Cuffing Season 2021
eharmony wanted to dive into the phenomenon of “cuffing season”, which was once a meme and now has become a mainstream headline in pop culture.
The influence of Covid on dating
The COVID-19 pandemic has made many daters feel like they’ve lost valuable time to meet someone and has made them more interested in meeting a partner.
Half (51%) of daters say the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their dating life, in some form (not necessarily negatively).
- Two-thirds say the pandemic has made them feel like they’ve lost valuable time to meet someone (64%) and has delayed their potential to get into a serious relationship (67%).
- Half (47%) of daters say the pandemic has made them more interested in getting into a serious relationship.
The meaning of cuffing season
”Cuffing season” is a new concept to many, though it’s better known among women and Gen Z* daters. Nearly half of singles surveyed (48%) have never heard of the phrase “cuffing season”, while 16% have just heard of it and 36% have heard of it and know what it means. Cuffing season is a more well-known term among younger daters; three-in-five (62%) of Gen Z* know what it means, compared to just 3% of Boomers.
The COVID-19 pandemic as contributed to the pressure singles are feeling to get into a relationship during cuffing season this year.
More than one-in-four (28%) singles report feeling more pressure to get into a relationship during cuffing season this year.
The primary reasons they feel pressured include:
- Being quarantined during the pandemic made them realize they want a partner (54%)
- The pandemic has made them reevaluate what’s important (48%)
- They want someone who can help them emotionally (48%)
- Gen Zers* (33%) and Millennials (36%) are significantly more likely than Gen Xers (20%) and Boomers (13%) to say they feel more pressure to get into a relationship ahead of the winter this year.
Alternatively, , of those who feel less pressure to get into a relationship (23%), they say they’re concerned about COVID-19 (49%) and don’t want the added stress of a new relationship during the pandemic (39%).
Influence of the pandemic on online dating activity
The pandemic has made many online daters, particularly Gen Zers* and Millennials, more adventurous when it comes to the ways they interact with matches on dating sites/apps.
- Nearly two out of five daters (38%) say that they have been actively talking to more matches at one time than normal.
- One in four (27%) daters say they have been asking their matches where they’ve been/if they’ve been social distancing.
- Roughly one-third of Gen Zers* (36%) and Millennials (29%) say that they have been video chatting their matches on dating apps during the pandemic, making them both significantly more likely to do so than older daters (Gen X: 20%, Boomers: 11%).
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to say they’ve been actively talking to more matches at a time than normal
Ketchum Analytics partnered with Lucid on behalf of eharmony to conduct a survey of 1,000 single and dating US adults ages 18-64. The survey was fielded from August 21-25, 2020 with a margin of error of +/- 3.1% at 95% confidence.