AOL Personals - Zogby Poll Probes American Views on Love and Relationships: Survey Reveals Generational Differences in Views on Marriage and Commitment

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More than 4 in 10 Americans (44%), including 50% in their 20s don't believe that they need to be married to validate the commitment of a long-term relationship, according to a survey from AOL Personals ( and Zogby*. This is just one of the many findings from a new interactive survey of Americans age 20 to 69 that tackles how different generations view a wide range of relationship issues - from love to soul mates, money and trust.

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    While many don't believe marriage is the ultimate symbol of commitment, there are significant differences among older and younger adults regarding how they view dating - while nearly half of Americans said they would date someone who is not interested in a long-term relationship, older adults tend to be more open to dating without fixating on how long a relationship might last.

Matters of trust - and truth

Issues related to trust in relationships vary significantly among different generations. Younger respondents are more likely to want the truth from their partner, even if it hurts - more than 85% of respondents in their 20s said they always want the truth, compared to 79% of those in their 50s and 60s.

In addition, respondents in their 20s are much more likely to trust a close friend's opinion than that of their partner, and more likely to share things with friends that they wouldn't share with their partner. Half of adults younger than age 40 would snoop through their partner's things to find out if he or she is hiding something, compared to just 25% of those in their 60s.

Money Matters

Money is an important issue in any relationship, but different generations have varying views on managing money matters. Those in their 20s are less likely to be concerned with differences in income, with 88% saying they would date someone who makes significantly less money. Older respondents are less inclined to combine incomes in a romantic relationship, with 38% of respondents 40 and older likely to do so, compared with 50% of respondents in their 20s and 30s.

Love is Blind?

When it comes to dating, most Americans are able to overlook flaws in potential partners - such as prospects with small bank accounts, job loss or physical disabilities. Adults in their 20s are less likely to be concerned about differences between themselves and their partners, with respondents in the age group more likely than others to date someone who comes from a different racial or religious background. In addition, while more than half of respondents (51%) would date someone with opposing political beliefs, those in their 20s (60%) are most likely to leave politics at home while out on a date.

The full survey results can be found at AOL Personals ( With weekly video and advice features, online chat, date planning ideas, dating and relationship advice, AOL Personals makes online dating fun and easy. Visitors to AOL Personals can also search for single men and women in their area that share similar interests or explore any of the site's Love & Dating features.

About AOL

AOL is a global Web services company that operates some of the most popular Web destinations, offers a comprehensive suite of free software and services, runs one of the largest Internet access businesses in the U.S., and provides a full set of advertising solutions. A majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., AOL LLC and its subsidiaries have operations in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia. Learn more at

What is Zogby International?

Zogby International is a public opinion, research, and business solutions firm with experience working in more than 70 countries around the globe. Founded and led by John Zogby since 1984, Zogby International ranks as one of the industry's leaders thanks to its reputation for superior accuracy and reliability. Zogby specializes in telephone, Internet, and face-to-face survey research and analysis for political, corporate, non-profit, and governmental clients. The firm is headquartered in Utica, New York, with offices in Washington D.C., Miami, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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Allie Burns
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