Do Reality Dating Shows Actually Lead to Love?

According to recent research, two-thirds of Brits believe that UK dating shows do not portray love in a positive or realistic way. Moreover, they stated that they would prefer to meet their love interest the “old-fashioned way”. 

However, not everyone shares this opinion – more than half of research participants aged 25-34 said they would consider going on a dating show in order to find true love.

With such polarised views on dating shows among the British population, the question needs to be asked: who’s right?

The research was conducted by Hunkemöller, a leading European retailer of luxurious lingerie. As well as surveying 2,000 British adults, they analysed ten popular dating shows to find out which shows really do lead to real love.

Some shows don’t

First things first. The shows that don’t. Dinner Date was least successful, having matched only one long-term couple in only a decade, despite running since 2010. First dates and Naked Attraction similarly scored very poorly, with “success rates” of only 3% and 2% respectively. 

In fact, love-seekers would gain better chances by entering Strictly Come Dancing than either of the three shows already mentioned. Although not a dating show, 5% of duets on the show have been hit by the “Strictly Curse” and gone on to couple up with their dancing partners.

The shows that succeed

Love is Blind scored a 33% success rate – the highest of any dating show in the UK – with the largest number of couples who have stayed together after filming throughout the seasons. The show has singles get engaged before meeting their fiancées in person.

It was closely followed by Love Island UK, a notoriously addictive dating show which scored a 24% success rate in the research. Too Hot to Handle came in third with a 20% couple retention rate post-filming.

What do Brits think about dating shows?

Overall, the survey found that 37% of men would go on a dating show, whereas only 27% of women would look for love this way. 

Interestingly, when survey participants were asked which show they’d consider appearing on, Love is Blind appeared relatively low in popularity, contrary to its high success rate.

However, Love Island UK was the most popular choice, showing that viewers’ instincts aren’t too far off the mark. The next in line was Married at First Sight UK, followed by First Dates UK, then Love is Blind as the third choice.

Despite their success rates and comparative popularity for entry, the show that Brits think represents love and relationships most positively was First Dates UK.

The future of dating

It’s great to see that some dating shows do successfully lead to happily ever after. Singles who are looking to find love via unusual routes may get lucky by entering them. 

Even so, whether reality TV romance will become more popular or even accepted by the British public remains to be seen in the coming years.

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