The temptation to swear off dating gets stronger with every Ashley Madison hack, celebrity breakup, and creep exposed on Tinder - but according to new research from eHarmony, Americans are far from ready to throw in the towel and become cynical single curmudgeons.
The report, titled "The Happiness Index: Love and Relationships in America", reveals that 64% of Americans are “very happy” in their romantic relationships and just 19% say they're unhappy to some degree. eHarmony commissioned the report and it was conducted by Harris Interactive. 2,084 online interviews were conducted for the survey.
"At eHarmony, we talk a lot about happiness in relationships and how to keep them going strong," says Grant Langston, chief executive officer for eHarmony, in a statement. "We wanted to put society to the test and get a sense of how couples are living and loving in America today. Perhaps the most surprising finding is that gender and age dynamics in relationships are evolving, debunking misconceptions long held about both men and Millennials."
At the high end of the happiness spectrum are the oft-maligned and much misunderstood Millennials. Americans aged 25-34 report having the happiest relationships of all, perhaps, Langston posits, because they are more communicative than the generations that precede them.
City dwellers, those who are employed, and those who consider themselves the main household breadwinner also scored highly on happiness in the report.
Broken down by gender, the report found that men tend to be more positive, happy, and satisfied in their relationships than women. Eighty percent of men reported that they're "in love" with their partner or spouse compared to 76% of women. 75% of men (vs. 71% of women) say they have a "warm/comfortable relationship" with their partner or spouse and 71% of men (vs. 64% of women) say their relationship is rewarding.
Men were more likely to report engaging in romantic gestures on a monthly basis, like writing an affectionate note, holding hands on a walk, initiating an intimate kiss, taking their partner out on date nights, and buying small, just-because gifts.
Men are also almost twice as likely as women to have relationship therapy, particularly if they fall in the 25-44 age range. More than a quarter of Millennial and Gen-Y men have sought professional help. Almost two-thirds of those who have not had relationship therapy say they’re open to it in future.
Can money buy love? Does more sex mean greater happiness? What exactly makes a relationship thrive? For the answers to those questions and others, visit The Happiness Index and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #happyinlove. For more on this dating service you can read our eHarmony review.