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New research reveals you can’t hurry love

You could be forgiven for thinking that the world is hooked on Tinder and the only way to meet a partner is to swipe right or left (if you can even remember which swipe means what). But new research from 2degrees found people are more likely to trust their mum or their mates than an algorithm when it comes to finding the perfect match.

The 2degrees “Good Chat” Relationship Study surveyed more than 2,000 New Zealanders and discovered that 57% prefer to meet potential dates through friends or family as opposed to through a dating app (11%).

And, despite some common beliefs about raunchy Tinder dates, those who do chat online include two opposing camps: people who can’t wait to meet and those who are in no rush for a quick rendezvous with a stranger.

The survey found that a quarter (24%) met within a day, while one in six messaged (17%) or talked for at least six months before agreeing to meet an online date in person, with 45-54 years olds the most likely age group to take their time. And a cautious one in nine (12%) waited a year or more before meeting someone face-to-face.

Steven Dromgool, Director at Relate Counselling, says: “This research is an important and timely way to map the on-going impacts of technology on Kiwi relationships. While it confirms some known wisdom, it also highlights some intriguing trends.

“Despite all the talk about the rise of Artificial Intelligence, we’re not ready to trust algorithms as much as we trust the people who know us best.”

When it comes to that first real date, the 45 to 55-year-old age group were the most likely to wait for at least six months or more (37%), compared to 16 to 24-year-olds where only 16% waited this long. Half of Kiwis aged between 16 and 24-years-old admitted to meeting up with a potential partner after speaking for less than two weeks.

Happily, it also appears that when looking for the perfect partner, Kiwis are far more interested in the sort of person you are and care a lot less about how you look or how much you earn.

“It’s heartening to see that a sense of humour and similar values are so highly prized as these are some of the traits that ensure relationships last. It may surprise some to know that, in a country like New Zealand, with a reputation for being bungy jumping thrill seekers, only 12% of Kiwis look for a partner with a good sense of adventure.” Dromgool adds.

Mark Aue, CEO 2degrees, says the decision to build on last year and continue the research into other aspects of relationships was an easy one.

“Last year’s “Good Chat” survey provided us with insight into how New Zealanders are communicating with one another and how technology is affecting romantic relationships across the country. From this, we found that four in 10 Kiwis think their partner spends too much time on the phone – a statistic that resonated with the whole team at 2degrees.

“This year, we wanted to go even further and look at how people are using technology to build new relationships and whether it is helping or hindering their existing relationships with loved ones.”

The 2degrees “Good Chat” Relationships Study follows the “Good Chat” Emoji research released in July 2019, which delved into Kiwis’ use and perception of emojis in the workplace and everyday life.

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