Allow Us to Unpack the Most Jaw-Droppingly Frustrating Stats from Tinder's "Green Flags Report"

tinder green flags report
Key Findings from Tinder's "Green Flags Report"Khadija Horton - Getty Images

The old adage about assumptions (you know the one—when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me) will never not be relevant—just thank human nature. But what happens when assumptions go beyond just making someone look bad and actually start…messing with our dating lives?

Earlier this month, Tinder published its “Green Flags Study”, a survey of 8,000 18-34-year-old heterosexual men and women across the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Canada. The TLDR: Both men and women want the similar things when it comes to dating and relationships, they just assume the opposite sex wants…the opposite.

Why? Well, damaging stereotypes, for one, said social psychologist at Indiana University Dr. Sara Konrath. But also, today’s singles are the very first generation to even use dating apps! And in a post-pandemic world fraught with screen fatigue and unprecedented loneliness, people are just trying to figure out how to connect, both online and off. The result: What Tinder is calling the “Assumptions Epidemic.” Everyone’s true intentions and desires are painfully unclear, and it’s making it harder for people to date.

For example: 53 percent of men surveyed said they want a romantic relationship, but they think that only 49 percent of women want the same thing. The truth? That percentage is actually 68. That means that the majority of singles—both men and women alike—want something serious, which is huge considering that 65 percent of women said they think men are only looking for casual sex or a short-term relationship. (Only 29 percent actually are.)

Another tall (pun intended) misconception: 34 percent of men think women focus on height as a primary factor when determining whether they want to meet or date a match, while 31 percent think they focus on job title. And while a man in finance, with a trust fund, 6’5”, with blue eyes is ~trendy~ on TikTok, Tinder’s study says these factors “don’t appear to be make-or-breaks” IRL. In fact, the majority (72 percent) of women are looking at men's profile pics, their hobbies and interests (37 percent), and their bio (28 percent). Only 22 percent of women surveyed said that height is a main focus, and only 16 percent said job title.

In fact, loyalty is the number one factor women are looking for in a male partner. Honesty came in second at 37 percent. For men, attractiveness came in first with 48 percent (why are men!!!), but it’s neck and neck with loyalty (47 percent), followed by honesty at 38 percent.

As for etiquette, the study found a wide disconnect between what men and women consider chivalrous in 2024. Women don’t care about men paying for the bill (45 percent) as much as they do about receiving sincere compliments (50 percent) and just having respectful conversations online (48 percent). In fact, the top three acts of chivalry that the women surveyed said they value most (boys, this is the part where you take notes) are: when a date makes sure they got home safely (59! percent!), going screen-free during one-on-one time (55 percent), and when men open doors for them (53 percent). Men agree on making sure they get home (38 percent), but the top gestures they consider chivalrous are actually just…being on time (39 percent) (also, bare minimum!), and paying for the bill (38 percent).

Is some of this data actually incredibly frustrating if you’re looking for love in 2024? Yes. But the main takeaway shouldn’t be that you should give up on dating altogether and retreat to the countryside forever to live out your days in solitude (although, objectively, that sounds great). It’s that both men and women stand to gain a ton of clarity on their matches’ wants and needs by simply asking about them and voicing their own.

“There’s a lot to be said about putting your cards on the table and vice versa,” said Tinder’s Global Relationships Insight Expert, Paul Brunson, in a press release. “From life goals, to financial set up, to friendship circles—can they articulate clearly where they are in their life, and most importantly, does that fit with what you want?” Konrath echoed that statement, saying that “staying curious and asking questions can help dig beyond the surface and lead to deeper connections.” No ambiguity = no wasted time.

So what does that look like in action? Asking your match what they’re looking for upfront, for one, and answering honestly if they return the question. Assuming they just want to hook up can change your POV going into the date and might keep you from opening up and being genuine. For men dating women, giving their dates their undivided attention, being respectful both online and in person, and following up with a quick, “just wanted to make sure you made it okay?” text can go a long way.

All in all, it turns out the solution to the “Assumptions Epidemic” might just be mutual respect and good ol’ fashioned communication—we love to see it.

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