If you鈥檙e still on the front lines of the search for your OTP, there鈥檚 probably a lot of information that you wish was readily available to you about the pool of potential love interests. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, we can learn and research pretty much any topic imaginable (even how to make unicorn macarons)鈥 so does it really still need to be this difficult to navigate the dating world? Sadly, we still don鈥檛 have the tools to read minds or put an end to shady ghosting everywhere, but there are experts out there working to make it easier for us to understand what we鈥檙e up against where romance (can we call it romance?) is concerned. For the seventh year running, Match.com has facilitated an incredibly detailed study of America鈥檚 single population, and its findings may come in handy 鈥 or, at least, be of interest.

More than 5,500 unattached Americans (not just Match users) participated in the most recent Singles in America study, which captured information about singles鈥 experiences and opinions of dating on the verge of 2017. People involved in the study represented a range of ages, income, employment, previous marital history, sexual orientation, and race, though there was an extra focus on millennials.

Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and Chief Scientific Advisor to Match, notes a few of the most interesting patterns in this year鈥檚 data. 鈥淭he鈥 study has once again demonstrated new emerging trends, including men鈥檚 overwhelmingly positive view of feminism and feminists in the boardroom and the bedroom,鈥 she says. 鈥淢illennials are diligently using technology to find love 鈥 and building new dating rules and taboos along the way.鈥

Keep reading to learn more about some of the trends found in the results of this year鈥檚 Singles in America research.

young-couple

FEMINISM + DATING

Among the participants in Match鈥檚 study, opinions of feminists and feminism were consistently favorable (good for you, America!). Nearly 60 percent of single men think that feminism has 鈥渃hanged the dating rules for the better,鈥 and 54 percent of them said that girl power has made dating more enjoyable. What鈥檚 even better to hear is that the vast majority of all singles are aware and actively concerned about important issues of gender equality today, including violence against women, pay equality, and workplace harassment.

Interestingly, what study participants agreed on less was the extent to which women should be asserting themselves in new relationships. While 95 percent of men said they were in favor of their female date initiating a first kiss, only 29 percent of women said they had actually done so. The pattern is similar for other 鈥渇irst moves鈥 鈥 sex, exchanging phone numbers, and picking up the phone after a great date. Men are anxious to see their crushes be proactive, while women seem happy to stick to more traditional, gender-based dating norms.

The good news for all of the enterprising bosses out there is that entrepreneurialism was named as singles鈥 number-one modern-day turn-on (this was true for both men and women). 鈥淲hat鈥檚 an entrepreneur if not someone who is creative, dashing, daring, conscientious, a go-getter, and a do-er?鈥 Dr. Fisher says. We鈥檙e happy to hear that those qualities are finally getting the positive attention they deserve.

THE DOS AND DON鈥橳S (BUT MOSTLY THE DON鈥橳S) OF DATING

Relationship problems

A surprising number of the 鈥渘ew rules of dating鈥 that emerged from the study were related to phone use. 鈥淚f you want to spur a budding relationship forward, skip the flowers,鈥 Dr. Fisher says. 鈥淟eave your cell phone in your pocket.鈥 Based on the data, if you want to impress a potential bae, you should totally ignore your phone. Check out these stats:

  • 75 percent of singles were turned off by a date answering their phone.
  • 66 percent were upset by their date sending a text.
  • 58 percent were offended by their date leaving their phone face-up on the table during a meal.
  • 57 percent were displeased with聽a date who occasionally read a text.

In general, if you want to maximize your chances of hitting it off with someone, it鈥檚 best to avoid making them feel like they are competing with your phone for your attention.

Other helpful hints from the study? Take good care of your phone and mute those audible key clicks. Cracked screens and excessive clicking sounds were both named as turn-offs. And if you鈥檙e really trying to win a crush over, stop checking your social media apps 鈥 the second biggest turn-on (right behind entrepreneurialism) was 鈥減eople who don鈥檛 use or like social media.鈥

WHERE SINGLES ARE LOOKING FOR LOVE

Gay couple toasting with red wine at table in sky bar restaurant

Unsurprisingly, singles who participated in the survey agreed that the best place to seek a new relationship is at the bar. According to the study, another promising location is the gym. 鈥淎 gym is a very logical place for people to successfully meet somebody,鈥 Dr. Fisher says. 鈥淏y the time you鈥檙e in a gym, you鈥檙e going to be around people who have your same view of health and exercise and how you want to spend your spare time.鈥

Rounding out the list of the top-three places that singles had met potential dates was the laundromat. 鈥淚t鈥檚 a time-out place,鈥 Dr. Fisher says. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e doing something constructive. A lot of people get very bored and they鈥檙e looking for something to do or someone to talk to. You鈥檝e got a captive audience.鈥 Who knew fabric softener could be so romantic?

Of course, in addition to gathering this info about promising places to look for love IRL, Match鈥檚 study touched on the prevalence of dating apps and sites. In 2016, people who dated online were four times more likely to go on a first date, and 40 percent of singles actively pursuing their last first date had met that person through an app. Dr. Fisher, who predicts that online dating will only continue to become more of a central part of our culture, says, 鈥淚t really is becoming the best way to find love.鈥

Do any of these stats from Match鈥檚 survey surprise you? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)