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Singles Prioritize Mental Well-Being And Careers Before Settling Down: Plenty Of Fish Poll

UK singles prioritize mental well-being, friendships, and careers over settling down, says Plenty of Fish poll.

Singles are prioritizing their mental well-being, friendships, and careers before settling down.

A poll of 2,000 UK singles, who are actively dating, found 45% are “smashing the date-triarchy” and focusing on putting their well-being first, rather than seeking out ‘the one’.

While 31% want to put more time and effort into their friendships, and a further 31% are keen to do the same with their careers.

More than eight in 10 (84%) don’t believe there is an age deadline when it comes to finding love, with 74% keen to date more selfishly – rather than adhering to the societal milestones expected of them, such as getting married or having children.

The research was commissioned by dating app, Plenty of Fish, to launch its annual dating trends helping to define the experiences of UK singles.

Singles are prioritizing their mental well-being, friendships, and careers before settling down. SWNS

The brand’s resident dating expert, Eva Gallagher, said: “Our annual dating trends nod to the evolving attitudes and behaviors of singles – which are heavily influenced by society and popular culture.

“We’re seeing a positive movement towards singles acknowledging their self-worth, prioritizing their own wants and needs, and never accepting less than they deserve – which is what we firmly believe in.

“Dating should be fun and low pressure, and we hope that next year, singles will continue to enjoy the journey when looking for love and setting their dating goals.”

Despite this mindset, dating is still on the cards as 39% are keen to meet more like-minded people, and 36% are looking for fun without any added pressures.

And while 53% are set on being in a long-term relationship, 59% are ‘contra-dating’ and being more open-minded by dating outside of their usual ‘type’.

Exactly a third admit past relationships with people they typically go for haven’t ever worked out for them, and 36% are actively trying to move away from the concept entirely.

Nearly eight in 10 (77%) admit to ‘investing’ having previously done their homework on a potential match via social media for either them or a friend before meeting in person.

Reasons for doing this include wanting to check who they say they are (48%), but 33% like to have a greater insight of the person before going on the date.

When planning for it, 77% have mastered “Groundhog day-ting” and like to always meet somewhere familiar as it takes away the stress (33%), but also gives peace of mind when the bill comes thanks to the cost-of-living (31%).

Thinking about previous failed relationships, 45% admit to staying with someone due to the fear of starting over (F.O.S.O), and 44% were simply too comfortable to end it.

Singles are prioritizing their mental well-being, friendships, and careers before settling down. SWNS

An incredible 21% have even stayed “pet-rothed” to a partner because they became too attached to the cat, dog, or fish.

Forty-four percent of those who have done this claimed the prospect of life without the animal made them feel more heartbroken than it would without their partner.

And 32% simply didn’t want to say goodbye to their co-parenting pet duties, according to the data.

Looking ahead at dating for 2024, 47% believe always being true to themselves, knowing their self-worth (45%), and taking an approach to dating that suits them and their goals (24%) is more important than ever.

In light of the findings, Plenty of Fish has partnered with Channel 4’s Married at First Sight UK star, Sophie Brown, to offer singles relatable advice in the evolving dating landscape.

Sophie said: “The world of dating can be both exciting and tricky to navigate and it goes without saying that dating looks entirely different now to how it did 10 years ago.

“While my experience of being matchmade by experts didn’t work out in the long run, it really opened my eyes to just how quickly societal and cultural trends can cause us to switch up our dating behaviors.

“As someone who prioritizes their career and personal life alongside finding love, I can relate to these dating trends and I hope my tips are helpful.


1. Make dating work for you – You are in control of how much time and energy you invest into dating. If, like me, you prefer to save your weekends for self-care and socializing, try ‘Week Day-ting’ (Thursdays are the best days for this in my opinion)

2. Take control of your nerves – I love having a go-to place that’s a guaranteed good vibe, so bear this in mind when you’re the one choosing where to meet on your next date. If a boost in confidence is what you need, try doing some “investi-dating” to be sure someone is who they say they are – it could even prompt a few conversation starters – bonus.

3. Decide on your deal breakers – Being clear on your deal breakers and putting what you want out of dating first is so important. Don’t be afraid to smash the date-triarchy and prioritise your goals, and find a partner who adds value and shares a similar vision to you – never settle for anything less.

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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