This is what Brits are searching for the most in online dating

Last Updated:

“Interracial dating” is the most searched dating related term in the biggest cities in the UK – London, Manchester and Birmingham – in the last two years, according to Google search data.
“Gay dating” is the number one used search term in rural areas across the UK, shows Datingroo’s research about the most searched dating-terms in the UK.

Interracial dating at a peak in major cities

Our research shows that people in London, Manchester, and Birmingham approach all dating-niches likewise, but when it comes to “interracial dating”, the numbers almost double.

While each of the cities has it’s diverse communites, London sticks out with the highest population and the most multicultural society in the UK.

Kate Mansfield, a dating and relationships expert from London, sums up the reason for this phenomenon to Datingroo.

“An urban lifestyle combined with a diverse and multicultural community leads to a growing desire to date and flirt interracially and interculturally.
It lies in the nature of things that sparser, rural areas would have less diverse communities and therefore little motivation to look for interracial dating.”

Kate Mansfield, dating & relationship expert

The UK’s cities evolved some of the world’s most famous gay villages. Districts like Soho, Hurst Street and others are well known across all borders in the LGBT+ communities.
The urban infrastructures of big cities paired with millions of residents provide better dating environments and more LGBT+ friendly places than rural towns and villages.

Therefore, straight urban communities don’t depend as much on online dating services as queer communities in the countryside.

Why is “gay dating” the most googled dating-term in the UK’s countryside

The Google search-volume for “gay dating” and “lesbian dating” in homosexual-friendly areas like London and Manchester is on average as low as other dating related terms, while it significantly goes up in rural and less populated areas like Cornwall and Shropshire.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) from 2017, over one million people identified themselves as LGB in the United Kingdom. That equates to around 2% of the entire population aged 16 years and over.

Still, even nowadays, when the Conservative Party has a strong LGBT-wing and officially supports equality and same sex marriage, gay and lesbian relationships aren’t easy to establish and to enjoy openly in rural, more conservative communities.

The numbers from this research show that homosexuals are much more driven to online dating than heterosexual people.

That is leading to higher financial and social disadvantages, as most subscriptions on dating platforms are costly. Free dating services are often sex-driven and casual, therefore not beneficial for people on the lookout for serious commitment. They are also door-openers to scammers, imposters and even criminals.

The dependency on online dating makes homosexuals on the countryside vulnerable for different kinds of potentially harmful situations.

Online dating is one of the few safe-havens for homosexuals in the countryside

Building a LGBT+ community in conservative or religious rural areas can be challenging, so it is no wonder why many people tend to look out for gay and lesbian dating on the internet.

Dr. Patrick Wanis, an expert on human behaviour, explains why online dating is such a convenient way to date and to interact for Queer people in the countryside and small towns.

“The easiest option for someone who is gay and living in a smaller area that isn’t as diverse, is to connect and interact with other likeminded people via online dating.
Homosexual and bi-orientated people in the countryside can’t just go to the local bar or club and expect to meet other gay or bi-orientated people.
For people of the LGBT+ community in rural areas it might even be physically safer to date online, as there is less chance of being confronted with hostility.
It might also be a personal preference to stay anonymous after discovering and maybe connecting with other gay people in rural areas and small towns.”

Dr. Patrick Wanis, human behaviour expert

Consulting experts, we identified 4 significant reasons for queer people in rural areas to date online:

  • The lack of any LGBT+ friendly places in their area and therefore the lack of a safe place to open up and socialize with likeminded singles
  • Conservative, religious or personal beliefs in their surroundings that lead to anxieties of being socially rejected because of sexual preferences
  • Hidden or even open homo- or transphobia in their local community
  • Toxic and exclusive structures in local gay communities. Gay clubs and bars are often sex-driven. The dominant males have an estimated surplus on testosterone, and they are fit and tend to form cliques with similar types. These kinds of men are known to discriminate, bully or exclude other gay men who don´t fit their own type

“There is enormous discrimination and judgment within the gay community itself. This is a sad reality because many gay men grew up being bullied and discriminated in some way”

– Clinton Power, therapist, on