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Another 48 percent wished they could take their mates on dates – and 59 percent enjoy the preamble and dating debriefs with pals, more than the event itself.

And a chum’s involvement starts from the beginning, with nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of singles canvassing opinions from friends and family before even saying “yes” to a romantic endeavour.

While friends are the most common choice to confer with about courting (50 percent), colleagues (28 percent) and siblings (23 percent) are also popular confidants.

And 59 percent said supportive friends and family make them feel more confident as they navigate the dating world.

It also emerged it takes more than two people to make a date happen, besides the dater themselves.

This includes the friends who boost confidence (59 percent) or advise on outfits (24 percent), and even the strangers that make you smile en route (24 percent).

Following the findings, Plenty of Fish, which commissioned the study, has teamed up with author and poet, Charly Cox, to create “Thank You Notes” – a digital collection of poetry based on the real-life dating stories of British singles, offering a nod of thanks to those who played an unexpected role in their search for love.

Dating expert Kate MacLean said: “Sometimes we get so caught up in the desired outcome of a date, we forget about those who help us get there.

Dating is a journey, and it’s the people around us, our support circles, who can help to take the pressure off

Kate MacLean, dating expert

“Dating is a journey, and it’s the people around us, our support circles, who can help to take the pressure off.

“Creating “Thank You Notes” is a celebration of dating, and the unexpected charm that can be found in the journey.”

The study also found these “date mates” extend beyond family and friends – with 31 percent seeking love advice from strangers they meet out and about, or on the commute.

Restaurant staff (14 percent), taxi drivers (13 percent), bartenders (13 percent), baristas (10 percent), and train attendants (11 percent) have also been cited as boosting the confidence of starry-eyed singletons before a date.

It also emerged that even exes play a part, with 16 percent confiding in a past partner before the date.

More than two-thirds (69 percent) of those surveyed, via OnePoll, have been encouraged by their mates to go on a date with someone who isn’t their usual type.

But 85 percent have learnt more from dates that flopped, than those that were successful.

Preparations and pre-date conversations with friends begin an average of two days before the main event.

And the most popular rituals include sharing information about their romantic interest (32 percent), looking them up on social media (30 percent), and sourcing date location recommendations (27 percent).

When it comes to live updates, 45 percent of singletons send messages during the date, while 38 percent take it as far as phoning a friend.

On average, singles will spend two hours talking to pals about an upcoming date, with 59 percent feeling more confident when doing so, while 30 percent said it helps calm their nerves.

Charly Cox added: “I’ve loved translating the journeys and experiences of people’s dating lives into poetry – and giving a well-deserved nod to those unsung heroes who play such a huge role in the early stages.

“It’s been wonderful to celebrate the everyday interactions that can have a positive impact on our lives.

“This collection of poetry is a wonderful reminder to enjoy the process, find joy in the nuanced, and hold tight the people you meet along the way – whether that’s on your search for love, or elsewhere.”

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