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Dating & Relationships 2020

5 min read and report.

Stephen Mooney, Research Executive

by Stephen Mooney, Research Executive

Core Research

Every year, loved-up couples celebrate Valentine’s Day, and with 1.2 million adults in Ireland not in a relationship, Core Research decided to turn the focus on dating and relationships in Ireland. We interviewed 1,000 adults about the topic, which included 320 single people.

Firstly, we wanted to understand how people in relationships met in the past. One in four couples met over a drink or a dance, while 20% of people met through a friend or family member. The workplace also provides a space for romance to begin, with 16% saying they met at work. While there has been a growth in digital dating, only 9% of Irish couples met through apps or websites.

However, looking to single people (who tend to be younger), 20% believe they will meet the love of their life through apps or dating websites. However, most people (31%) believe they will meet their future partner through a friend or family, with women most likely to say this would be their preference. 43% of single women said they would prefer to meet someone through their friends, compared to 34% of single men.

For organisations or brands associated with community, holidays or health and fitness, it is worth noting that 12% of people would like to meet someone through volunteering, 19% of people through travel and 26% of people through a hobby or sport both people share.

What is impacting Relationships?

While falling in love can be sudden and uncontrollable, there are a number of factors influencing modern relationships in Ireland. 53% believe that “Living in different parts of Ireland or travelling to another country” can significantly influence relationships. In comparison, 31% of people say “wanting to put money towards a house instead of a wedding” has a big influence on relationships. Also housing related, 30% of people say “at least one person in the couple having their own place (renting or owning)” has a big influence. In terms of conventional life stages, slightly more single men (28%) compared to single women (23%) believe “wanting to own a house before having kids” is a significant influence on relationships.

Men are more traditional than Women

While the majority of both men and women disagree that “people should get married and have kids by a certain age,” there are twice as many men (25%) as women (12%) who agree with the traditional approach. Women are also more likely to say “on a first date, the bill should be split by both people on the date,” but men believe it the bill should be covered by one person. Women are also more likely to believe “there are double standards when it comes to what is okay for men to do versus is okay for women to do.”

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Dating & Relationships report

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