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Dating trends of Chicago universities analyzed. Do students agree?

Monday, December 05, 2016


Dating trends of Chicago universities analyzed. Do students agree?
@KevinYoung / UNSPLASH

By Jessi Roti


Would you believe University of Chicago singles are the most chatty? The hottest singles attend Northwestern? Or that the least assertive daters go to DePaul?

They're all true, according to a user analysis by dating app Coffee Meets Bagel, which also looked at Loyola and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Anne Kennedy, a 21-year-old senior at DePaul, agreed with the findings that students at her university are less assertive and less chatty daters. "Since it's such a large commuter school and the campuses are split, there's very little interaction if you don't already know the people around you."

The study analyzed more than 16,000 Coffee Meets Bagel profiles of singles who attend or have graduated from these five Chicago colleges, says Dawoon Kang, who launched the app with her two sisters in 2012. "The data set for each college included at least 2,000 singles."

The results broke down members at each university by most attractive (percentage of times the singles were liked); most assertive (average number of times the single made the first move); most picky (percentage of times male or female users passed); most chatty (number of messages sent between singles); and matchmakers (percentage of members who suggest potential matches for their single friends).

The University of Chicago took top spots in three categories: most chatty, with users sending nearly 20 more messages on average than those at Northwestern and UIC; most assertive, with users making the first move 14.3 times, on average, compared with Northwestern's 12.7 times and UIC's 9.5 times; and just edging out Northwestern by 2 percent in the matchmakers category.

"We wanted to highlight "most assertive" and "most chatty" particularly because there is a sentiment among millennials that it's just "not cool" to make the first move (especially among women) or that it's OK to ghost (end conversation or interaction without reason) on your matches." Kang says.

Of the five categories analyzed, attractiveness and assertiveness got the biggest reactions from daters out and about on campuses.

"I'm not sure that I agree with University of Chicago's results," says University of Chicago student Amy Treber, 20. "One of the snarky sayings about UChicago is 'UChicago, where the squirrels are cuter than the girls and more aggressive than the guys.' Isn't that awful? So being assertive isn't the stereotype, and I don't know if, in my experience, I've seen that either."

"While at UIC, I did not find many men attractive or assertive when it applied to dating," says UIC graduate student Faith Ostrowski, who said she had to ask her boyfriend out first.

Adrian Acciardo, a sophomore at DePaul, liked the inclusion of the assertiveness category since being more assertive often comes with age and isn't an attribute typically associated with college-age millennials, he said.

"I know it is very stressful to approach someone you like and express your extended feelings for them," he says. "I think it is interesting to see which schools show more confidence when dating."

Loyola University student Emily Morgenstern agreed with her university's top spot regarding pickiest women.

"As a woman who goes to Loyola, I do agree that Loyola women tend to be pickier when it comes to men because a majority of the women are focused on their schooling, future career and friends."

Morgenstern and fellow student Blake Keller agreed that the student body is less chatty and less assertive. Morgenstern said it's because the school is small and students don't feel the pressure to constantly try to meet new people. But Keller argued, "A lot of people are just so involved, not only with school but with work and any extracurricular clubs or organizations, their first priority is that and not dating."

Carly Jones, a freshman at DePaul, said dating trends across college-age Chicagoans didn't actually seem to differ significantly.

"These results reflect on the outgoing and assertive nature that many young people in Chicago have or look for in others. I feel as if many people new to the college scene are looking for somebody to have a good time with rather than somebody to settle down with, hence categories focusing on attractiveness, chattiness and assertiveness of those in the college scene. These categories are qualities that one may focus on for a good hookup or short relationship."

This article originally appeared in The Chicago Tribune
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