7 Things You Should Know About Dating In America

01/22/2014 05:13 pm ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014
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According to a new survey, everyone is terribly confused about whether they're on dates or just hanging out. We say dating is kind of like porn -- you know it when you see it.

This finding comes from the 2014 State of Dating in America report, commissioned by JDate and ChristianMingle. A total of 2,647 respondents between the ages of 18 and 59 took a 20-minute online survey about their dating habits, expectations and turnoffs.

Here are seven things we learned from the report:

1. Everyone is confused about what constitutes a date. Sixty-nine percent of singles reported that they were at least somewhat uncertain whether an outing with someone they were interested in was a date or not. Pro tip: If you're going out with someone you met on a dating site, it's a date. The rest of the time, make your intentions clear.

Dates are confusing

2. The number one dating dealbreaker for both genders is poor hygiene. The top three dating dealbreakers for women surveyed were poor hygiene, unemployment, and a tie between excessive drinking habits and smoking. The top three dealbreakers for men were poor hygiene, smoking and being overweight. Unsurprisingly, no one wants their significant other to smell bad.

3. Don't text someone to ask them out. Eighty-four percent of respondents would rather be invited on a date via phone call.

4. The most attractive thing in the opposite sex is a sense of humor, according to 24 percent of respondents, shortly followed by physical appearance (21 percent) and confidence (16 percent).

5. Your pets really affect who you date. Both men and women reported being much less likely to date someone who owned a reptile or a rodent, and one-fifth of respondents would break up with someone their pet didn't like. No word yet on how to tell if a reptile likes you.

6. Most people want to get married between the ages of 26-30. Forty-nine percent of respondents considered this the ideal age. The next most popular age for getting married was 31-35, with 22 percent of the votes. According to the Pew Center, the average age of first marriage in the U.S. is 26.9 for women and 29.8 for men. Why not just get married when you're ready for it, regardless of age -- assuming you want to get married at all?

7. Most respondents would rather move in with someone sooner, rather than later. A full 69 percent of people surveyed thought the ideal time to shack up with a significant other was between less than six months and up to two years of dating. We advise caution -- letting someone witness your shower-singing can't be undone.

Just like with all "dating advice," these stats should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Tailoring yourself to what other people are looking for probably won't work out well, so we'd recommend keeping an eye out for someone who likes you as you are, reptiles and all.

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