First Dates Are the Most Important, and Other Great Findings from a Nationwide Singles Survey

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Remember when the New York Times tried to convince us modern courtship is dead?  “The word ‘date’ should almost be stricken from the dictionary,” one of the women interviewed for the story lamented last year. “The new date is ‘hanging out,'” bemoaned another.

Yet, according to’s Singles in America, an annual national survey of thousands of singles, “hanging out” is definitely not “the new date,” with only 14 percent of women and 16 percent of men saying a casual meetup with friends would count as an official date. Which means you can stop fretting over whether that guy’s invitation to meet up at the bar where he’s hanging out with all his college friends is a date or not — it’s not.

Among the study’s other findings:

  • First dates count. A lot. More than half of singles said they’ve imagined a future together while on a first date. Surprisingly, more men felt this way than women.
  • Online dating sites are responsible for the most first dates (31 percent) more so than meeting someone through a friend (25 percent).
  • Singles spend around $61.53 per month on their dating lives, or about $738.36 a year. Frankly, that doesn’t sound like a lot ($61.53 will buy you four cocktails in New York, if you’re lucky), but with 111 million singles in the U.S., the dating industry rakes in a lucrative $82 billion.
  • Both men and women agree 10 p.m. is the best time to have sex, but only 15 percent of men and 12 percent of women want to have sex every day.
  • Ladies: Men hate getting texts at work. Men: Keep your dick pics to yourself, because ladies don’t want them (that goes for selfies, too).

Read the rest of the study results here.