You can’t talk about dating in the 21st century without talking about dating apps. Although the apps are here to stay, millennials are becoming increasingly fatigued by them and want a virtual dating experience that closely mimics real life.
Our recent poll on the State of Dating in America found that nearly half (45%) of millennials say it’s hard to find love today as both millennial men and women equally agree (35%) that there aren’t enough quality people out there to date.
Also, more millennial men (28%) than women (12%) think dating is too expensive, while more women (21%) than men (19%) say dating takes too much time.
Dating apps have long been criticized for being superficial and that perception still holds today as 45% of millennials say the apps lack authenticity; nonetheless, the same number of millennials have used a dating app or plan to.
Therefore, to deepen the online dating experience, millennials will consider using dating apps with these features:
Criminal background checks (64%), video profiles (54%), matching on fitness interests (51%), offering restaurant reservations in-app (47%), offering event booking in-app (43%), matching on dietary preferences (41%), matching based on college (43%) only being set up with one match (32%) and matching on compatible DNA (31%).
Those features emphasize offline experiences and stress that millennials want a more tangible vetting process that allows them to match meaningfully with people with shared interests. Compared to the other features, millennial women also overwhelmingly support including the criminal background check feature (61%), compared to video profiles (46%) and matching on fitness interests (40%).
On the other hand, for millennial men, the first three features were almost equally as important: criminal background check (68%), video profiles (64%) and matching on fitness interests (65%).
Tinder (43%) remains millennials’ favorite dating app, followed by Match (23%); and Bumble is more popular among millennial women (22%) than men (16%).
While some millennials use the app or may use them with the aforementioned upgrades, a majority (55%) have never used a dating app and don’t plan to in the future. Those numbers are notably higher among millennial women (60%) than men (48%).
Furthermore, millennial men stopped using dating apps not only because they started dating someone (24%) but more so because online dating is impersonal (30%) and it’s hard to tell if people are real or not (24%), which seems to explain why criminal background checks are a top priority for them.
Millennial women, however, mostly stopped using dating apps when they start dating someone (36%).