Romance is Back for Single Britain

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The LoveGeist Report 2009: largest ever study of love and dating finds 63% of Brits value "true love" more than ever and the Welsh are most romantic of all

Dating sites allow you to be really specific about what and who you are looking for, identifying potential deal breakers early. Sophisticated matchmaking technology facilitates really compatible matches based on expectations, values, likes and dislikes.

The largest and most comprehensive study of contemporary love and dating in modern Britain, commissioned by, has found that love and romance are increasingly important to the country's single population. Two thirds (63%) say they are prioritising "true love" more now than they were one year ago and flings are out of fashion.

The LoveGeist Report 2009 has further identified a "reality gap" between romantic aspirations and the number of UK singles forecast to continue its rapid growth from 12 million to 16 million by 2011*. Whilst marriage rates have fallen to their lowest since records began**, the report indicates an increasing belief in long-term commitment, working hard to find the 'right' partner and sustaining relationships. In fact, 95% of singles surveyed say they are looking for long term love.

Dr Monica Whitty, psychologist at Nottingham Trent University and report author, explains; "A new cultural shift is afoot. The report suggests Britain is moving away from its throw away culture in favour of sustainable long term relationships and finding the right match. Over half of singles say they have become more fussy about who they date and 84% say they will work harder to fix problems in future relationships."

These findings are among those in The LoveGeist Report 2009 commissioned by, the site that helps millions of people find love and compiled by Dr Monica Whitty and Tom Buchanan, scientists from the universities of Nottingham Trent and Westminster respectively. The definitive annual study will track the UK's changing attitudes to love and relationships and studied over 16,000 people, through a huge survey, trend analysis from's members, focus groups (single and married men and women), in-depth interviews and opinions from leading experts in psychology, relationships, dating and anthropology about our future of love.

The full LoveGeist Report 2009 is available online and features a fully-interactive UK map with a breakdown of the key findings by region and 34 major towns and cities: The headline findings of this year's study include:

Welsh Are Most Romantic...
The LoveGeist Report 2009 used The Romantic Beliefs Scale originally developed by academics Sprecher and Metts, to measure levels of romance across the country and found a comfortable romantic belt around the UK's middle. People in Wales are the most romantic, followed by the East Midlands, West Midlands and Northern Ireland, with the Scots and those in Greater Londoner trailing at the bottom.

Londoners maybe the least romantic, but they are the most pragmatic in love, with 66% of singles wanting to get married to cement a long term commitment (12% higher than the national average).

The Welsh are certainly the most romantic at heart, but when it comes to splashing the cash, single men in Swansea are the least likely to pay for a first date (62%). Lucky ladies in Middlesbrough will find the highest contingent of chivalrous men in the country with 100% saying they will open doors for their date and 93% will also pay for a first rendezvous.

The End of Fast Food Love...
Contrary to our 'fast food', throw-away culture of late, The LoveGeist Report 2009 has found not only are 64% prepared to work harder to solve issues in future relationships, but there's a sense that love is not something that should be rushed. Getting to know someone properly is key. 68% said they need to know someone for a period of time before they fall in love and only one third felt they would be able to fall in love immediately, even if they met the right person.

Love is…
What is love? is a question that has long perplexed scholars, writers and poets. The LoveGeist Report 2009 found love in modern Britain runs deep and emotional satisfaction and personal development are important. Gone are the grand gestures in the name of love we've seen throughout history. Nearly nine in ten (86%) said they'd prefer a partner to show their love through considerate gestures rather than lavish gifts. Furthermore, 77% believe that falling in love means being with someone who helps to make them a better person. 68% reject the notion that love is a 'thunderbolt' saying that 'true love' grows over time and people want relationships that are selfless, helping them to be more confident, more challenged, more motivated and happier.

The One
Men proved significantly more romantic than women on the Romantics Beliefs Scale, so it's perhaps not surprising that it is men who are more likely to believe in 'the one', a person out there who you have a deeper connection with, above all others. Women are more pragmatic and believe 'the one' is about the right time and the right place. For singles of both sexes, finding a long term relationship is a priority, with the majority clear about exactly what and who they are looking for.

Jason Stockwood, managing director at, believes the recent surge in memberships to online dating sites reflects the increasing priority for long term relationships; "Dating sites allow you to be really specific about what and who you are looking for, identifying potential deal breakers early. Sophisticated matchmaking technology facilitates really compatible matches based on expectations, values, likes and dislikes."

About began with one simple mission - to make love happen - and since 2005 over 6.5 million have joined in their search for someone special. helps millions of people find love and is the UK's biggest dating site. Based in London's Leicester Square, is part of MEETIC, Europe's online dating leader. As well as operating UK site powers the dating services for MSN, Yahoo!, Penguin, The Sun, Russell Grant, AskMen and Vodafone.

**Office for National Statistics

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Vicky Gomes
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