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One Million First Dates: Fascinating (& Surprising) Patterns Discovered by Analyzing HowAboutWe Dates

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Single? You’re in good company: Over half of us in the US (not including kids) are unhitched, according to Census data. Which means that every day, every hour, every minute, there are a lot of people going on first dates.

But where do people go on those first dates? What do they do? What do they eat, drink, play, share, listen to? And then where do they go after that? One million dates planned on HowAboutWe share a nation’s worth of clues to those questions, and the answers aren’t always what you’d expect.

Click here to check out our One Million Dates infographic.

For example, Vegas singles flee the strip in favor of connecting to nature and their communities on first dates, with the most popular activities including hiking, volunteering and painting. Post-paintbrush, the pair is most likely to grab vegetarian food — a far stretch from the buffet fantasies of Sin City’s 36 million yearly tourists.

In Denver, sunshine-loving fitness fans are most likely to hop on bikes and test their chemistry over gourmet tacos. In cloudy Portland, daters choose tea over coffee and use literature preferences as a clue for compatibility. And in Minneapolis, up-for-anything twosomes play more paintball than daters in any other city. (Click here to read more on BuzzFeed.)

Facts like these are among hundreds of fascinating results we surfaced after analyzing thousands of popular dating destinations, sourced anonymously from over one million dates planned on HowAboutWe. These results uncover everything from the most popular local date destinations to America’s ongoing obsession with artisanal breweries and food trucks, exploring the quirks and similarities in over one million quests to find love.

Just a few of our favorites:

  • On the majority of US dates, melting the ice is first order of duty – over 62% of first dates involve alcohol
  • West Coast cities represented 9 of the top 10 cities for sports and fitness dates, while East Coast cities posted significantly more drinking dates
  • Socially conscious Detroit singles are twice as likely to propose a volunteering date than fellow single Americans
  • High-energy New Yorkers love progressive dining more than anyone else – 28% of their dining dates include multiple stops
  • Los Angeles’ laid-back singles are the most avid planners of breakfast and yoga dates
  • Asian cuisine reigns supreme for Houston singles, where Chinese (#1), Vietnamese (#4) and Sushi (#5) are among the most popular date night foods
  • Friendly competition helps new couples connect in most US cities, with bowling and board games a popular activity across the US
  • Single fitness enthusiasts in Phoenix favor flirting their way up Camelback Mountain, one of the cities most beautiful hiking destinations
  • Fried Oreos, great BBQ and warm pie top the list of cozy treats shared between Atlanta singles

To see where your city stands on the most popular spots for first dates, take a spin with our new infographic – and if you have better ideas for date destinations in your area, share them below!

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