Annual Singles Survey

Dr. James Emery White

What is the current state of sex, dating and singles? Look no further than the Annual Singles Survey funded by the Dallas-based dating service Match and conducted by Research Now.

  • Millennials are 48% more likely to have sex before the first date (Yes, that says before.). 
  • 28% view sex as a way to decide whether they love someone. This goes up to 73% of all men.
  • Almost 70% of singles approve of polyamorous relationships, or sexual relationships with a deep connection with more than one partner.

So if sex is trivialized, what isn’t?

The use of a phone. As in:

  • 75% find answering your phone on a first date a big turn-off.
  • 66% don’t want you texting someone on a date.
  • 58% don’t want to see your phone face up on the table.

No… really… this matters to them. Android users are 15 times more likely to judge someone negatively for having an iPhone. But turnabout is fair play – iPhone users are 21 times more likely to judge Android users negatively.

And the biggest turn-off of all?

A cracked screen. For Millennials and Gen Xers, this is what will get you judged the most negatively of all. Particularly by women, as they are 86% more likely to negatively judge a man for having a cracked screen.

This new set of values, putting tech manners in the driver’s seat and sex in the trunk, led even the liberal-leaning USA Today to headline its article on the survey, “Sleeping Together Before a First Date Is a-OK, But Cracked Phones Are a Put Off.” 

So what does this mean for intimacy?

“We used to think of sex as you crossed the line now you are in an intimate zone, but now sex is almost a given and it’s not the intimate part,” says Kimberly Resnick Anderson, a certified sex therapist. “The intimate part is getting to know someone and going on a date.”

Oh my.

So let’s add this up: feel free to sleep with someone before dating them, but don’t text when you get around to that first date. And if there’s a second or third or eighth date, no worries about continuing to have sex with others.

You’ll just want to make sure that everybody involved has the right kind of phone.

The irony?

They also long for intimacy and marriage

The tragedy?

They have no idea how all of this wars against it.

James Emery White



“Singles in America Survey,”, read online.

Mary Bowerman, “Survey: Sleeping Together Before a First Date Is a-OK, But Cracked Phones Are a Put Off,” USA Today, February 6, 2017, read online.

About the Author

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book, Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World, is available on Amazon. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.