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New Bumble Data Shows ‘Reality Gap’ as U.S. Women Face Inequality in Relationships, Careers, and More

Bumble was built to help foster equitable relationships by flipping the outdated gender dynamics of dating on their head. In March 2023, in conjunction with Women’s History Month and ahead of International Women’s Day, we decided to take a look at the current state of equality—not just in dating and romance, but in careers, finances, and more. 

In Bumble’s 2023 State of the Nation Report, we found a “reality gap,” or an overall discrepancy between what respondents say they want versus what they actually experience.

When it comes to equality in romance, four in five (87%) of those surveyed said that a balance of power in a relationship leads to better sex. But when asked about additional outdated norms, 40% of respondents said they agree that relationships work best when the man takes the lead. (Perhaps surprisingly, this figure was higher—47%—for Gen Z.)

More than half (54%) of respondents said it doesn’t matter if a man or the woman starts a conversation with a match, but only 11% said women should make the first move on a dating app.

The report also looked into gender discrepancies in the workplace and again found a gap between expectation and reality. The survey showed that 81% of women respondents agree that inequality in childcare roles leads to an imbalance in career achievements. It was noticeably lower for men, with 71% agreeing that childcare roles affected upward mobility at work.

Four in five (80%) respondents to Bumble’s survey said that lack of financial independence is a key reason women stay in unhappy relationships. Relatedly, 65% of respondents said that social structures and systems function to make women financially dependent on men. 

To help close these gaps, Bumble is supporting a group of Next Movers: emerging women in leadership at organizations paving the way for equity and empowerment. Check out to meet them.

All data was commissioned by Bumble within August and September 2022 with a U.S. sample size of 2,509.