Love in the digital age

When 80% of Prosumers say they believe love can last forever, the question being raised is how can we manage the discrepancies between this fairytale syndrome and the harsh reality of our love journeys in the digital world?


The pressure to find forever love is creating an emotional roller coaster. People are seeking something that is increasingly unattainable, being unwilling to settle for less or to miss out on the romantic ideal conjured in storybooks and romantic films. The stakes of finding the “right one” are high, so people take the quest very seriously. More than 8 in 10 Prosumers think it’s better to take their time to find the right partner than commit too early to someone they may not stay with forever.

With our newest survey—fielded among nearly 17,500 people ages 13+ in 37 countries—Havas Group explores the quest for love in the digital era. Among our key findings:

  • The bigger the stakes, the bigger the playground: The internet and digital apps have dramatically expanded the pools of potential mates, but that hasn’t made finding “the one” any easier. In fact, around half of Prosumers think dating was simpler for previous generations.
  • From eternal love to eternal dating: The desire and pressure to find eternal love has made the love quest never-ending. Our love search has been revolutionized by digital in:
    • How we are looking for love on social media: 42% of teens have been flirting on Instagram.
    • How we are using all kinds of apps to maximize our chances of finding love: 67% of Prosumers agree that dating apps are good for finding a partner from within like-minded communities.
    • How we are raising our expectations regarding suitable matches: 64% of Prosumers say dating apps have made people more selective about whom they decide to date.
    • And how we are always under pressure, always looking for a better option: 39% of Prosumers admit that when they’re in a relationship, they sometimes wonder whether they can find a better partner.
  • Sex machine: People have become obsessed with their sexual performance, becoming more and more anxious that they’re not meeting expectations. As a consequence, sex has become an athletic event that people are willing to train for. More than 4 in 10 Prosumers would be willing to monitor their sexual activities and performance for improvement.
  • Tinderella Syndrome: We prefer the “game” to the “goal.” More than a third of Prosumers admit they’re more interested in receiving matches than in actually meeting potential partners.
  • Follow your heart, or an algorithm? Chinese Prosumers have already chosen science over their instincts. To find love, nothing is safer than trusting an algorithm—50% of them would trust an algorithm to find their soul mate, 56% think artificial intelligence will be able to tell them if they are really in love and in a sustainable relationship, and 57% would like dating apps to incorporate DNA match analysis.
  • Love around the world: The love game has different rules around the world. While some countries such as France still play the “game of love & chance” (70% trust random encounters to find love), some others consider it a family affair (78% of Saudi Arabians trust their families to help them find love).


View the KEY INSIGHTS presentation.

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