Havas Group’s new Prosumer Report, 'Love in the Digital Age,' has examined how romantic practices and relationships are changing at a time when so much of the pursuit of love is conducted online — and when people increasingly are tapping into science for help. The study draws from a survey of nearly 17,500 people ages 13+ in 37 countries, with a focus on Prosumers, the leading-edge influencers and market drivers who Havas has been tracking for more than 15 years.
“When 80% of Prosumers say they believe love can last forever, the question being raised is how can we manage the discrepancies between this fairytale expectation and the harsh reality of our love journeys in the digital world?” says Marianne Hurstel, global chief strategy officer at Havas Creative. “People are seeking something that is increasingly unattainable, being unwilling to settle for less or to miss out on the romantic ideal conjured in storybooks and romantic films. The stakes of finding the ‘right one’ are high, so people take the quest very seriously. More than 8 in 10 Prosumers think it’s better to take their time to find the right partner than commit too early to someone they may not stay with forever.”
The findings of the study include:
- The bigger the stakes, the bigger the playground: The internet and digital apps have expanded our pools of potential mates into teeming seas of possibilities, which hasn’t made finding a suitable partner any easier. Around half of Prosumers think dating was simpler for previous generations.
- From eternal love to eternal dating: The desire and pressure to find true love has made the quest never-ending. Our love search has been revolutionised by digital in:
• How we are looking for love on social media: 42% of teens have been flirting on Instagram.
• How we are using new technologies to maximize our chances of finding love: 67% of Prosumers agree that dating apps are good for finding a partner within like-minded communities.
• How we are raising our expectations regarding suitable matches: 64% of Prosumers say dating apps have made people more selective about who they date.
• How we are always under pressure, always looking for a better option: Nearly 4 in 10 Prosumers admit that when they’re in a relationship, they sometimes wonder whether they can find a better partner.
- Sex machine: People have become obsessed with their sexual performance, becoming more and more anxious that they’re not meeting expectations. As a consequence, sex has become an athletic event that people are willing to train for. More than 4 in 10 Prosumers would be willing to monitor their sexual activities and performance for improvement.
- Tinderella Syndrome: We prefer the “game” to the “goal.” More than a third of Prosumers admit they’re more interested in receiving matches than in actually meeting potential partners.
- Follow your heart, or an algorithm? With dating pools so much larger, a growing number of people are turning to science for help. Around 4 in 10 Prosumers think AI will eventually be able to tell us if we are really in love and in a sustainable relationship, while 34% would like dating apps to incorporate DNA match analysis. Others are taking a more businesslike approach, hiring “love coaches” to help them navigate the digital waters of online dating.
- Exes popping up: Six in 10 Prosumers agree that digital has made it easier to end a relationship. There’s a flipside, though: Nearly half of Prosumers say that social media has made it all but impossible to put their previous relationships behind them.
- Love around the world: The love game has different rules around the world. While some countries such as France still play the “game of love & chance” (70% trust random encounters to find love), some others consider it a family affair (78% of Saudi Arabians trust their families to help them find love).
You can learn more about the study here