Despite popular opinion that it’s women who want romance, a survey of nearly 300 people found that men want romance in their lives, equally as much as women.

In the survey romance was defined as “making your partner feel special through words and actions”. Results showed 70% of male respondents want more romance in their lives, versus 67% of women respondents.

how much romance do you want?

Would you like more romance in your relationship?

Seventy percent of survey respondents were older than 45 and 57% had been with their partner for more than 15 years. The average age was 47 years. Seventy percent of respondents were currently in a relationship.

age of survey respondents

Age breakdown of survey respondents

Most could do better at being romantic

When asked how romantic they considered themselves, most (45%) consider themselves pretty average, with 30% considering themselves better than average in the romance stakes. Only 10% thought they were very romantic, which means there aren’t many setting a great example for their partners, friends and family. At the other end of the scale, 16% consider themselves poor at being romantic, with a surprising 70% of these people being female. This is perhaps due to the tendency of women to underestimate their abilities, whilst men are known to exaggerate theirs.

Even those without parenting responsibilities want more romance

Fifty eight percent of respondents aged 55+ who are in a relationship, with either no children or adult children, want more romance, indicating that it’s not just those juggling parenting responsibilities that want more in their lives.

This group would seem to be the best placed to reintroduce romance into their relationship – they now have the time to focus on each other and seem keen to do so, with equal numbers of men and women in this group wanting more.

Interestingly, there was little difference between those in this group who had no children compared to those with adult children. Delving further into the results, the majority of respondents in this group have known their partner for at least 10 years. This indicates that it may not be parenting responsibilities that suck the romance out of the relationship, but familiarity.

length of relationship

Length of relationship

No strings attached

When asked how they would respond if their partner suddenly started being more romantic, 53% of respondents said they would welcome it. Another 32% would welcome it but would want to know what was driving the change and 7% would be suspicious of the change.

Interestingly, nearly 70% of those who wanted to know the reason for the sudden change or were suspicious were women – indicating that they want a no-strings-attached approach to romance, rather than feeling that their partner has a vested interest, such wanting more sex or to ease their guilt for wrong doings.

The clear message here is that you should increase the romance in your relationship to demonstrate how much you care for your partner, not for what you hope to get out of it.

What gets in the way of romance?

Time constraints and, to a lesser extent, money constraints seem to be the two main reasons why romance is lacking in a relationship, with 52% of respondents citing a lack of time and family/work responsibilities being factors and 40% citing money.

Twenty five percent of respondents can’t remember to do romantic things, no doubt due to a lack of time and the responsibilities they have. Learning how to build small acts of romance into their everyday life would be valuable for this group.

Lack of interest on the respondent’s or their partner’s behalf was certainly not a factor, nor a lack of knowledge about how to be romantic, with 55% claiming that they knew how to be romantic.

Overall, the survey points to a need for couples to build romantic acts into their everyday lives, rather than grand gestures only on special occasions. Compliments, physical touch, relieving their partner of chores and spending quality time together as a couple are simple, inexpensive ways to increase the romance in a relationship.

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