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How the #MeToo Movement Has Impacted Online Dating

The #MeToo movement has had a major impact on our everyday lives, shifting societal norms by bringing to light the commonality of sexual harassment across the country. Another societal shift: the popularity of online dating. Dating.com wanted to find out how this powerful movement has impacted the way we communicate, flirt and ultimately hookup. Check out our findings below.

  • Percent change of women/men reaching out to start a conversation.

Dating.com has seen a spike in women initiating conversation with men on the platform. Since the beginning of #MeToo in Nov. 2017, women making the first move has increased by 268%. As women take a stronger stance in making their voices heard, more and more women are joining the platform. As a result we saw a 30% decrease in men starting conversations with women. Ladies, it’s time to make the first move!

  • More men are waiting for women to ask them out on a date.

Speaking of making the first move… we’ve noticed a significant increase in the time that male users are speaking with females. In the last 6 months, conversations have risen from an average length of 6 days to an average of 9. How come? Taking things slow to reach an end goal. For some users that’s making plans to meet for a drink, for others it means scoring a phone number. Either way, men are sticking it out and waiting. They are either waiting for the respectful and proper time to pop a question, or waiting for her to ask it first.

  • Men are asking for permission.

The #MeToo movement has significantly impacted the way people date. We are in the dawn of a new era. The unwanted penis pic or breast shot, is phasing itself out as many people aren’t impressed – and they are speaking up. Consent starts online! We’ve surveyed our users and many women (and men) appreciate the ask: May I send you more pictures? Would you like to stop chatting? Can I kiss you when we meet up? This implies someone is genuine and caring, resulting in real connections and relationships. At Dating.com, we make a lot of international connections and we’ve found that many user have found ways to cross internationally, learning on their own consent questions in different languages. What’s sexier than receiving the message “Puis-je vous embrasser?”

  • Nude image transactions are dropping.

We found the percentage of users reporting they received nude images has substantially declined since the onset of the #MeToo movement. It seems the movement has influenced our users to become more aware of the content they are sharing and how it may be perceived. We think #MeToo has been a success in helping both men and women be more in tune with their actions and how they may negatively impact others.

  • Older women are increasingly reaching out to younger men.

In light of all the shifts we’ve observed following the #MeToo movement, Dating.com decided to take a look at what kind of users were matching with each other. In pulling this data we noticed a significant increase in older women conversing with younger men. In January of 2018, 11% of conversations on the platform were between men aged 18-25 and women aged 40-60. As women begin to take control of their relationships and sex lives, we see this trend as a sign of empowerment and freedom.

  • Profile proclamations showing respect for women and the #MeToo movement.

Post #MeToo, a majority of our surveyed male users have shifted from comedic to more serious, respectful tones in their “about me” section. We’ve found these profiles are 32% more likely to be engaged with than those that contain jokes or insensitive pick-up lines. Some of the most common terms written in male “about me” sections this year include “respect,” “date,” “dinner,” “looking for something serious,” “relationship,” and “loyal.” In previous years, popular bio terms we saw included “hookup,” “sexy,” and “looking for fun.”