A Recent Report by Tinder Spotlights the Assumptions Epidemic Influencing Post-Pandemic Dating
Today, Tinder has released a study of 8,000 young singles, The Green Flags Study exploring 2024 attitudes to dating and relationships revealing the assumptions that young people have about each other.

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LOS ANGELES, May 15, 2024 - Tinder, the world’s most popular dating app, recently launched an international study highlighting dating app behaviors in 2024. Tinder commissioned a survey polling 8,000 heterosexual men and women across four countries - the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada—with results indicating that men and women may actually have more in common than we think.


Key Findings:

  • The study, referred to as The Green Flags Study, revealed that nearly all participating men (91%) and women (94%) agree that dating is more difficult.
  • Based on Tinder’s study, the majority of both men (53%) and women (68%) responded that they want a romantic relationship, men and women are more aligned in their desires than they might realise. 
  • 65% of women said they believe that men are only seeking casual flings when the percentage was less than half of that among responding men (29%).
  • Despite the majority of both men (78%) and women (84%) saying they seek equal partnership, traditional romance and chivalry take new forms.

During the pandemic, many of those classic opportunities to meet people—like proms, concerts, and movie nights—got nixed, leaving young daters feeling like they missed out on some real-life magic. In this post-pandemic era of dating, frustrations seem to be stretching beyond social media fatigue and screen time. The most seismic shift is a growing tension in how young singles seek to make new connections. We’re seeing the first generation born with full internet access come of age and figure out what it means to connect — there’s a yearning to get offline while still relying on apps for everything. 


As these digital natives change everything about the societal landscape, it’s no surprise that young daters are leading the charge. Whether you’re conversing with friends or (doom) scrolling social media feeds, the discontent is loud and clear. But it begs the question: if it’s a connection that’s craved, why is the disconnect more significant within this ‘very online’ generation?


“The Green Flags Study reveals assumptions that young people have about each other: men and women are misjudging each other’s intentions in stereotypical ways.” says Dr. Sara Konrath, a social psychologist at Indiana University, “Such stereotypes can be damaging to relationships. Staying curious and asking questions can help dig beyond the surface and lead to deeper connections.”


We’re not from Mars—or Venus, actually.


We think the classic lore of the 90’s surrounding men, women, and dating states that the most common problem is fundamental psychological differences between men and women. But our survey data suggests otherwise. 


The problem? We think men and women are stuck in an “Assumptions Epidemic”, often misinterpreting green flags as red ones. According to this study, both genders seem to be on the same page when it comes to relationship goals and interests — they just don’t know it. Instead, both men and women respondents indicated that they jump to conclusions about what the other one actually wants—and then build narratives around those assumptions.


As familiar as this may sound, the divide seems very real for today’s daters. So, how can we help to close this gap to make dating more intentional and successful for everyone involved? We have some thoughts.


Assumptions are… killing the vibe.


Although we, as a society, claim to be mystified by the opposite sex, the Green Flags Study reveals that men and women are more aligned in their desires than they might realise. A main issue from survey respondents seemed to be when someone can’t quickly decipher whether a potential partner is exhibiting “red flag” or “green flag” qualities, they toss a white flag and surrender instead. We call this scenario the “Dating Traffic Jam.”


Based on Tinder’s study, over half of men (53%) said they want a romantic relationship but think fewer women (49%) are looking for the same thing. So, where did the women’s results land on the topic? Our study shows that the majority of women (68%) said they are looking for a romantic relationship, as well.


The study shows that surveyed men may get caught up in judgment stereotypes, with respondents saying they often anticipate that women will focus on factors like height (34%) or job title (31%) when viewing their profiles. Physical traits and career positions help paint a picture of who someone is, but [based on the study] these do not appear to be ‘make-or-breaks’ when it comes to who women want to date. 


More than just a hook-up. 


The study shows that, when it comes to heterosexual singles, our most commonly-held assumptions may be related to ‘seeking something casual’ versus ‘looking for a long-term relationship’. Surveyed women responded in a way that suggests they may underestimate whether men are looking for love and overestimate the number of men looking for noncommittal sex. In fact, the study reveals that 65% of women believe that men are only seeking casual flings when, in reality, the percentage is less than half of that (29%). Again, another example of assumptions rearing their ugly head. These misunderstood beliefs create specific narratives before one’s finger even hits the screen—making it much harder to see potential matches for what they are: a surplus of possibility.  


So, what’s our green flag here? Now equipped with the cold hard stats, we can pull back the curtain on these oft-missed connections. It’s important that daters are able to distinguish between flags and give themselves a better chance at forming meaningful foundations (and not being so quick to judge). Of course assumptions need time to break down, but isn’t it more fun to be open to possibilities? Cue your surprise-and-delight era.


