VH1 Reports: The State of the [Romantic] Union

Today's post comes straight from VH1's research desk. Rachel Cooper, Senior Manager of Digital Consumer Insights for VH1 & CMT Networks breaks down what it's really like in the dating landscape today. Is "courting" really a thing of the past or is it just masked under a different set of norms? Does more information about someone actually help or deter from an intimate connection? And given all the dating platforms and more time to find the right one, are too many options leaving people thinking that the grass is greener? Discussing the confusion of gender expectations, living single and new digital dating rules, VH1 takes a close look at what it means to be single in 2013.

The State of the [Romantic] Union

For single Adultster women (women in their late 20s and early 30s), dating is clearly top-of-mind. At this point in their lives, they’ve transitioned into confident, independent adults; as such, they’re moving away from casual dating towards searching for that ideal partner to spend the rest of their lives with. To better understand what it feels like to be a “dater” in 2013, VH1 did a deep dive into the female Adultster dating experience, revealing the increased freedoms—and increased pressures—associated with dating today.

We often hear about Adultsters’ “aversion” to marriage, as evidenced by their delay in getting married and simultaneous embrace of more “unconventional” partnering paths (e.g., cohabitation). But, for the majority of Adultsters, marriage is very much still the end goal. A full 84% of Adultster women we spoke to agree, “Even though it’s ok not to get married, I still want to get married someday.” They’re just putting it off to make sure they’re confident in who they are first, before bringing someone else into the picture.

The good news is, there are LOTS…


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The Newsfeed

“I’ve been using Apple products for years. Although Samsung technology is probably better, I am so used to Apple that I would probably not switch.”—Female, 18, PA

Major financial institutions are still trying to figure Millennials out, so Prudential conducted a survey to gather some much-needed intel. The Great Recession-era adults are pessimistic about their financial futures: 79% don’t believe that “comfortable retirement” will be a possibility when they’re in their 80s and 70% think “it’s impossible” to save the recommended annual amount to make it possible. Ypulse found that saving for retirement falls behind other, more imminent financial priorities. (MediaPost)

Teens are rallying around the issue of gun control in increasing numbers. A recent survey from Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords (conducted by Ypulse) found that gun violence prevention is the top issue young people expect the candidate they vote for in 2018 to take a stance on. Six in ten 15-18-year-olds said they’re “’passionate’ about reducing gun violence” and 72% of 15-30-year-olds agreed that politicians who don’t do more to combat gun violence shouldn’t be re-elected. (Mic)

Need proof that the future of STEM is female? Just take a look at children’s drawings. From 1966-1977, researchers asked 5,000 students to draw a scientist, and about 99% of them drew men. Fast forward the same study to 1985-2016, and one-third of children drew a female scientist. But we still have a long way to go to break gender stereotypes: 14-15-year-olds “drew more male than female scientists by an average ratio of 4-to1." (CNN)

Digital consignment store ThredUp wants to open 100 IRL stores. They’re expanding their physical footprint from two to ten stores this year, with more planned for the future. Why are online-only brands increasingly building bricks-and-mortar? (Think: Glossier, Everlane, even ThredUp competitors like The RealReal). Creating experiences with guests from a common check-out up to an in-store event builds “trust” and “awareness.” (Glossy)

Are Instagram and dating apps “crippling” relationships? Psychotherapist Esther Perel thinks so. Ypulse data shows 27% of 18-35-year-olds have used a dating app, 12% use them weekly, and nearly eight in ten use other social media apps weekly or more often. All that time scrolling past potential partners creates a new kind of loneliness: Instead of feeling “socially isolated,” they’re “experiencing a loss of trust and a loss of capital while you are next to the person with whom you’re not supposed to be lonely.” (Recode)

“We should be nice and good to others because we would want the same in return, being rude to someone doesn't make the situation any better.”—Female, 21, MI

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