According to recent data from the dating app Plenty of Fish, 74% of Gen Z and millennial singles believe that accepting their cringe will help them find their cringe counterpart. This suggests that when it comes to dating, singles are becoming less afraid to be vulnerable and authentic about who they are.
With over 50 billion views on TikTok overall to date, #cringe culture discussions are taking the country by storm. Consequently, single people are growing more at ease with being themselves and are searching for a mate who shares this confidence. Considering that “cringe” is a subjective term, singles may find themselves to be more cringe than cool, or they may enjoy a niche sport or hobby, or they may even enjoy being “basic.” Regardless, nearly half of singles (47%) believe that being true to oneself is a crucial first step in getting to know a potential partner.
In an effort to further this movement and support singles in dating more effectively, Plenty of Fish commissioned a OnePoll study to find out what makes contemporary singles cringe when it comes to dating.
Eva Gallagher, Public Relations Manager at Plenty of Fish, stated, “We applaud singles saying yes to being more real in a world where so many people feel pressure to present an ultra-manicured version of themselves.” Our whole message is to empower people to be authentic, especially when it comes to relationships. Let’s embrace the true selves, the amazing, weird, and occasionally embarrassing parts that make each of us unique. Sometimes all we need to do is get out of our own way.”
Authenticity Advances Connection and Confidence
Singles are ready to be honest with potential partners as soon as possible, as seen by the fact that almost seven out of ten (73%) say they aren’t hesitant to divulge personal details that could make someone uncomfortable on a first date.
Also enticing to internet daters is authenticity. Being upfront and honest on dating apps will enhance prospects for intriguing conversation among potential partners, as 74% of singles report to be more likely to message someone who appears to be as cringey as they are, whether through interests or hobbies indicated on profiles.
This greater openness may also contribute to the strengthening of an initial bond: over three-quarters (74%) of respondents think it’s appealing when dates share their interests, whether they are specialized hobbies or personal passions.
Furthermore, 73% of singles say they would feel more confident before a first date if cringes (like unusual fandoms or oddball hobbies) were disclosed beforehand, despite 68% of singles claiming they usually feel confident about themselves before a first date. This suggests a desire for a less stressful dating environment.
Creating Context Around Cringe
Even if the term “cringe” is subjective, poll results indicate that there are some habits that single people generally think are unacceptable, especially when it comes to dating, while other behaviors that were once considered uncool are now considered desirable.
All singles agree that poor manners make people uncomfortable while they’re dating, and not in a good way. Speaking about “the good old days,” including successes or achievements from a long time ago, is frowned upon by nearly three out of four millennials (71%) and over half (56%) of Gen Z. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of single people see this as a deal-breaker on a date. In a similar vein, 56% of Gen Z believe that using a phone excessively during a date is the most embarrassing thing a person could do.
When dating as teenagers, Gen Z and millennial singles thought the following habits were awkward, but now they find cool:
- Bringing up fandoms at an early age (55%)
- stating one’s objectives clearly when dating (51%)
- Not trying too hard (46%)
Furthermore, 86% of singles report that they are more forthcoming about their passion or interest in those same things now, despite 54% of them admitting that they were interested in things that were embarrassing as teenagers and that they kept those things hidden from others. This indicates a significant shift in thinking about being unapologetically authentic as they get to know potential partners.
Methods of the Survey
OnePoll conducted a survey in August 2023 among 2,000 American Gen Z and millennials who were either unmarried or in casual relationships, on behalf of Plenty of Fish.
About Plenty of Fish
A dating app called Plenty of Fish caters to those that prefer a more relaxed dating style where they get to know someone’s heart. Our goal is to create low-pressure encounters where the right people notice in order to connect the greatest number of individuals. In contrast to many dating services available today, Plenty of Fish places a high value on establishing a genuine, friendly environment where genuine singles may find what they’re searching for and just date more effectively! The first dating app from Match Group to forbid “face filters” in any profile photo was Plenty of Fish. It was also the first to offer live broadcasting. One of the biggest international online dating services, Plenty of Fish is a Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH) company and is accessible in more than 20 countries and 11 languages.