A popular question circling social media asks women, “Would you rather be alone in the woods with a man or a bear?” It‘s sparking debate over the feelings women have about being alone with a man — because the majority say they’d rather take the bear.

We’ve all heard news stories about violence against single women, and now, more than ever, the safety of single women is a constant concern. Our new study finds that 91% of single women surveyed in America admit to being worried about their overall safety when going on dates. Whether meeting online or in person, single women should always date smartly and safely. 

Staying Safe While Dating

While nearly all women are concerned for their safety when dating, 44% of survey respondents said they experienced feeling unsafe while on a date. For the majority (78%) of respondents, it was on a date with someone they met online. But even if a woman herself hasn’t felt unsafe while on a date, 78% of respondents know a woman who has felt unsafe on a date.

Statistics on how safe single women in America feel when dating infographic from DatingNews.com

Women have boundaries and limits when it comes to dating, especially first dates, and one of those extends to their homes. Nearly all (92%) single women in our survey are uncomfortable being picked up by a date from their homes. To get out of a bad or unsafe date situation, 37% admit to having a code to text a loved one if they need an out.

Women are concerned for their overall safety, but specifically, 91% are afraid of physical harm or assault. Other concerns include feeling pressured into uncomfortable situations or being harassed or stalked online. 

Single Women and Dating 

Fear of harassment or stalking is valid, with 1 in 10 single women reporting they’ve been stalked and 26% have been sexually harassed by a date. Unfortunately, only 1 in 10 of those harassed said they reported it. In the last six months alone, more than 1 in 10 survey respondents have felt unsafe on a date. A majority (71%) are somewhat or very concerned about being drugged. 

Experiences of single women dating in America study from DatingNews.com

As a safety measure, almost half of those surveyed report bringing mace or pepper spray with them on dates, and 32% have taken a self-defense class just to keep themselves safe while dating.

Dates can be known to ignore boundaries, and almost half (49%) of single women surveyed have had this experience. Luckily, 21% have had friends or family rescue them from a bad date.

With these unsafe experiences and measures some women take to ensure their safety, 67% agree that more awareness needs to be raised on the safety risks for single women while dating, especially online.

Using Dating Apps and Websites

In today’s society, online dating is very common. With different websites and apps available, more than half (52%) of single women surveyed use these platforms to meet new people. In general, they’re going on about two dates a month with people they’ve met online. After connecting with strangers, 56% of single women spend two weeks or less talking before meeting for an in-person date. 

Single women and dating through apps or online statistics study from DatingNews.com

The vast majority (91%) of respondents would rather talk to potential dates through the app’s communication features than give out their phone numbers. However, before agreeing to meet in person, 57% want to have a phone call, and 43% will have a video chat with people they met through apps.

Online Dating Safety

Single women are especially cautious when agreeing to date and meet someone they’ve met online or through an app, and 88% are somewhat or very concerned about their safety. Despite this, 1 in 10 women display personal information on their dating profile. 

Staying safe while dating online or through apps for single women study from DatingNews.com

With so many potential matches, it’s no surprise that 4 in 5 said they encounter red flags while talking to someone online. Even after agreeing to a date, these red flags may cause a woman to cancel a date, which 42% of single women have done due to safety concerns. Most single women (75%) also believe dating apps need to do more to prioritize women’s safety. 

When single women go on dates, specifically first dates, nearly all (97%) said they take safety precautions. They will make sure the date is in a public place, share their location with friends or family, take their own method of transportation, and/or stay sober. 

Despite all the concerns and risks involved with dating as a single woman in America, nearly all (96%) of those surveyed agree that it’s still worth it to potentially meet their perfect match. 

Methodology

In April 2024, we surveyed 1000 single American women for their feedback on dating and dating through apps or online. The age range of respondents was 18 to 74 with an average age of 34 years old. The sexual orientation of respondents is 70% heterosexual, 20% bisexual, 5% lesbian, and 5% as other or not listed.

For media inquiries, contact media@datingnews.com.