57% Of Single Adults In U.S. Not Looking To Date, Survey Says

If you are single and feeling kind of alone before Valentine’s Day, this may make you go, “Oh, Pew.” Results from a Pew Research Center survey of 6,034 U.S. adults conducted from July 5 t0 17, 2022, show that you are definitely not alone. That survey found 30% of the U.S. adults surveyed to be single, which was defined as not being married, not living with a partner, and not being in a committed romantic relationship. This percentage was higher (47%) among adults under 30 years of age, lower (21%) among the 30- to 49-year-olds, and at 30% for those 50 years and older.

Not to single out men, but if you are male, single, and under 50 years of age, you may be in even greater company compared to women, at least in terms of numbers. Among those 18 to 29 years of age, 63% of men versus 34% of women considered themselves single. This dropped to 25% of men and 17% of women for those 30 to 49 years of age. Things flipped after the 50-year mark, though, with 28% of men 50 to 64 years of age and 25% of men 65 years and older being single compared to 30% and 39% for women for those age categories, respectively.

Risa Gelles-Watnick, a research assistant at Pew Research Center, summarized key findings from the survey in an article posted on the Pew Research Center website entitled, “For Valentine’s Day, 5 facts about single Americans.” And here is every single one of these facts:

  1. Roughly six-in-ten young men report being single. In this case, young meant age-wise (i.e., younger than 30 years of age) rather than propensity to wear skinny jeans.
  2. The majority of single adults are not interested in being struck (or even grazed) by Cupid’s arrow. Now, being struck by an arrow didn’t mean a go-to-the-emergency-room type of situation. Instead, Gelles-Watnick was referring to some form of love, whether it’s simultaneously sipping from the same Venti Caramel Crunch Frappuccino cup at the local Starbucks or regularly calling each other something like Snookums, Babycakes, Shmoopie, Muffin Top, Oojy Coojy Woojy Moojy Poo-Poo, or WiFi Router. She posted a graphic that showed that 57% were “Not currently looking for a relationship or casual dates”, 7% were looking for “Casual dates only”, 22% were interested in “Either a committed romantic relationship or casual dates”, and only 13% were interested in “A committed romantic relationship only.”
  3. The percentage of single Americans who are looking for a relationship or casual dates is lower than in 2019, especially among men. This number dropped from 49% in 2019 to 42% in 2022, 61% to 50% among single men and 38% to 35% among single women.
  4. The type of relationship single Americans are looking for varies by gender. While 19% of men were looking for “Casual dates only,” fewer single women (15%) said the same. A greater percentage of single women (41% vs. 25%) were looking for “A committed romantic relationship only.”
  5. Nearly half of single-and-looking adults have turned to online dating in the past year. Nearly half meant 45%. This broke down to 53% of singles 18 to 49 years of age and 25% of singles 50 years and older.

Keep in mind that these were survey results from a specific sample at a given time and don’t necessarily apply to each and every person all the time. So, if you are out on a first date on Valentine’s Day, don’t point to the person accusingly and say, “You are 7% likely to just want casual sex!” Even though the sample was designed to be nationally representative of the U.S. adult population from a rough demographic measure standpoint, you can’t tell for sure how well it actually represents the entire U.S. adult population. People are a lot more complex and diverse than what their age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and geographic location may say.

Moreover, while the Pew Research Center did get a good response rate with 6,034 (84%) of 7,374 people filling out the survey, those who did respond could have been very different from those who didn’t respond. After all, those who were busy, didn’t have regular Internet access, or didn’t want to share their thoughts at the time were probably a lot less likely to have responded to the survey.

Additionally, people aren’t always completely honest when they respond to survey questions. For example, you may say that you are only interested in a committed romantic relationship. But what’s going to happen when you are on a date with that really hot person who has the conversation skills of an emu, has every polar opposite belief that you can imagine, but again is really hot?

So what should you get from the Pew Research Center survey findings? Remember, regardless of your relationship status right now, you are not alone. If you happen to be single, Valentine’s Day has a way of making you feel exposed, sort of like how a pair of low riding jeans may expose portions of your bottom. But Valentine’s Day often is not all that it’s cracked up to be, so to speak. Unless you are with your true match, it can be just a day where restaurants can charge more for the same food that they sell all year and chocolate is a lot more expensive. It too shall pass.

Ultimately, keep in mind that you are on your own, unique, romantic path in life. You never know when your life may turn dramatically in different ways. Thus, you can’t rely on survey results alone to determine what will happen to you. But it does help every now and then to be reminded that you are, in fact, not alone.

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