guy with roses

Online Daters’ First-Date Expectations Are Surprisingly Traditional, Poll Shows

In an age when dating is more synonymous with eggplant emojis than candle-lit eggplant parmesan, one might expect singles’ first-date expectations to be equally contemporary. It’s no surprise, then, that 52% of surveyed CMB singles said they Google their match before a first date. But beyond digging up a date’s digital footprint, our polled singles revealed that much of their IRL first-date expectations were remarkably traditional — just take a look at what some CMB singles said in our 2019 poll.

First Date Statistics

1. Who Should Pay on the First Date? 52% Say ‘Men’

who should pay on first date
While going Dutch is expected from about 31% of polled CMB singles, 52% of daters said men should foot the bill.

We heard similar feedback when we posted first date advice on Instagram, which included a controversial tip: Split the bill. Over 400 people responded on IG, many who argued that splitting the bill was poor advice. (Side note: “Don’t blame your farts on your date,” however, seemed to be agreed upon by all.)

Seventeen percent polled said that whoever asked the other person out should pay. And, less than 1% of those polled said women should pay on the first date.

2. 43% of Singles Talk on the Phone Before a First Date

call before first date

If you’re a smooth talker, but your text messages read like text-to-speech from the 90s, we have good news for you: chatting on the phone before a first date is more common than you think. In fact, 43% call before a first date.

If you’re an introvert, you’re probably thinking, “WHY?” Joanna Coles, former Cosmo editor and author of “Love Rules,” told Marie Claire:

“The advantage is you get to hear someone else’s voice. You find out whether or not you can have a fluid conversation or if it’s stilted and peculiar. You can tell if someone is smart, if they’re dozy. Whether or not they’re a show-off. It’s important to know those things before you go and meet someone in the flesh because ultimately your time is at stake here.”

3. 89% of Singles Follow Up After a Good First Date

follow up after first date

The term “ghosting” popped up around 2011, but the concept is as old as time. While around 56% of singles said they’ve never ghosted anyone after a first date, about 44% say they have — and only about 20% of ghosts feel any remorse for it.

But while ghosting is real (and really hurts), there’s still a bright side: after a good first date, 89% of singles follow up by the next day, whether by texting after a first date or calling. Some surveyed still expect men to be the ones to reach out, but a majority say it’s fine for either party to follow up.

4. 54% Would Go on a First Date on Valentine’s Day

valentines day
With hashtags like #GalentinesDay and #Treatyourself trending last Valentine’s Day, many brands are shying away from the traditional cliches of romance. Instead, they’re using February 14th to promote self-love.

We l-o-v-e this, but even still, having a plus-one on Valentine’s Day is at the top of most singles’ lists. In fact, 54% of CMB singles reported they’d be down for a first date on V-Day. (Bagels, that means it’s perfect time to ask your match out!)

Our poll also showed that conversation, timeliness, and thoughtful date planning (e.g. made a reservation) were the most important factors for making a good first impression on a first date. “Receiving a gift (i.e. flowers or chocolates)” got only 11% of the vote, so it’s OK if you forget the Forget Me Nots. 

5. 37% Polled Agree Men Should Ask Women Out

ask out

When asked who should ask who out on a first date, 37% percent said men should do the talking, while 58% replied a cool, “Either.” And while dating apps like Bumble say women should make the first move, our first date statistics showed that only 5% of pollers agreed women should be the first to ask. As for Coffee Meets Bagel? We’re just pro-Bagels-asking-Bagels-out.

If you’re looking to hit it off with your match (and land a date), Co-Founder and -CEO of CMB Dawoon Kang advised telling a joke or commenting on a specific part of someone’s profile. See her full answer in Dawoon’s Reddit AMA round-up.

Like oat milk lattes and iPhones without home buttons, online dating is the new normal. But, our CMB first date statistics show that many singles still have traditional values. What do you think about first dates? Should you split the bill? Should men ask women out? Let us know in the comments.


Whether your first-date expectations are modern or more traditional, you can meet people who spark your heart on Coffee Meets Bagel.

Dating Sunday: The Best Day to Be a Bagel

If your 2019 resolutions include “Meet new people,” “Fall in love,” or “Use cute bagel stickers more often,” you’re going to want to save a New Year’s party popper for this.

Dating Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, will be one of the best days to use Coffee Meets Bagel.

So, how do we know this?

Historically, the first Sunday after the new year has long been the most popular day for the best dating apps. But because we’re a little data-crazy, we took a peek into our past and found that this was especially true for Coffee Meets Bagel in 2018. (Oh hey, that’s us.)

