·       Half of single Mancunians have been on their own for more than 10 years and over half haven’t been on a date in over a year

·       Nearly two thirds of single Mancunians think they’ll be single forever

·       eharmony launches the Manchester Love Challenge to inspires local singles to date differently and find meaningful relationships

Over half of singles (54%) in Manchester haven’t been on a date in more than a year – with low self-esteem and not feeling attractive among the main issues.

This is according to the results of eharmony’s research that explores the issues currently affecting Manchester’s single population. This follows the news that Manchester has the highest concentration of singles across the whole of the UK.1

In fact, half (51%) of single Mancunians have been without a partner for more than 10 years and one in six (17%) have never been on a date at all. The fast-paced, casual nature of modern dating is a contributing factor, leaving 49% overwhelmed. All these factors combined lead to nearly two-thirds (64%) of single Mancunians to think they will be alone forever.

To help singles overcome these challenges, eharmony is launching the Manchester Love Challengewhich will feature bespoke dating advice, video content and special offers in a month-long activity drive. 

As part of this activity, a special edition of Love Decoded aired on eharmony’s Facebook channel on Tuesday 13th November with Mancunian psychologist Emma Kenny, psychotherapist Lucy Beresford and eharmony relationship expert Rachael Lloyd. There was then a live #AskMeAnything on eharmony’s Twitter account @eHarmonyUK with Emma Kenny, giving Manchester singles – and those negotiating relationships - the opportunity for personalised feedback. 

When looking at the reasons why people in the city are feeling disheartened with dating, two-fifths (38%) of single Mancunians admit their low self-esteem has had an impact and one in five (22%) report feeling unattractive.

Beyond psychological challenges, money also plays a big part in deterring singles in the city from dating – a fifth (20%) of men admit they feel that they are not well off enough to find a good partner compared to just 6% of women who feel the same. In fact, a third of single men (32%) think that it’s too expensive to date in Manchester. 

While finances dominate men’s concerns, one in five single women in Manchester admit that previous bad relationships and dating the wrong people has discouraged them from their search. (See table 1 for full list)

 Whilst over half (54%) of singles believe Manchester is a great date city with lots of fun things to do and see, a significant proportion of the city’s singles (47%) find the dating scene is too focused on nights out and drinking.

Manchester-based psychologist Emma Kenny said: “When our self-esteem is lower than it should be, we often place barriers in front of activities that have caused us pain or anxiety. It makes sense that after a bad relationship your ego is bruised, and that makes taking a risk on love again seem scary. Equally, feeling the pinch on a financial level can also affect our self-esteem, as we feel that the love interests we may meet will judge us harshly, or potentially reject us completely.

“Sadly this ‘avoidance’ behaviour simply leads to feelings of loneliness, which are actually far more damaging than the effects of being let down in relationships from time to time. It’s important to recognise that love doesn’t have a price tag, and even when you have had bad experiences in the past, taking a risk for love is very worth the long term return.”


Relationship expert for eharmony Rachael Lloyd said: “The fact that half of Mancunian singles have given up on finding love is hugely unfortunate, but not altogether surprising. The explosion in casual dating in recent years has in many ways hindered rather than enhanced people’s confidence about finding a meaningful relationship.  But that is where the experts at eharmony can help. We’re very much here for singles in Manchester who are looking to do it all differently and find love.”  


To find out more: https://www.eharmony.co.uk/dating-advice/manchesterlovechallenge


Table 1: Relationship Barrier Index – top ten reasons single Mancunians aren’t dating*

Ellie Dickinson