15% of Americans Prefer Having Drinks for a First Date

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of DatingAdvice.com's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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This is an exclusive study conducted by DatingAdvice.com, which surveyed respondents over the course of three weeks to reflect an accurate representation of the U.S. population.

For centuries, alcohol has served as a reliable social lubricant for difficult situations. People often use it to put themselves more at ease for the evening ahead.

Maybe this helps explain the growing number of Americans who prefer to sit down for drinks on a first date than a full dining experience.

DatingAdvice.com’s latest study found 15 percent of Americans would rather have drinks than dinner for a first date.

At 32 percent, gay men and women had the highest response. Homosexual respondents were more than twice as likely to choose cocktails over a meal than straight men and women.

High-wage earners and divorcees were also among the most likely demographics to answer in the affirmative.

Those earning between $100,000 and $124,999 annually were 57 percent more likely to just have drinks on a first date than those earning less than $25,000 a year.

Divorced men and women were more likely to do so than married respondents, with one in four indicating as much versus one in 10.

“Homosexuals were twice as likely to choose

cocktails than straight men and women.”

Gina Stewart, DatingAdvice.com expert, partially attributes this trend to the increasing efficiency in which people’s work lives spill over into their personal lives.

“The benefits of cocktails on a first date mean social lubrication. Someone can break out of the first date jitters much faster. Drinks don’t take as long as dinner, so if the date isn’t going well, you’re not forced to endure it more than the length of the drink,” she said. “Nice cocktails are cheaper than nice dinners, and you have no worries about having embarrassing stuff get on your face or stuck in your teeth.”

In terms of region, Westerners were found the most likely at nearly 20 percent. Midwesterners and those in the Northeast slightly trailed at 16 percent each and Southerners brought up the rear with 13%.

The results show a person’s age and race may play a significant role, as older Americans and African-Americans were found to be the least likely to prefer adult beverages for a first romantic outing.

Nine percent of both seniors aged 65 and older and African-Americans chose cocktails as a first date activity – half the response seen from those aged 45 to 54 and Hispanics.

The study surveyed 1,080 respondents over the course of three weeks, balancing responses by age, gender, income, race, sexuality and other factors in order to accurately represent the U.S. population. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

The Breakdown: Americans Who Prefer Having Drinks for a First Date

By gender:

  • Male: 18%
  • Female: 13%

By sexuality:

  • Straight: 15%
  • Gay: 32%

By marital status:

  • Single, Never Married: 19%
  • Married: 12%
  • Divorced: 20%

By age:

  • 18 to 24: 17%
  • 25 to 34: 16%
  • 35 to 44: 16%
  • 45 to 54: 18%
  • 54 to 64: 14%
  • 65 and older: 9%

By race:

  • White: 16%
  • African-American: 9%
  • Hispanic: 20%
  • Asian: 11%

By income:

  • Under $25,000: 14%
  • $25,000 to $49,999: 14%
  • $50,000 to $74,999: 17%
  • $75,000 to $99,999: 19%
  • $100,000 to $124,999: 22%
  • $125,000 or higher: 14%

By region:

  • Northeast: 16%
  • Midwest: 16%
  • South: 13%
  • West: 19%

Visit DatingAdvice.com/Studies for more research on dating and relationship topics.

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