Looking for Love in the 21st Century? New Survey Finds Guys Will Still Feel the Price of Romance

Feb 10, 1999, 00:00 ET from Men's Health

    EMMAUS, Pa., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- If guys think that finding true love
 in the next century is going to be easier on their wallets, a new survey
 finds they may not want to cancel that credit card too soon.
     But, the survey also finds that while guys may have to pay for everything
 from dinner to flowers, they may be surprised at what the object of their
 affection is wearing when they arrive at her doorstep.
     The nationwide survey of adults, conducted for Men's Health magazine by
 ORC International, finds that in the 21st Century, most adults expect that men
 will pay for items such as sending flowers (73%), buying dinner (69%) or
 splurging on romantic getaways (66%) with majorities of both men and women
 stating as such.
     Additionally, the survey finds that men will still have to dig into their
 pockets for items such as movie or concert tickets, with slightly more than
 half (51%) expecting this to be the normal practice in relationships.
     Just how will women be spending their money to keep relationships hot in
 the new millennium?  According to the survey, more than half of women (61%)
 expect they will pay for sexy undergarments to keep the flames of passion
     The Men's Health survey also finds that women will do more than just wear
 sexy lingerie to get their man's attention.  They also expect to be just as
 willing to take the lead when it comes to sexual relations.
     According to the findings, while nearly two-thirds of adults (63%) believe
 that men are most likely to initiate sexual relations in today's world, in the
 next century 48% believe that women with either initiate (24%) or be as likely
 to initiate (24%) sex as a man.
     "Romance probably won't be any cheaper for most guys in the new
 millennium, but at least they won't always have to make the first move with
 their mate," says Mike Lafavore, Editor-in-Chief for Men's Health magazine.
     The survey reports that in today's world, guys are most likely to pay for
 most elements of a romance with men expected to cover the costs for sending
 flowers (85%), buying dinner (84%), paying for a romantic getaway (80%), and,
 buying tickets for movies or concerts (64%).
     "The good news for guys is that fewer of them will have to pay for
 everything in a relationship," says Lafavore.  "The bad news is most guys
 will still have to keep their credit cards handy."
     Don't expect me to get that door for you.
     While guys will most likely still pick up the tab for dinner in the next
 century, women shouldn't be surprised if guys are less willing to go out of
 their way to help them into their chair.
     According to the survey, most adults believe that fewer men will be very
 likely to open a car door for women (23%), hang up a women's coat (23%), pull
 out a chair for a woman (22%), or give up their seat on a bus or subway (18%).
     "While we don't expect chivalry to die, it may only be practiced by Jedi
 Knights in the next century," states Lafavore.  "Women don't expect it, and
 guys don't know the rules anymore."
     Just how will guys meet their mates in the coming century?
     According to the survey, most adults believe that friends or family (48%)
 will be the most likely way for people to meet their mates.
     Other popular ways will include through religious or church activities
 (40%); online (32%) via the Internet; at the office (32%); at health clubs
 (27%); and at the local tavern, with 26% of those surveyed stating this to be
 the most likely way people will find their true love.
     However, dating services will lose their charm in the coming years, with
 only 16% of adults saying that people will likely find romance with this
     What will make relationships successful in the years ahead?
     Once adults find their mates and take that long walk down the aisle,
 they're not quite sure what it will take to make a relationship work over the
 long haul.
     According to the survey, slightly less than half of adults (44%) believe
 that one spouse staying at home with the children will be very important to
 having a successful relationship in the 21st Century.
     This is especially true among older adults with 50% of those aged 55 and
 over stating as such compared to only 41% of those under 55 saying this to be
 very important.
     However, almost as many adults (43%) believe that both spouses having a
 career will make for successful relationships in the next century.  Again,
 while one-third (34%) of those age 55 and older believe this to be very
 important to relationships in the next century, almost half (46%) of those
 under age 55 believe that a dual-career couple is central to a relationship's
     Only one-fifth (22%) of adults surveyed state that the key for successful
 relationships will be for one spouse to be the primary breadwinner.
 Similarly, among those age 55 and older nearly one-third (32%) believe this to
 be very important compared to 19% of those under age 55 who state as such.
     Whether or not both spouses have careers, they will be taking vacations
 together in the coming century.  According to the survey, only 15% of
 those questioned believe that each spouse should take a personal getaway
 without the other for their relationship to be successful.
     Finally, while the key to successful relationships in the coming century
 may change, the survey finds that men and women still see themselves as being
 rather distant from each other.  According to the findings, almost half (48%)
 describe the gap between men and women in the next century as "No larger than
 the distance between New York City and Los Angeles."  Another 18% see the
 distance more in terms of being a "galaxy far, far away."
     "No matter who ends up paying for things in the coming century, men and
 women still view each other as living in different worlds," says Lafavore.
 "Somebody is going to have to pay for that gap to close, and my bet is it will
 come out of the guy's wallet."
     The Men's Health survey on Relationships in the 21st Century was conducted
 by Opinion Research Corporation International.  The survey is based on a
 nationwide telephone survey of 1,012 adults aged 18 and older during the
 period of January 28-31.  The margin of error one might reasonably expect from
 a sample this size is +/- 3 percentage points.  In addition to sampling error,
 question wording and the practical difficulties of conducting survey research
 can introduce bias into the results of survey questions.
     Men's Health magazine, with a circulation of 1,525,000, is the magazine
 most relevant to the lives of today's active man.  It is a publication of
 Rodale Press.

SOURCE Men's Health