1 in 3 single adults in Ireland are not interested in finding a new partner – Core’s Dating 2020 report

  • One in five 25-34 year olds have met their partner through apps and dating websites
  • Over half (55%) of Irish adults feel that dating apps have made people more shallow
  • Just under half of Irish adults admit they would look up someone’s social media in advance of going on a date with them
  • With a growing concern over data privacy, 1 in 3 say this is very important to them


1 in 3 single adults are not interested in finding a new partner, according to Core’s Dating 2020 report, compiled by Ireland’s largest marketing communications company. The number of single people in Ireland has increased to 1.2 million, with 34% of women and 28% men saying they are “not interested in meeting anyone at this time”, highlighting the changing dating landscape.

When it came to dating practices, interviewees tended to favour conventional methods over digital apps, with 43% of women hoping to meet prospective partners through a friend or family member, compared to 38% of men. The opinions of loved ones also carry a considerable amount of weight when it comes to finding a new partner, with 48% of women taking into consideration the views of family and friends.

That said, the rise in social media has provided a new avenue to dating, with one in five 25-34 year olds saying they met their partner through apps and dating websites, the highest of any cohort.

With online privacy a hot topic, 65% believe that people will focus more on their data privacy in 2020. However, only 30% say this is a trend that is very important to themselves personally, with older people most likely to be more cautious when it comes to sharing information. Despite these concerns, only 24% say it is personally important to them that people will reduce their social media use and the majority (69% of adults) believe people will not reduce their social media use in 2020. As dating apps require a certain level of personal information, people need to consider the trade-off between their privacy and giving away their data for the possibility of meeting someone new.

While online dating is considered to be inclusive, the research found that many believe it can have a negative effect on the dating world, with over half (55%) of Irish adults saying dating apps have made people more shallow. This was further highlighted by 42% saying they “would take into consideration what they have on social media,” with the same percentage saying they would take into consideration what their friends or family think.

Stephen Mooney, Research Executive at Core Research said: “Thirty years ago, the life plan for most involved marrying young, buying a house together and starting a family. Nowadays, the life plan for most isn’t as linear. Houses are less affordable, people are marrying later, if at all, and having kids isn’t a given. Singledom, and with that dating, should therefore be an important topic for brands to understand.”

“While, the conventional expectations of ”settling down,” may still exist, for many, this is a demand of the past, with single life being about enjoying life, dating and making individual and not joint decisions. It’s up to brands to acknowledge these changing life-stage expectations by facilitating people and encouraging them to move away from dating via their screens by hosting events or moments for people to connect with the people around them.”

Further interesting insights from the dating research include:

  • 26% of single men and single women believe dating apps are only for young people 
  • 50% of single men and 64% of single women believe self-fulfilment and learning about yourself is easier to do when single
  • 40% of single men and 38% of single women believe dating multiple people is fine once all parties involved are aware of it
  • 55% of single men and 69% of single women believe there are double standards when it comes to what is okay for men to do versus what is okay for women to do
  • 25% of single men and 12% of single women believe people should get married and have kids by a certain age

The research focuses on single men and women’s dating and relationship preferences and investigates whether these changing life expectations are having an impact on how and when we form relationships. Based on the views of 1,000 participants, which included 320 single people, the methodology focused on four key questions:

  1. How are people in relationships meeting?
  2. How do singles think they would meet someone in comparison to how they would prefer to meet someone?
  3. What are people’s attitudes towards the recent changes in the dating landscape?
  4. Are their influences in delaying traditional milestones? 

Core Research is part of Core. Core employs a team of 310 people and consists of nine practices – Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media (comprising of Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith), Recruitment, Research, Sponsorship and Strategy. Core has been voted Agency Network of the Year for the last six years at the Media Awards and the company was also recently voted one of the top workplaces in Ireland by the Great Place to Work Institute for the tenth year running.

To view the full findings of the Core Dating 2020 report please click here: