The dating website PlentyOfFish.com just released a new study on singles and drinking, and the findings shed interesting light on how our attitudes towards alcohol change as we get more serious about finding a mate.
The study involved 11 million singles between the ages of 21 and 50 who have set up profiles on the dating site. When signing up, users are asked a battery of questions about themselves, meant to help the site’s database better pair them with potential dates and mates.
They are asked about their physical attributes, their education level, what kind of relationship they are looking for, if they want children, the length of their previous relationships, etc. They are also asked about how often they consume alcohol, with the ability to choose one of three answers: often, socially, or never.
Plenty Of Fish correlated all of this data and dug up some interesting nuggets about how alcohol consumption and mating behaviors intertwine. As it turns out, people who are looking to start a serious relationship are less likely to drink alcohol.
Boozing and Relationship Intent
According to the data, men who are looking for marriage are 82 percent more likely to answer “no” to the “do you drink?” question, while women who want to marry are 73 percent more likely to indicate that they do not drink alcohol.
The opposite is true amongst people looking for more casual encounters. Women who are not looking for a committed relationship are 80 percent more likely to say they drink “often,” while men looking for a little non-committal fun are 55 percent more likely to indicate that they drink often.
A Clear Head
“I definitely think that age is playing factor here,” said Sarah Gooding, a PR manager and dating coach for Plenty of Fish. “When you are younger and looking for a casual relationship, you’re likely going to the bar every Friday and Saturday night.”
“But as you are getting into your 30s and 40s and you’re looking for something more serious, you’re not going to the bar every night,” she to B&WB. “Plus, you know that alcohol can cloud your judgment, and you want a level head when you’re trying to meet someone for marriage.”
Simply put, the data show we tend to drink less as we grow up and settle down, and we tend to drink more when we’re young and looking for a good time (and not necessarily a good girl or a good boy).
Of course there’s always the possibility that people looking for a long-term relationship consume alcohol as frequently as everyone else, but they downplay their drinking habits on their profiles in order to make themselves seem more stable and upstanding to a possible mate. It is the Internet, after all.
Gooding is confident that this isn’t the case.
“I think the people who say that they don’t drink at all are being very honest, because not drinking can actually work against them in the dating scene,” Gooding said. “If people were going to lie about their drinking habits, it would probably be by claiming to be a ‘social’ drinker, because so many singles that indicate that they drink socially – it’s the safest answer.”
What Are You Having?
Other findings that came out of the study show that wine is the adult beverage that single women say they drink most often (it enjoys a nearly twice the popularity with the ladies than beer), while single men say they prefer beer by a very large margin (almost five times more than wine, their next favorite tipple).
This is good news for both sexes, because their date likes the way their favorite drink looks in their hand. 26.6% of men think that the most attractive drink for their date to order is red wine, while 23.3% of women think that the most attractive drink for their date to order is a pint of craft beer (which makes me the sexiest man alive).
14.1% of singles think that the most attractive drink for their date to order is something without alcohol. We can only assume these are people looking to tie the knot immediately.
“A lot of this is confirming common sense,” Gooding said about the findings of the study, “but I think that it’s still interesting when data supports common sense.”