Socially progressive, romantically traditional.


Another interesting angle in today's dating scene is that women tend to lead with progressive values while still holding onto traditional relationship norms (think “meet-cute” nostalgia). Despite the majority of both men (78%) and women (84%) saying they want equal partnership, this progressively traditional approach to dating has left some men unsure how to proceed. 


Unlike earlier generations, women no longer rely on men to financially support them. Now, does that mean women want to pick up the first tab? Not necessarily. 


Now, this is where we’ve gotta drop the “F” word. No, not that one: “feminism.” Our study shows though three out of four men (74%) are open to dating a woman who makes more money than them, men still seem to be torn on the term itself—with one in three men (37%) saying they wouldn't label themselves as a feminist. However, 50% of women say they would date someone who identifies as one (AKA male feminists get the girl). 


These results present themselves as a disconnect over core values, but it’s not the values themselves—it’s the communication around them. In turn, an opportunity for men to shift their perspective is created. The green flag is that you don’t have to be labeled to be aligned. Engaging in conversations about morals and societal interests will probably land a greater connection than simply adding the word “feminist” to one’s profile bio.

New-age chivalry. 

In that similar progressive-to-traditional pipeline, surveyed women say they still appreciate chivalrous gestures, but it's not the only benchmark anymore. And not only that, chivalry has changed its look. Evolving beyond whether you give up your seat, it’s now about quality time and undivided attention. But men seem to still be holding onto older notions of chivalry taught by earlier generations—and this is where we’re getting stuck. 

Our study shows…


“Make sure your date gets home safely.”  59% of women found this level of care to be chivalrous (versus 38% of men).


“Put your phone away during one-on-one time.” 55% of women prefer going screen-free on dates (versus 34% of men).


“Give sincere compliments.” 50% of women gave a thumbs up to genuine affirmations (versus 35% of men).


Although the women’s percentages are higher, this data can help rewire men’s perceptions of what matters to their date—and get unstuck from an outdated approach. Of course, opening doors is still appreciated across many ages and genders, but as we can see, intentions and actions versus feigned gentlemanly behaviors appear to be winning out. 

So what’s next?

As today’s dating standards and expectations continue to evolve, so must we. We want connection more than ever, but now in a way that doesn’t feel rushed or disingenuous—as long as everyone can get on the same page. Gone are the days of surface-level sh*t. Modern daters want to dig deep, talk about important issues, discuss long-term goals, and connect in meaningful ways. It’s time to throw away the rose-colored glasses and move forward with fewer assumptions and more intentionality (these stats don’t lie). Green flags are everywhere if you’re looking through the right lens. 

Green Flag Dating Tips from Paul Brunson, Tinder’s Global Relationships Insight Expert:


Respect is 360

Respect matters in every part of our lives, whether it's how we treat ourselves or others. It shows in every interaction, from a date night to how you talk to the waiter or your friends. Remember, people notice how you treat yourself too, and it sets the tone for how they'll treat you. In a chaotic world, being kind and respectful to everyone, whether close to you or just passing by, is more important than ever. 


Let Your Quirk Lead the Way 

Being real matters more than ever. Today's young singles have grown up surrounded by edited photos, made-up stories, and impossible standards of perfection. They value raw, real-life honesty above all else—from how they look to what they like and even their quirks. There’s no holding back from showing who you really are, both online and in real life. After all, being authentic starts with being honest with yourself.


Relationship equity is the prize 

Equity is essential in relationships today. Young singles seek an equal stake in their future partnerships, striving to begin on equal footing. It's not about dependency—neither being dependent on someone nor having someone depend on you. Instead, the goal is interdependence, which involves maintaining independence while mutually supporting each other. This means actively listening to and appreciating differences, even when disagreements arise.


Communication never comes at a cost 

Communication should always be free. Whether you're just beginning a relationship or deep in one, being open and honest should top your list. In today's dating world, young singles can't afford to lose time on unclear relationship goals or personal ambitions. While the thrill of the chase has its charm, daters are focused on the end goal, whatever that may be. So, be yourself and clearly express your desires and needs.


Trust is the foundation

In the realm of modern dating, building trust is non-negotiable. Young singles value transparency and expect consistency in words and actions from the start. This isn't just about avoiding heartbreak; it's about creating a strong, genuine connection that can endure. Be honest, be reliable, and watch how deep your relationships can grow.


About Our Survey: 


Online survey of 8000 18-34 year olds who are single and actively dating (2000 UK, 2000 USA, 2000 Canada and 2000 Australia) was commissioned on behalf of Tinder and conducted by market research company Opinium, in accordance with the Market Research Society's code of conduct. Data was collected between 3/6/2024 and 3/18/2024.