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By the numbers | Online dating and cuffing season

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Cuffing season is a period of time when people look for short or long term relationship to pass the colder months of the year. It spans between October and around Valentines day. The word cuff (from ‘handcuff’) is rooted on the idea of being tied down – in a relationship.

Considering the Philippines is not necessarily a cold country, do we have a cuffing season?

With over a million data subjects between June and December 2022 as sample, here’s what we’ve found.

The data used are from Inquiro database on online dating app usage (e.g. Bumble and Tinder).

The observed online dating app users almost doubled by the end of the year, with a 2.3% increase from November to December. June saw the lowest number of data subjects using dating apps.

This increase in users during the later part of the year can be an indicator of the existence of a cuffing season here in the Philippines.

Male and female behaviors

Based on our recent poll on social media, it turns out that people tend to think that men are on dating apps more than women. But is that really true?

Tracking Inquiro’s data over time, here’s the result:


Males are consistently more likely to be in dating apps between June and December 2022. Men also saw a higher increase between November and December at +2.5% (only 2% increase for women). This suggests that male are feeling the cuffing season more than women do.

Now let’s take a look at cities in Metro Manila.

Makati, Mandaluyong, and Pasay are the top 3 cities when it comes to percentage of their citizens dating around. All of these cities are well above the average in the Philippines (3.2%), with all of them almost tripling the national average in December.

An increase in users across all cities was observed during the end of the year, another indicator of the existence of cuffing season.

When we take the average per city (between June and December 2022), we can rank the cities as shown below.

Makati and Mandaluyong are battling for the number 1 spot. Quezon city (which garnered the highest votes on our online polls) is only at 8th place overall. Valenzuela and Caloocan have the lowest percentage of data subjects who used dating apps between June and December 2022. The CAMANAVA area in general are lagging behind.

It’s interesting that entertainment hubs like Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasay, Taguig are all topping this chart. Is it because there is nowhere to go in CAMANAVA area? at least compared to those e-hubs. It’s for you to decide for now but there certainly is a pattern here.


Using engagement

Now that we’ve shown the trends in the number of those dating around. Let’s try to investigate the activity of these love seekers. Mobile data usage is a pretty good measure on how active are these individuals on these dating apps.

On average, an active online dating app user in July spends around 44 MB of mobile data on dating apps. That number increased to 55 MB at the end of the year 2022. November saw a drastic dip in average mobile data usage. The case is still open to explain this peculiar decrease, but aside from that, this figure still supports that people on these apps are most active in December.

These findings collectively paint a clear picture for cuffing season’s existence in the Philippines (at least for 2022).

The next step is to observe if the same phenomena persists on a year to year basis and to keep tracking the data whether it yields to similar observations and patterns.

This blog will be updated to keep track of monthly changes. We’re also working on comparing different dating apps and including more cities in the rankings. Follow Inquiro on social media to stay updated on the results.

This blog is part of a series ‘By the number’ – using Inquiro data to provide insights on mainstream phenomena. In case you missed it, the first entry is By The Numbers | Korean content consumers.

Interested to uncover new insights about the market? Get in touch with us today and let’s see what we can discover together. Email us at info@inquiro.ph.


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