Australia’s Biggest Dating Turn-Offs Say a Lot About How Far We’ve Come


The world of dating has changed out of sight in the last 50 years. Dating is surely one of the societal constructs that has evolved the most and in the shortest amount of time, and we just keep moving on and up as new dating technologies emerge. 

Just as the ways we date have changed, so too have our collective priorities and qualities that we look for in a partner. ING has launched its Sense of Us report this year, releasing all the fun data about Australians that the Census doesn’t show, more specifically, the stats about relationships, marriage and dating. 

According to the report, the biggest turn off for Australian daters is emotional immaturity with 49% of the population agreeing on this point, whereas a lack of finances is only a turn off for 7% of people. 

These stats are incredible proof that we are becoming a population that wants to be in love and actually in love, finding a connection with someone that is strong and true, where you’re able to have emotionally mature conversations and support one another. As we look for someone to settle down with in 2021, most of us don’t care about their bank account or how financially stable they are.

These progressions we’ve made as a society have grown with our increasing openness to new relationship arrangements. We’re heading in the right direction with gender equality; with women powerhouses being publicly celebrated like never before. Generally, we’re seeing some restrictive walls of societal structures being broken down and it’s really encouraging.

On the subject of dating turn-offs, the top four as cited by the findings were emotional immaturity (49%), different interests (40%), different life goals (34%) and a fear of commitment (31%). The bottom three were different political views (18%), an unsuitable career (10%) and a lack of finances (7%). 

To me, these statistics show that we, as a population, have become more emotionally mature, weighing up the things that matter to us in a personal way and disregarding superficial and material parts of a relationship. 

Although some would maybe argue that having similar political views is extremely important in today’s society, I would think the reason only 18% of people find it a turn off is because we’re more open-minded and willing to listen to someone’s reasoning behind their beliefs. 

With emotional maturity comes an understanding of independence; you don’t have to have identical beliefs with someone to have similar morals and life goals, although when it comes to marriages, there were a few consistencies in desirable values. 

For 80% of people surveyed, honesty was the most important trait. Clear communication was key for 77% of couples, while humour (59%), shared life goals (54%) and shared financial goals (43%) were also highly regarded.

And when it comes to the most desirable traits a person can have, generosity and kindness was found most important (51%), while loyalty (45%), humour (44%) looks (28%) and an ability to get on with friends (25%) followed.

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