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Surveys

Contra Costa Men’s Center

Survey Results!


Romance Survey
Conducted by The Contra Costa Men’s Center
February 2007


The Contra Costa Men’s Center surveyed a group of men and women about the factors that most contribute to romance and intimacy in their primary relationships.


Who Participated:
Among those men completing the survey:


86% are either married or in a relationship currently
79% have children
52% live in the Greater Bay Area
51% have been together with their partner for 10+ years, 12% from 5-10 years

Among those women completing the survey:

95% are either married or in a relationship currently
80% have children
38% have been together with their partner for 10+ years, 14% from 5-10 years

What They Said:


Sex Counts but Men Say Keys to Romance are: Listening, Showing Appreciation and Affection, Spending Time Together, Doing Things

Around the House


“Surprise Me,” the Women Add: Men who surprise their female partners by doing the unexpected earn big points in the romance department, say the women.


Men See Themselves as More Romantic Than The Women Rank Them To Be


According to the women:


Men’s appreciation of them is one-third the level men report it to be.
The frequency of meaningful conversations is nowhere near what men say it is.
Men show far less non-sexual physical affection than the men describe.
Men give compliments and show support less than half as often as the men report.

Conclusions:

Both men and women desire romance in their relationships. Men believe their relationships are more romantic than the women say they are
The men give themselves high marks for doing the things that foster romance, while the women give men barely passing grades.


What can men do to improve romance and intimacy?


More listening, attentiveness and non-sexual physical affection
Being less critical and more positive
Doing things for their partners, especially around the house, are often seen as very romantic acts
Occasionally doing the unexpected: routine and sameness can deaden any relationship over time


Importance of Appreciation Also Supported in Research Studies


Researcher John Gottman, who has studied thousands of couples, has found that the ratio of positive to negative interactions in a marriage is a key predictor of whether the relationship will last. According to Gottman’s findings, relationships in which there are at least five positive messages/interactions for every one that is negative have a high likelihood of being happy and successful.


According to the men, here are the actions men WANT FROM THEIR PARTNERS that make them feel most positive about the relationship (in order of priority):


Meaningful talking
Physical affection
Appreciation for their personal qualities
Appreciation for what they do to enhance the relationship and their partner’s/family’s lives
Do things together
Have sex
Overnight/weekend trips
Go out on a date

According to the men, here are the actions men DO FOR THEIR PARTNERS that make their partners feel most positive about the relationship (in order of priority):


Appreciation for what they do to enhance the man’s life and the family’s life
Appreciation for their personal qualities
Appreciation for their physical appearance
Meaningful Talking
Showing physical affection without being sexual
Doing things for them

In response to the open-ended question, “What are the most meaningful ways you show your love for your partner,” the most frequent answer was “listening,” “listen without trying to solve problems,” “care by showing you listened.” While good sex appeared with some frequency, verbal appreciation and showing physical affection by hugging and holding hands were mentioned far more often.


The men reported their most romantic times generally took place when they were able to get away with their partners for long weekends, vacations, even a night away from home.


Men Want Romance and Feel Generally Positive About Their Relationships

Men in the survey said romance is important to them, giving it an average score of 7.88 out of 10. They rated the state of their relationships as being a 6 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest), and believe their partners would rank their relationships as being a 5.4.


On average the men responding to the survey report that time spent in their relationships is 51% positive, 27 percent negative and 22% neutral. 55% of those surveyed feel their partner very much or completely appreciates how they show their love and caring


Men Report the Following Behaviors in their Relationships

52% say they appreciate their partner’s physical appearance daily
31% say they appreciate their partner’s personal qualities daily
26% say they appreciate daily what their partner does to enhance their life
68% say they give compliments and thanks daily
65% say they show interest, give support daily
12% give flowers at least once a week
14% give cards/notes at least once a week
59% say they have meaningful conversations with their partner at least weekly
72% show physical affection without being sexual daily
43% go away for overnight/weekend trips at least 4X/year
35% rarely or never go away for overnight/weekend trips


What the Women Say


Women who responded to the survey said romance is important to them as well, giving it an average score of 8.24 out of 10. They rated the state of their relationships as being a 4.29 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest), and believe their partners would rank their relationships as being a 6.


On average the women responding to the survey report that time spent in their relationships is 57% positive, 30 percent negative, 13% neutral. 57% of those surveyed feel their partner very much or completely appreciates how they show their love and caring

19% say they their partner appreciates their physical appearance daily
9% say their partner appreciates them for their personal qualities daily
28% say their partner gives them compliments and thanks daily
62% say they have rarely or never have meaningful conversations with their partner
48% say their partner shows physical affection without being sexual daily
45% rarely or never go away on overnight/weekend trips