According to a study by dating app happn, a third of Millennials and Generation Z are looking for love this year, with 37 per cent of them wanting a relationship and 32 per cent looking for marriage.
The research also revealed what single people are prioritising in a partner, with 40 per cent looking for a caring partner and 61 per cent saying they would be attracted to someone who has a friendly smile.
The top five qualities that people are looking for in a partner include someone who is caring, kind (39 per cent), has a good sense of humour (35 per cent), is loyal (34 per cent) and loving (33 per cent).
In terms of physical attraction, aside from a friendly smile, people are also prioritising physical fitness (39 per cent), height (27 per cent), eye colour (24 per cent) and natural features (22 per cent) in a potential romantic partner.
Commenting on the findings, dating expert Ipek Kucuk said: “Every New Year brings the opportunity to discover. Whether that be something new about ourselves in general or something new about our approach to dating.
“Singles have had a tough time of late. Love lives have been put on pause for much longer than expected, and with that has come more than enough time to assess our successes and failures, and hopefully learn a few lessons along the way too.”
The fact that so many people are pursuing a relationship this year comes after levels of loneliness rose significantly since spring 2020.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), about 3.7 million UK adults (7.2 per cent of the adult population) said they felt lonely “often” or “always” between October 2020 to February 2021.
Data published by the ONS found that younger and single people who were unmarried or living alone were more likely to be lonely, which affected their wellbeing and mental health.