1 in 5 single adults more hesitant to have sex since Supreme Court reverses abortion ruling

National survey reveals 4 in 5 singles say they’ve changed their “dating behavior” since Roe v. Wade

DALLAS — What is it like to be single in 2022? A new survey finds that more and more relationship seekers are “stretching to the left” when it comes to prioritizing looks over personality.

In a survey of 5,000 American singles, commissioned by Match.com, researchers found that many singles focus on “conscious dating,” or looking beyond physical attraction to use dating as a way to learn more about themselves. This includes finding a partner who will help someone learn who they are, what they need, and their behavior patterns during this process.

Also, recent events have played a big role in how America’s singles approach the dating scene. Specifically, the pandemic, inflation, and the overturning of Roe v. Wade make many singles rethink how they go on dates, and who they jump into bed with.

More than half of those surveyed (53%) are now willing to start a relationship with someone who lives more than three hours away. Only 35% said the same last year. That may have something to do with the 33 percent who say they changed their minds about long-distance relationships during the pandemic.

Despite this, most singles still want a more personal approach to getting to know their partner. Forty-eight percent say they prefer to talk to them on the phone, while 43 percent feel comfortable sending text messages. Only 29 percent like to chat on social media and only 11 percent chose the metaverse.

Sex and politics don’t mix

While seven in 10 singles say sex improves their mental health and 71 percent feel better after a break in the bedroom, many respondents are actively avoiding sex because of the position changing the United States on abortion. In fact, one in five singles say the end of Roe v. Wade makes them hesitate to have sex. Almost four in five say they have changed their dating behavior since the Supreme Court ruling.

Regardless of which side of the debate they’re on, two out of three single women in the survey say they won’t even date someone if they have an opposing view on abortion. Singles generally say the ruling makes them use condoms more often and are more afraid of getting pregnant.

While many singles fear the repercussions of having sex, few opt for digital alternatives. Only three percent say they’ve tried sex with some form of virtual reality.

Not vaxxed? No problem

Interestingly, the pandemic is no longer a major issue for many single Americans. In 2021, 47 percent said they wanted their date to get vaccinated. However, that number drops to just 40 percent in 2022. Additionally, 36 percent say they don’t care about anyone and would date someone who didn’t get the COVID vaccine.

Despite the decrease in concern about the coronavirus, one in three believe that the pandemic is still affecting their life as a couple.

With this in mind, many singles are looking for someone to give them advice on their next relationship. Almost half of the survey (48%) turn to their friends, while one in three asks their family for help.

One in five look to YouTube and social media for dating advice, and 16 percent ask their therapist for input. Another 14 percent look for help in the same place they look for dates: a dating app.

READ: The best dating apps for 2023, according to expert websites

Inflation makes date nights more “creative”.

With everything costing more this year, singles are looking to make every dollar count as they look for love. When it comes to their budgets, the survey finds that the average single American spends $130 per month while exploring the dating scene. That money takes care of dating app subscriptions ($12), dating cash ($39), appearance and grooming expenses ($40), and some fancy clothes to impress his partner ($39).

Overall, the survey finds that the cost of dating has increased by 40 percent over the past decade. That may be why a staggering 84 percent say it’s okay if the first date keeps things casual. Three out of 10 add that they are perfectly fine with finding totally free dating activities. Another 29 percent are now more open to finding date nights close to home to save on gas.

If you’re great in the kitchen, here’s your chance to impress! One in four say they are more open to enjoying a home-cooked meal rather than going to a fancy restaurant. Twenty-four percent are okay with finding cheaper restaurants in town and 25 percent are really cheap dates and would be happy to meet for coffee or a drink.

In these stressful financial times, the survey also finds that stability is the new sexy. Three in 10 singles want to find a partner who is financially stable, and 23 percent say they appreciate people who are “frugal” more.


The 2022 study is based on attitudes and behaviors drawn from a demographically representative sample of 5,000 singles in the United States between the ages of 18 and 98. The generations are defined as: Gen Z (18-25), Millennials (26-41), Gen X. (42-57) and Boomers (58-76).

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