The Dating Issue

Dating statistics: Snapshot of a Boston single

We asked three of the biggest dating, OkCupid, and HowAboutWe--to scour their online profiles and crunch the numbers on Boston-area daters. The info they provided adds up to an interesting picture of single life in and around the Hub. Here’s what they told us.

Bostonians’ favorite spots for a first date.

Boston Common photograph by John Tlumacki/globe staff; ICA photograph by David L. Ryan/Globe staff; Museum of Science photograph by Jonathan Wiggs/Globe staff; Cambridge Brewing Co. photograph by Josh Reynolds; DRINK photograph by Essdras M Suarez/Globe staff

Bostonians’ favorite spots for a first date.


The site, whose daters’ average age is 33, provided the following data:

Bostonians’ favorite spots for a first date

1 Boston Common


2 Institute of Contemporary Art

3 Museum of Science

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4 Cambridge Brewing Co.

5 Drink

Some of the most popular date dishes among local HowAboutWe users include:

>> Valencia paella at TORO


>> Fried pickles and dirty martinis at LUCKY’S LOUNGE

>> Dessert and wine pairing at LE PATISSIER AT TROQUET


>> East vs. West Coast oysters at UNION BAR AND GRILLE

Boston-area singles are liberal. 

The majority of daters in the 20 towns with the most HowAboutWe daters in the region are liberal leaning. Brockton and Manchester, New Hampshire, are the exceptions, with politically conservative daters in the majority.

What they do

Dates involving beer, wine, and cocktails are almost 20 PERCENT more popular in the Boston area than elsewhere.

Where they go

Somerville’s DAVIS SQUARE is the most popular neighborhood for date night.



This site offered these data on its Boston-area singles (25 percent of its daters are younger than 30; 48.5 percent are between the ages of 30 and 49; 26.5 percent are 50 plus):

78% of Boston singles say they are “very happy” or “somewhat happy” with their love lives over the past 12 months.

> Male and female daters in Boston have somewhat similar opinions on what’s important in a romantic partner.

Men want someone who

91% Treats me with respect

90% I can trust and confide in

81% Is comfortable communicating his/her wants, needs, and desires

Women want someone who

99% Treats me with respect

99% I can trust and confide in

94% Has a sense of humor and can make me laugh

> If they don’t want a second date, men and women signal that feeling similarly.

Men say they would

56% Politely explain that they aren’t interested as they say good night

17% Be evasive about their availability

18% Write an e-mail or a text message.

Women say they would

The majority of Match’s singles believe the right age to get married is between 25 and 29.

44% Politely explain that they aren’t interested as they say good night

33% Be evasive about their availability

24% Ignore calls, voice messages, and e-mail

>What the sexes say about paying for a first date


39% No hard-and-fast rule; could be either person, depending on the situation

30% Man should pay, no matter who initiated the date

9% Should split the bill


52% No hard-and-fast rule; could be either person, depending on the situation

10% Man should pay, no matter who initiated the date

16% Should split the bill

> Men and women have different ideas on how long you should wait before having sex with a new partner.


36% When the other person is ready

12% Typically have sex on the first date

11% After three dates


14% When the other person is ready

36% When we agree to an exclusive relationship

12% After three dates


Boston singles don’t want to date anyone who is: Lazy, disheveled or unclean in appearance, or too needy.


Dina Rudick/Globe staff

MIT has the highest number of students looking for love on OkCupid. Following close behind are TUFTS and BERKLEE.


This site, whose users’ average age is 29, provided this info on its local daters:

FEMALE STUDENTS make up 19 PERCENT of OkCupid’s Boston singles, while MALE STUDENTS constitute 14 PERCENT.

> When it comes to education


57% 4-year college degree

16% master’s degree


56% 4-year college degree

26% master’s degree

> Where the daters work


13% science/tech/engineering

11% computer hardware/software

9% sales/marketing


17% education

14% medicine/health

6% writing/music/art
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