Here’s a few insights into last year’s Dating Sunday. And, why we think this year’s January 6 will be the best time to be a Bagel.

1. It’s Prime Time for Meeting New People
meeting for coffee

Sure, cuffing season is a time when a lot singles couple-up for the chillier months. But on Dating Sunday in 2018, there was a 75 percent spike in new-user signups, compared to the previous 30 days. That’s a big deal.

For 2019, we think this means you’ll have a better chance of matching with more people, including those you can find nearby in Discover, on Dating Sunday. In fact, the most popular time to sign up is 11:30 p.m. EST.

Pro-tip: Afraid competition will be fierce? Don’t let your profile get stale. Review your profile and photos to ensure best dating apps practices, like having at least three pictures.

2. You’re More Likely to Make a Match
woman on phone

If you find yourself Liking more than getting Liked on dating apps, you’ll have a better chance on Dating Sunday. That’s because we predict you’ll be 17 percent more likely to match on the special day, compared to the prior 30 days.

Additionally, we predict a 26 percent chance of bagels and partly-cloudy skies. Just kidding, but we do predict an overall 26 percent increase in activity compared to the previous week.

3. Daters Are Happy to Get Chatty

talking over coffee

Coffee Meets Bagel community members will be 16 percent more likely to chat with their matches on Jan. 6, 2019, compared to the previous week in December. In fact, you may want to save some of your night-owl energy from the New Year. Daters will be most chatty on Coffee Meets Bagel between midnight and 1 a.m. local time right at the start of Dating Sunday.

And with CMB’s new feature that lets you send a message with your Like, you’re bound to see even better results than our data predicts from 2018.

Pro-tip: If you’re still editing your dating resolutions for 2019, practice saying “‘Yes” to more first dates, as suggested by Elite Daily. Even better: don’t be afraid while chatting to make the first move and ask your matches out on first dates!

4. On CMB, It’s More Like Dating January

couple having fun

Like most of the best dating apps, Coffee Meets Bagel does see big increases in activity and sign-ups during Dating Sunday. However, the entire first week of January is an ideal time to connect.

And if you live in a big city, like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, or Chicago, you may see even more of a spike in activity on the app during the whole month.

New Year, New You?

Many people around the new year like to say, “New year, new you.” But we think current you is pretty fantastic already. When creating or editing your 2019 resolutions, we suggest keeping emotional health in mind, and making subtasks that make your resolutions actionable.

Whether your resolutions include, “Fall in love,” “Make new friends,” or simply, “Meet new people,” logging on to CMB on Dating Sunday is the perfect subtask to start.

Join one of the best dating apps for meaningful connections.
Download Coffee Meets Bagel for iPhone or Android.

couple on coffee date

5 Ways to Get What You Want From Dating Apps in 2019

It’s 2019, and a recruiter stumbles upon your LinkedIn. You have a blurry picture of yourself holding up your cat like Simba in “The Lion King,” and your profile says something about being a 2015 Flip Cup Champion, #LetsGetThisBread.

This same approach on Instagram may have earned you thousands of followers. But, let’s just say…you’re not getting the job today.

Just like social media sites have best practices unique to their platform, so do the top dating apps.

Whether you’re looking for a quick hook-up on Tinder, or someone who sparks your heart on Coffee Meets Bagel, you can rock the 2019 dating space by making sure you’re sharing your best self in the new year. Here’s how to start.

1. Start With Self-Reflection

None of the top dating apps, even Coffee Meets Bagel, can help you find the “right” match if you’re unsure of what you’re looking for. In fact, “We end up wasting a ton of time on the wrong people because we don’t know what we want,” says CMB Co-Founder Dawoon Kang.

Put It on Paper

To succeed from the start, try the following exercise: Beginning with a blank sheet of paper, write down what you think an amazing relationship would look like. Be as descriptive as possible. For example, you could write, “My partner would do house chores equally, and we’d take turns making healthy dinners.” Or, “We’d try something new every quarter.”

From this list, you can then pick out qualities you think are most important for your partner to have. Then, Dawoon suggests, “Strive to become this person,” because we often attract those we are most like.

Make Your Intentions Clear

If you feel comfortable, the most effective way to find a partner who has these qualities is to be transparent by listing them on your profile. That’s because the key to finding the right person for you and your life stage isn’t getting as many Likes as possible; It’s about getting that one right Like.

2. Dating Profile Photos: Have 3 or More
girl posing

Did you know that you could increase your chances of being Liked on Coffee Meets Bagel by 31 percent by uploading at least three photos? But, don’t upload just any pictures to meet the magic number. One on-point photo is still better than three snapshots of last night’s dinner.

