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

Quote of the Day: “I don't drink on a typical night, but my choice when I do have a drink is often red wine.”

—Female, 34, FL

13 Reasons Why, the Netflix series about a teen girl’s suicide, has some mental health professionals worried. While some applaud the show for increasing awareness about teen suicide, others fear the series could act as suicide contagion, increasing the risk of an individual engaging in copycat behavior. School districts across the U.S. are sending letters to parents to discuss the show and red flags to watch for in teens’ behavior, while counsellors are having conversations with students and patients. The National Association of School Psychologists has recommended that at-risk youth shouldn’t watch the series, and cautions adults to help teens differentiate “between a TV drama and real life.” (CNN)

U.K. Millennials consider themselves ‘grown up’ at age 27, according to a recent survey by Nationwide Current Accounts. With shifting paradigms surrounding adulthood, Millennials are defining maturity differently, and over half surveyed feel like entrance to adulthood depends on particular milestones rather than age. One in five believe they’re mature when they have children and another one in five when they move out of their parent’s home. Interestingly, Ypulse’s Adulting trend found that paying their own bills is the top sign of adulthood for Millennials in the U.S. (Telegraph)

Millennial shoppers are re-defining retail by purchasing on mobile, returning at higher rates, and ‘showrooming’—selecting clothes in-store then purchasing online—as a part of their “normal” purchasing process.  According to Criteo, as more clothing is purchased online, retailers can expect larger cart sizes at checkout, and return rates as high as 30-50%—which could create an opportunity to get young shoppers back into stores. Successful retailers are ““moving seamlessly between” online and off by covering return shipping costs or allowing in-store returns, innovating their online experiences, and keeping a high volume of product available in both spaces. (MediaPost)

Mexican wine country is becoming a top travel destination for Millennials. Cheaper, artsier, and arguably more authentic than Napa or Sonoma, Valle de Guadelupe is quickly accruing acclaim with twenty and thirtysomethings, who Ypulse has found love their wine. The small strip of vineyards and restaurants is shifting to suit their needs with food trucks, modern art, and even Uber for wine tours, when just a decade ago, the area didn’t even have the necessary roads to facilitate tourism. One winery owner observes, “What used to happen in this part of the world was that no one had anything to do and now everyone has appointments every hour.” (NYTimes)

The restaurant industry currently employs one third of all working teenagers, thanks to a recent uptick in teen employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teens made up 35% of all restaurant workers in 2016, the highest percentage since 2009. Teen participation in the restaurant industry was above 50% until the Great Recession when it started a steep downward trend, causing staffing challenges across the industry. But it’s too early to know if the recent boost in employment signals a new trend or is just “a temporary blip.” (National Restaurant Association)

Quote of the Day: “If a brand is going to interact with a 'fandom' of any sort, they’d better either A) Know what they're talking about and have someone lead the interactions who is a fan as well, or B) Be honest in a funny way…”

—Female, 21, Virginia

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