Climate compatibility: Does a match need to love the environment like you do?

Written by Flirtini team

There are so many first date red flags to watch out for—ignoring boundaries, constantly interrupting, or rudely addressing wait staff, for instance—but what about a total disregard for the health of our planet?

With global temperatures rapidly rising, sea levels increasing, and extreme weather worsening, 72% of people worldwide support eco-friendly action, and many are actively changing their lifestyles to combat climate change. We’re shopping for pre-loved goods, investing in low-carbon vehicles, and spending more on products that will last longer. But do we carry our new-found eco-consciousness into the dating scene?

Flirtini surveyed 1,139 Millenials and Gen Z on whether concern about climate change is hot or not. With our love for everything green only growing, the results show that a lack of compassion for our planet is often a deal-breaker for the younger generations.

An eco-connection: The new dating must-have

Forget about red. Green is the new color of love. And when it comes to smooth-talking? Mentioning your energy-saving appliances or thriving houseplants should get your date’s heart racing.

Young people today care deeply about the environment, with 77% of Gen Z and 72% of millennials concerned about the effects of climate change. However, while the planet is their main priority, most are open to exploring other relationships—as long as a potential partner shares their passion. For instance, with shopping second-hand significantly reducing the carbon cost of manufacturing and shipping, 54% of Gen Z and millennials would rather date somebody who thrifts.

But don’t wait until you meet in person to share the good deeds you do for our environment. Rather than waiting for a first date to question a potential partner on their eco-consciousness, many will actively look for clues within dating app profiles to decide whether a match is worth pursuing. Some 69% of Gen Z and millennials are more likely to swipe right on a person if their profile has photos of them volunteering for eco-initiatives, for example. So if you want to make an immediate impression, don’t be afraid to flaunt your eco-friendliness!

Is climate indifference really a dating deal-breaker?

Not everyone is ready to embrace a green lifestyle with open arms. In fact, 68% of Gen Z and 65% of millennials have been laughed at by a date for revealing their eco-conscious lifestyle—and for 29% of people, it’s happened more than once.

If your eco-stance has ever led to an uncomfortable situation or awkward silence, just remember: it’s not you, it’s them. And, chances are, their lack of care will make finding love a little bit harder. Close to one in five would avoid dating somebody who isn’t concerned about the effects of climate change.

However, for many, actions speak far louder than words, and simply caring about the planet’s health means little if you aren’t actively doing your part to improve it. Some 24% of Gen Z and 23% of millennials say they wouldn’t date somebody who doesn’t recycle or use eco-friendly products, for instance.

That said, taking a backseat on environmental issues won’t necessarily impede your dating future, with most (84%) still open to dating someone who doesn’t care about climate change. However, while you don’t have to agree on everything, it’s important to respect your date’s thoughts and feelings. With 61% of Gen Z and 56% of millennials considering eco-faux pas, such as throwing a plastic cup into general waste, a red flag, chances are a relationship won’t go very far if you’re unwilling to show some eco-etiquette.

Green gestures: How to win over an eco-conscious date

If you care about the environment and happen to meet your carbon copy, incorporating eco-friendliness into your dates could be a great way to strengthen the connection. For example, 72% of Gen Z and millennials would love to volunteer for an eco-initiative, such as cleaning up a beach or forest, as part of a first date. All the feel-good that comes with bettering the planet will fill the air with love (rather than pollution).

And when the relationship progresses and it comes time to start buying gifts? You won’t have to fret too long over whether or not an idea is meaningful enough—If it’s pre-loved, it will undoubtedly mean the world to your eco-conscious match, with 85% saying they would be happy to receive a thrifted birthday gift.

But whether you’re on the frontline of environmental action or deny climate change’s existence entirely, the key to any successful relationship is having views and interests that align. If you feel strongly about a topic and your date has an entirely different view, there’s a high chance the relationship will end before it even starts to warm up.

Methodology: To create this study, researchers from Flirtini surveyed 1,139 Millenials and Gen Z (Born 1981 - 2006). The study includes participants of all genders and ethnicities.

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