By Haley Velasco
Following a heated election cycle and the end of the holiday season, millennial daters are looking for love. According to data from an online dating app and professional matchmakers, there are trends that have been shifting in millennial dating, especially in terms of dating parameters and methods of finding relationships. There were 75.4 million millennials, ages 18-34 years old, in 2015, according to Pew Research Center.
Politics plays a part in matching couples
Following the controversial election season and President Trump taking office, both online dating apps and personal matchmaking services have been helping singles find a partner with similar political affiliation and issue-based beliefs.
“The week after the election, we saw a significant drop in activity,” said Dawoon Kang, the co-founder of Coffee Meets Bagel, a private, free online dating app for singles looking for “their perfect bagel” relationship. “A lot of users were really sad.”
Coffee Meets Bagel sent out a survey to 1,320 of their users and found that when users were asked, “Is politics impacting your dating life?” 70 percent of single Democrats said “slightly” to “profoundly,” while 43 percent of single Republicans said “slightly” to “profoundly.”
Users in the survey were asked “How has it impacted your dating life (among those who selected they were impacted)?”, and they responded as follows: 82 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of Independents and 66 percent of Republicans said “it’s more important that my matches’ political views are similar to mine.”
Nikki Hurst, a matchmaker from Three Day Rule, a service that matches singles across the country in cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston, noted that millennials have a sense of entrepreneurship that translates to dating. Hurst noted that politics is causing tension in dating, similarly to how religion has before.
“If somebody says, I could never be with a Trump supporter, I need to know that. I have definitely seen that there could be some tensions and people will say what their preferences are and it could be more of a hard limit now than it was before,” Hurst said.
April Davis, founder of Cupid’s Cronies, a professional matchmaking service in Chicago, said, “Recently, we get a lot of people that say, I could not date someone who voted for Trump or Hilary or whatever. They have very strong feelings about it.”
Dating apps provide endless options for matching
“They’re very much young professionals who are very busy with their career and don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to finding a new relationship,” Kang said about Coffee Meets Bagels’ user base which skews to be 30 years old on average and 55 percent female.
However, Hurst noted that endless dating apps have provided daters with almost too many options.
“That idea of too many options makes it more difficult for people to make these decisions and put effort towards seeing things through with one person or one relationship,” she said.
The search for love is seasonal
In addition to deal breakers, time of the year plays a role in when singles are looking to find love. According to Kang, for Coffee Meets Bagel users, post-Christmas through Valentine’s Day is when the app sees a surge in users, which is common among online dating platforms.
“After the holidays, they have been spending a lot of time with family and have a lot of time to reflect and think about the New Year. One of the resolutions that people make is new year, new relationship,” Kang said.
As far as matchmaking, Davis said that the period is a bit longer, stretching from New Years through May until people start engaging in summer activities.
“It kind of dies off for the summer because people start to meet people on their own in the summer months and they get busy,” Davis said.