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 observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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