Going Out for Valentine’s Day? Survey Says Most Are
Are you looking forward to Valentine's Day? If the answer is yes, you aren't alone.
The majority of Americans involved in a relationship are not only satisfied, but are also looking forward to a night out with their spouse or partner this year, according to a national Monmouth University Poll.
At the same time, the poll also found that most Americans believe men would jump at the chance of having a risk-free one-night stand, while far fewer women would do the same.
According to the survey, about seven in 10 adults are currently married, 7 percent are living with a partner and 11 percent are in a romantic relationship. Meanwhile, 58 percent of these couples say they are extremely satisfied with their relationship, another 30 percent are very satisfied and 56 percent say their partner is extremely important to their overall happiness.
Married people are more likely to say they are extremely satisfied with their relationship and their partner is extremely important to their happiness when compared to those who are not married.
"Relationships are a key source of happiness, so it is encouraging that those in relationships report high levels of satisfaction," said Gary Lewandowski, professor and chair of psychology at Monmouth University and co-founder of ScienceOfRelationships.com. "For those who don't report being extremely satisfied, it is important to realize that good relationships take work."
As for what those currently in a relationship plan to do for Valentine's Day, 42 percent say they usually go out, 13 percent do something special at home and another 10 percent do something special, but it changes year to year. One-third say they don't do anything special. There are no differences based on marital status, but men are more likely than women, by 47 to 36 percent, to say they usually go out for Valentine's Day while women are more likely than men, by 37 to 29 percent, to say that they don't do anything special. About half of adults age 18 to 34 who are in a relationship say they usually go out on the town, followed by 40 percent of those age 35 to 54 and 36 percent of those age 55 and older.
A night out is the preferred option for Valentine's Day plans among 40 percent of those polled. Another 26 percent say they would be happiest spending time at home with their partner doing a favorite activity, while 11 percent say they would like to plan a new and interesting activity together. One-in-five would rather have a gift.
"Couples should take advantage of any chance they get to date or have a night out together," said Lewandowski. "The trend that younger couples are more likely to do this is a little discouraging because doing new and interesting things is even more important in established relationships where the newness of being together has worn off. Saying you're going to do something new can be anxiety provoking, but research shows that these activities help you grow as a person, which improves relationship quality."
It is good to see that only a few respondents wanted an expensive gift, according to Lewandowski. "Recent research shows that spending a lot of money on things like engagement rings and weddings doesn't bode well for relationship success, so de-emphasizing materialism in Valentine's Day gifts is a wise move," he said.
When asked whether they thought members of both sexes would have a one-night stand if the opportunity presented itself and there was no fear of getting caught, seven in 10 say that most men would jump at the chance, while 45 percent of women would do the same.