They say that food is the language of love and survey results revealed today (Thursday 1st November) prove exactly that, more than a QUARTER (24%) of UK singletons say that a coffee shop is the top destination for a first date.

In an age of dating digitisation, the research also revealed that over half of the Leicester population has experimented with online dating – with the majority of people (35%) waiting more than three weeks to meet their potential suitor in person; and citing ‘catfishing’ as the worst thing about online dating (39%).

The nationwide survey also revealed that simplicity is key with 67% saying they like to sit down and get to know someone on the first date, ideally over dinner or a coffee. And the perfect date duration? Between 1-2 hours.

Jo Tallack, General Manager at Highcross, said, “From the findings, it’s clear that whilst the nature of dating is changing, with the popularity of dating apps, we are still traditionalists at heart. People want to get to know their potential suitor on a first date as best they can – with the popularity of searching for love online, there are naturally some nerves, alongside avoiding dating pitfalls such as ‘catfishing’. Highcross is the perfect antidote; public, and a lively destination where you can meet, entertain and get to know your potential match – no matter what your idea of the perfect first date is.”

Spencer Mathews, previously a prolific first dater but now married with a newborn, agreed, “Destination shopping centres are an excellent location for a first date – they’re packed with things to do and also offer an abundance of coffee shop options, Leicester’s number one thing to do on a first date.”

He added, “The most important thing in my experience is taking the time to get to know someone. So many of us now look online for our next date and waste time talking to someone who may not be the right fit. Shopping centres are the ideal space to move your dating into the real world, and spend quality time with each other.”

The nationwide survey also revealed that the number one turn off (53%) for singletons is bad hygiene. While in close second (46%) said that arrogance would put them off a new date. A further 36% voted that being rude to a waiter is a definite date faux-pas.

Research commissioned by Highcross – Leicester’s leading shopping and leisure destination

2,600 people were surveyed looking at dating attitudes across the UK


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