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Dating Profile Update: Do Vices Matter?

do vices matter when online dating

Summer is here, which means many of us are thinking about giving our online dating profile a bit of a seasonal revamp – and if we’re not, we should be. However, before you upload some fresh photos and add a blurb about your newfound love of bourbon and THC-infused gummy bears, you might want to read ahead.

This June, data scientists at the online dating app Hinge did a deep-dive into their member’s preferences as they relate to vices: drinking, smoking and drug use. The results were interesting, to say the least.

The study was focused on people’s vices and how they relate to their level of attractiveness online. The research looked at how revealing your vice, whether it’s smoking, drinking or drugs affect someone’s decision to match with you. What the stats revealed: if you’re going to have a vice, most singles would prefer that you drink.

Drinking as a vice was shown as 91 percent preferred over someone who doesn’t drink at all. As someone who has several friends who are sober, I know that non-drinkers do face a certain level of discrimination in the dating sphere because unfortunately, there’s an assumption that people who don’t drink aren’t socially inclined or “fun” (for a lack of a better word) – which, isn’t true at all. Although drinking in front of someone who is sober can feel awkward at first (even if your date gives you an enthusiastic go-ahead), I would assume people would prefer to date someone who doesn’t drink in lieu of someone who drinks too much, but the statistics say otherwise.

However, when it comes to the other vices, the numbers aren’t even remotely close. Only 19 percent of people prefer marijuana as a vice, while smoking and drug use had a measly 3 percent preference.

Also interesting: the more someone drinks, the more “liked” someone is by other members – even non-drinkers.

For the second half of the study, the data scientists broke each vice down by gender. What they discovered: men are a lot more relaxed when it comes to a potential date’s vices.

Men who are non-smokers are 6 percent more open to dating a woman who does smoke, while women who don’t smoke are 46 percent less likely to match with a man who does smoke. The same double standard also seems to apply to drug use, except surprisingly it’s women who are more chill about whether a potential partner does drugs. Women who don’t use drugs are only 26 percent less likely to match with someone who does use drugs.

So, what can we extrapolate from all of this? Well, several things.

  1. Be honest in your dating profile.

It’s better to be up front about your vices – not only because it’s the right thing to do (no one wants to be mislead or catfished,) but also because it may help make you more attractive – especially if you’re a fan of the booze.

  1. Vices matter.

You might say, “I don’t care if my date smokes/drinks/does drugs,” but these things do matter when it comes to finding someone you click with. That’s because dating isn’t just about attractiveness, it’s about finding someone that shares a similar lifestyle and set of values – and a lot of this extends to what kinds of vices you share.

For example, if you’re a non-smoking, light drinker there’s a chance that you might not share similar lifestyle expectations with someone who smokes marijuana every morning before they get in the shower. It’s just common sense. Also, vineyard tours and wine tastings are your passion, you’re probably not going to have as much in common with someone who is sober.

  1. Clear lungs, can’t lose.

Men who are smokers: if you want to increase your online dating chances and make yourself attractive to the largest possible group of people, consider quitting smoking. As mentioned above, this is one area where men and women are really divided. Non-smoking women overwhelmingly report that they are not interested in dating men who smoke. Just case you need another excuse to quit!

Lastly, it all comes back to honesty. Whether you’re resolving to scale back your vices or keep them the same, the best chance you have at finding someone you’re compatible with is being upfront and transparent about the things you enjoy. Whether that’s a tumbler of club soda or tequila – telling the truth is always the best policy.




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