent would consider ending an exclusive relationship in 160 characters or less.

state of dating report casual relationships
Credit: Spark Networks

After a good date, a majority of the men and women surveyed agree it doesn’t matter who initiates the next communication. But it does matter to us how quickly our date responds by text.

46 percent of singles have become upset with someone they are dating over their text response time, with more women (52 percent) getting upset than men (40 percent).

The survey reveals that mobile devices add a new list of etiquette rules to follow when it comes to finding that special someone. Daters must mind new manners when putting their best phone forward.

While texting is the most used feature on singles’ mobile devices, 68 percent still want to talk on the phone or in person to schedule dates (vs. 20 percent who prefer texting to schedule dates). 78 percent of singles expect to communicate within 24 hours after a good first date.

96 percent of singles keep phones out of sight during a date. But, don’t judge a phone by its case: somehow, some way, 67 percent still find a way to check their phones during a date. And, for those trying to hide the sneak peeks at the phone, they can drop the discreet act.

81 percent of singles find it acceptable or would not be offended if their dates responded to a text, email or phone call while on a date, as long as the responses were accompanied by reasonable explanations.

state of dating report checking phone
Credit: Spark Networks

Texting, which once was considered rude and passive, is now required to stay in touch. Additionally, “he said, she said” is still very real, as men and women differ in terms of how communication is received and perceived.

55 percent of singles feel their mobile devices make it easier to meet and get to know people they may be interested in dating. 

64 percent of singles feel the quality of relationships with those they are dating or interested in dating has improved due to their mobile devices and half of singles report using mobile online dating websites or applications.

Mobile dating is here to stay.

Greg Liberman, CEO of Spark Networks, the company that owns and operates ChristianMingle and JDate said: “Mobile devices, especially smartphones, have had a profound impact on dating and relationships.

Beyond making communication more convenient, mobile technology shapes expectations and perceptions of when and how singles should communicate.”

Again and again, survey participants reported how mobile technology has changed communication patterns and created myriad expectations and preferences that now define our dating etiquette in a mobile age.

Your mobile device makes it easier to stay in touch -- even if it does mean flirting, wooing and shooing away by text.

Editorial standards