Anyone who’s ever been in a serious relationship knows that the mere thought of infidelity can turn your dreams of happily ever after sour. While lasting relationships are, of course, built on a foundation of implicit trust, building that trust requires time — and it might take a few awkward conversations or horrifying misunderstandings for you and your S.O. to realize that you are, in fact, on the same page. As if the potential for cheating with some other human wasn’t already enough to throw a wrench in your love story, there’s a whole new third-party threat lurking in the shadows of our fairy-tale happy endings… and that threat is robots.
Yes, we know this sounds a little sci-fi, but it’s actually a growing concern — and we’ve seen the numbers that prove it. According to the results of Match.com‘s eighth annual Singles in America survey, one in four singles would have sex with a robot. Nearly half of singles — 39 percent of men and 56 percent of women — would consider it cheating if their partner did the same. We understand that you might need a few minutes to absorb this information, but hey — these are the times we’re living in.
“People have long been scared that robots would steal their jobs,” Match’s chief scientific adviser Dr. Helen Fisher tells us. “Now they are scared that robots will steal their partners as well. Sex can stimulate the brain system for romance and the brain system for attachment — and when one is having sex with a robot, they are no longer stimulating these brain systems in their partner and building the relationship.”
While these findings about so-called “robogasms” are perhaps the juiciest to come from the Singles in America survey, they’re certainly not the only ones worth mentioning. The survey — which Match bills as “the nation’s largest survey done on singles to date” — reviews the responses of more than five thousand unattached Americans, spanning a huge range of ethnicities and sexual orientations in order to assess the general state of dating and singledom at this particular moment in time.
Hungry for intel that feels less like it’s straight out of a dystopian movie? Here are a few more trends that might be of interest:
- Women aren’t impressed by a potential partner’s failure to keep up with technology. Seventy-eight percent of singles are turned off by a date who steals their neighbor’s WiFi, but women are twice as likely as men to judge. Women are also more turned off than their male counterparts by dates who don’t have internet or a computer. Despite that interest in a tech-savvy partner, though, checking your phone regularly is the number one first-date turnoff for women. Ninety percent of the women who participated in Match’s survey say it’s inappropriate.
- Singles are focusing on building a friendship first. “I think this is part of the larger modern term I call slow love,” Dr. Fisher says. “People want to get to know a possible partner slowly, so they don’t make a mistake and get involved with someone they just can’t handle.” Of the 50 percent of singles who say they’ve had a “friends with benefits” arrangement, 45 percent saw that relationship turn into something long-term, serious, and romantic. Forty-four percent of singles say they build a simple friendship first (AKA no “benefits”), while 44 percent say they’ve gone out on an official first date with a clear intention of exploring romance.
- First dates are carrying more and more weight. Because official first dates aren’t as explicit a part of the courtship process today as they once were, they’re that much more meaningful when they happen. Singles have high standards and expectations for first dates in 2018. Fifty-nine percent of singles, for example, think that having a first date at a nice restaurant is more acceptable than going for fast food. “A first date is now often a signal for the beginning of a more formal relationship,” Dr. Fisher tells us. “In my day, the first date was just a ‘look-see.’ Today they are more serious — and fewer in number.”
- Political agreement is less important than you might think. While seeing eye-to-eye about politics with a significant other seemed critical to many in the months immediately following the 2016 presidential election, if Match’s results are any indication, it’s become less of a dealbreaker. Seventy-two percent of singles say they would cross party lines to date.
Taken as a whole, what do this year’s Singles in America survey results mean for singles? “Singles more and more are trying to define every single step in relationships,” Dr. Fisher says. “Today’s singles want transparency and clarity in their relationships. I think it’s a very healthy trend.”
Plus, no robots.
Would you consider it cheating if your S.O. spent “special time” with a robot? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)