The first photo you upload is especially important, so make sure it’s a face-forward shot of you, preferably smiling. Shielding your eyes from harmful UV rays is cool and all, but keep the sunglasses off for pictures. Same goes for hats. Check out a few of our other dating profile secrets for putting your best face forward:

Profile Photo Do’s

  • Upload a picture of you loving your hobbies, whether they include rock-climbing or playing with puppies at animal shelters.
  • Speaking of puppies, selfies with your pets are a definite “Do.”
  • Include tasteful full-body shots, like posing in nature.
  • Don’t be a catfish: Use recent images. We promise, the current you is fantastic.

Profile Photo Don’ts

  • Don’t upload blurry photos, including mirror selfies (especially if your Windex game is weak).
  • Try not to get lost in a crowd! Group photos are great for tagging friends on Facebook, but they can confuse potential matches. Is she the cute girl on the left, or the aging grandfather in the background?
  • Leave your photos with exes in your memory box.
  • Additionally, wear a shirt. We love the body confidence, but our data shows that shirtless photos don’t fare well on CMB.

3. Dating Profiles: Get Your Wordsmith On
man on phone

Writing a profile on any of the top dating apps can be intimidating. How do you sum up your personality by answering just a few questions? The best advice: Be uniquely you. And, don’t be afraid to get specific.

While being short and to-the-point is awesome for Twitter, that isn’t the case for Coffee Meets Bagel. In fact, when we analyzed profiles of successful CMB couples (those who found someone via CMB) vs. CMB singles, the only difference we found was profile length! The top 10 percent of Liked profiles on CMB were 35 percent longer than others.

How Can I Add Length to My Dating Profile?

Profile descriptions like, “I’m adventurous,” or, “I like music,” don’t feel like they belong to a real person. Instead, be more specific, like, “I love trying out new foods at the local farmer’s market,” or, “I’m always down to go to local music shows! Lately, I’m really into indie-rock band Alexander & the Grapes.” You can see how, when you’re more specific, the length comes naturally.

An article on dating profiles in Marie Claire also advises to “keep your profile up to date” and to “Make the effort to renew your profile on a regular basis with relevant information about yourself.” Yes! We couldn’t agree more.

4. Chat With Confidence
smiling phone

In a recent article about our new look, we mentioned this:

The point of making connections on Coffee Meets Bagel isn’t to catch ‘em all like Pokemon cards. (Plus, you’re already the very best!) It’s to get to know your matches and then meet in real life for a real date.

If you’re using top dating apps to meet real people for real dates, the best way to succeed is a long-hidden CMB secret…ask them out! OK, easier said than done. Here’s a few chat tips to spark meaningful conversation in 2019:

  • Ask a question. In a CMB study, we found out that when someone’ first text was a question, the response rate increased by over 20 percent — making response rates for men messaging women 75 percent and women messaging men 80 percent!
  • Sprinkle in some emojis. In the same study, we also found increased response rates when people used emojis in their texts.
  • Use CMB’s new feature that lets you send a message with your Like to hit it off from the get-go. In beta testing, members who used this feature with their potential matches had a 25 percent higher chance of getting Liked back.

5. Be Selfishtelescope girl

Finding the perfect partnership takes both patience and luck. Expect that you won’t find your “forever” right away, if that’s what you’re looking for. Until then, focus on yourself and the right person for you on your journey.

The “right” person for you right now might be someone who gives you butterflies, but that you aren’t ready to commit to long-term. That person might be someone you bond with over your undying love for Game of Thrones, but find you’re better off friends. That person could even be someone you meet only once at a cafe for coffee, but the conversation inspires you to try something new!

There is no wrong way to date, and every encounter can be meaningful in your journey.

Focus on the Journey

There are so many reasons why a date or a relationship might not be forever, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a “success.” By reframing dating as path to personal growth, we can discover so many new things about ourselves and our world — without the pressure to accept less than what we deserve.

CMB’s Dawoon Kang recommends exploring your own interests through dates. That cocktail-making class you’ve been dying to try? Suggest it as a first date. Or, have your date suggest something you normally wouldn’t do to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Dawoon added the following:

Having someone to do something fun with on the weekend is important, too, but I believe ultimately that what makes love so powerful is its ability to help us grow, to make us better people. We can use dating as a catalyst for our self-growth in 2019. We may not end up with that ideal relationship by the end of the year. But, we will 100 percent end up with a more fulfilled life.

Join one of the top dating apps for getting that “right” Like.
Download Coffee Meets Bagel for iPhone or Android.