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Brief Published: 12 Feb 2021

Survey Unpacks Common Gen Z Dating Myths


Gen Z (born 1996-2009) dating is enveloped in myth, according to new research from UK-based student loyalty network Student Beans. Its latest US survey debunks misconceptions that are keeping brands out of touch, revealing how to effectively navigate and engage with the Gen Z dating landscape. We spotlight key romantic takeaways.

  • DM Slides Over Dating Apps: A common misconception is that most Gen Zers use dating apps. But Student Beans’ survey reveals that 51% in the US have never used a dating app or website.
    DM slides (direct messaging on social media apps) are more popular; 53% have used this method to organise a date or hook-up, while 20% have dated someone they met via Instagram.
    A lesson for brands: don’t invest all your social strategy efforts in dating apps. Instead, integrate your love-leaning messages into Gen Z social media faves such as TikTok, Instagram or Snapchat.
  • Up Your Budget: The ‘stingy’ student stereotype doesn’t match up when it comes to dating. The survey reveals that students will happily spend $93 on a first date, with some stretching to $221.
    Higher-cost companies should not shy away from marketing to this cohort; brands wanting to capture this spend should position their offering as ‘special’ – and worth Gen Z consumers spending that bit extra on.
  • Rethinking V-Day Gifting: Step away from the bouquet – only 39% of this demographic would consider giving flowers for Valentine’s Day. Instead, consider fashion’s gifting opportunity; a massive 84% of Gen Zers would present their partner with garments for the holiday.
    Savvy brands should also ensure their messaging speaks to all celebrations of love; over a quarter of students have celebrated Galentine’s Day (the female friendship equivalent of Valentine’s).