Relationship upgrade: 6 in 10 singles are looking to ‘date up’

LONDON — Anyone who says dating is easy must have married their high school sweetheart. A new poll of 2,000 adults reveals just how arduous today’s dating scene can be. Six in 10 people say that when it comes to a potential new romantic interest, they’re looking to “date up,” or find someone who can improve their lifestyle, help them meet new friends, and take more vacations. In other words, if you don’t check off all those boxes, take a hike!

Success is clearly attractive, as 70 percent of respondents believe dating someone who is doing well in life will improve their own. On a related note, 72 percent feel like they settled for “second best” in earlier relationships. Now, though, they feel they can do better. Another 62 percent feel they deserve better in their next relationship, 45 percent say their ex didn’t treat them right, and 37 percent just want the best for themselves.

“It is good to have the belief that you deserve the best. Finding love can be hard especially if you’re picky when it comes to certain traits, but as the old saying goes, there is someone out there for everyone,” says Brandon Wade, CEO of, who commissioned the survey, in a statement.

“Previous relationships that ended will not have worked out for a reason which is why it is important to learn from those relationships and understand what you really want. It is clear singletons aren’t looking to just settle for anything that comes along these days and there is nothing wrong with that, it just might take a little bit longer to find but will be worth the wait.”

So, what do today’s singles look for in a potential new mate?

When asked for specifics, the most common answer among survey participants was honesty. Humor, or the ability to make them laugh, came in at number two, and kindness rounded out the top three most important traits in a new flame. Other attractive qualities often mentioned by respondents include good manners, communication skills, having a nice family, and love of travel.

Money also matters, apparently, as “wealth,” owning property, owning an expensive car, and having a good job all ranked within the top 20 most important qualities as well.

Dating isn’t getting any easier, according to this research. In fact, respondents actually saying dating is harder today than just five years ago. Of course, a whole lot has changed since 2017. Today, 54 percent of respondents primarily use dating apps or websites to meet new partners, in comparison to the 51 percent who still prefer meeting people while out of the house. A third of respondents have met a potential partner through family or friends as well.

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Ladies leading the way?

A significant portion of male respondents (36%) say they’ve been asked out on a date, and one in seven women say they have no problem initiating a date.

Here’s an eye-opening statistic: Just under two-thirds of all respondents admitted to researchers that it’s quite important that their friends and family be impressed with the person they are dating. Another 65 percent won’t date anyone without a good job and high salary.

Finally, respondents were also asked about the notion of love at first sight. For what it’s worth, 40 percent of men said they indeed believe in this romantic idea. For women, 22 percent don’t believe in it but would like to be more open minded.

Over a quarter of respondents added that they are often told by close friends and family members that they really do deserve better when it comes to dating.


  1. Honesty
  2. Makes them laugh
  3. Kind
  4. A great sense of humor
  5. Good communicator
  6. Great manners
  7. Nice family
  8. Loves traveling
  9. Has a good job
  10. Dreams big
  11. Incredibly good looking
  12. Doesn’t have any kids
  13. A great physique
  14. Doesn’t want children
  15. Wealthy
  16. Someone who cares about how they look
  17. Exercises frequently
  18. Owns their own property
  19. Likes the finer things in life
  20. Has an expensive car

The poll was conducted by OnePoll.

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About the Author

John Anderer

Born blue in the face, John has been writing professionally for over a decade and covering the latest scientific research for StudyFinds since 2019. His work has been featured by Business Insider, Eat This Not That!, MSN, Ladders, and Yahoo!

Studies and abstracts can be confusing and awkwardly worded. He prides himself on making such content easy to read, understand, and apply to one’s everyday life.

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