Horrible dating experiences leave 44% of single adults doubting they’ll ever meet ‘the one’

LONDON — More than half of single adults feel empowered to call out bad dating behavior, as they find it frustrating and exhausting. A poll of 4,000 British singletons, who are actively dating, reveals that 28 percent are tired of negative experiences when looking for love, while 33 percent get easily irritated.

Being ghosted without explanation (43%), getting stood up on a date (40%) and receiving unsolicited nude pictures (40%) are some of the main irks of those polled. This has led to 44 percent doubting they will ever meet that someone special, while 35 percent say their confidence is negatively impacted.

As a result, 54 percent are ready to call out these unnecessary behaviors, with 74 percent planning a “spring clean” to improve their overall dating experience. Nearly half (49%) point to ‘knowing their self-worth’ as the reason they are comfortable calling out undesirable dating behaviors.

And 26 percent will be un-matching or unfollowing any potential love interests if they don’t fit the bill.

The research was commissioned by dating app, Plenty of Fish, which has partnered with author and life coach, Michelle Elman, to create the Desirable Dating Guide. “Helping daters understand and navigate different behaviors on their dating journey is something I’m really passionate about,” says Elman, in a statement. “The guide highlights some of the negative behaviors and experiences that can occur in the dating world, while also shining a light on how singles can enact some positive change.”

Online dating: Man deciding whether or not to swipe right
(© Kaspars Grinvalds – stock.adobe.com)

Receiving unsolicited nude pictures proves a prevalent issue, as nearly half of singles (48%) have previously been sent unsolicited pictures from a match or date making them feel uncomfortable and disgusted (45%).

The average app user has received an average of five nude pictures in their dating history, with this happening more to women (55%), than men (38%).

How to navigate dating apps

Taking matters into their own hands, 46 percent will now always trust their instincts and immediately end the conversation if they have any doubts about their match. What’s more, 19 percent will share a potential date’s details with friends and family in advance, according to the study, carried out via OnePoll.

“We’re encouraging daters to reflect on their experiences, and hope to foster a culture where online dating is both respectful and rewarding, and offer advice for how people can show up as their best, authentic selves while on the journey,” adds Elman.

But 69 percent would like to see dating apps continue to do more to encourage positive behaviors with 72 percent of women sharing this sentiment.

One of the top ways singles are spring cleaning their love life is to be kind and respectful to anyone they come into contact with, making sure the experience remains positive (47 per cent). When it comes to how respondents act on dating apps, 44 percent will represent themselves in a true and authentic way, while 38 percent will make sure their profile is as accurate as possible.

Other personal improvements to be made include exercising more regularly (58%), getting more sleep (55%) and prioritizing self-care (52%). This helps you and your dating game, as 82 percent agree the benefits of self-improvement can lead to greater self-awareness and success when dating.

“Providing a welcoming dating destination for singles is of the utmost importance to us,” says resident dating expert for the dating app, Shannon Smith. “The realities of dating can bring lots of highs and lows, but we believe it should be a fun experience. Dating is an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and get out of your comfort zone.”


  1. How do people date when they don’t have money? It’s over. We are in survival mode now.

    1. Try voluntering to do tasks where others of your age may be doing the same. Take an amateur art course. Sign up for a community college course where you will meet new people. Advertise for a date. I expect this to be a fast-growing field. Get a better job where other people your age group are apt to be working. Chat up people you meet while shopping. Invite others to share a home meal with you. Smile more. Tell relatives and friends you are seeking dates. Spend a small amount of money–yes, even in survival mode–to buy a small treat for a person you might want to get to know better. Post a sign where you can.

  2. ‘Knowing your worth’ generally means grossly over-estimating your worth. A woman who is turning 30 and slept with half of the 6th fleet suddenly decides she wants kids and a guy making $500k a year to take care of her and can’t figure out why there are no takers.

      1. Even if guys meet ‘the one’ and get married there is no guarantee against her deciding she is bored or unhappy and ready to move on. Some 80% of divorce is initiated by women (even though men and women cheat at equal rates) meaning guys lose 1/3 of their income and half of their marital assets for kids they see every other weekend as part of a divorce they don’t want while women risk nothing. Even if guys win the dating battle they still lose the war. Far too many decent guys with something to lose are deciding it simply isn’t worth it. And this isn’t even factoring in the women who are happy to have a wealthy guy get them pregnant just to have someone support their kid. An attractive but nutcase of a woman I know intentionally let her millionaire bf get her pregnant and ended up with a nice paid-for house and 18 years of support for her and the child. Some crazy expensive sex there.

    1. Millions of very wonderful young people exist who have self respect and wish good relationships.

  3. Dating has always been a cycle of meeting a few ‘toads’, some bad experiences, some periods of no dates at all, of being dumped, being ignored etc. Stop being so dependent on an electronic device to determine who you meet and how you meet.
    Join some sort of singles group for if you go out to singles ‘meet up’ place, simply have some conversation. If things progress, stop worrying about the dynamics of texting, ghosting, social media. etc.
    Eventually, you will meet someone with your values.

  4. Be an honest, working, goal setting (for yourself) individual and the right person will find you. There will be losers in the mix, but if you go looking, you double your exposure to mistakes. Don’t try to change people, and don’t let people change you. If you get up and go to work or school everyday, you won’t have time to worry about things you cannot change.

  5. As the west declines into 2nd world status “dating” will get a lot more “patriarchal” and simple. Bank on it

  6. Modern women: Heavily tattooed, overweight and abrasive. Divorce courts heavily weighted in favor of women means a guy will lose, so you might as well take your chances at a casino card table. Hard pass on marriage.

  7. I married, many decades ago, a wonderful young schoolteacher. We were very happy together and I still mourn her death from a terminal illness. I am biased in favor of marrying school teachers. They are generally smart, intelligent, hard working, and have great self-respect.

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