What do Spaniards think about love during a pandemic

by Deborah Cater
Spaniards surveyed on love during a pandemic

More than half the Spaniards surveyed believe in love for life, that true love can achieve anything or that there is a better half or soul mate for every person. Eight out of ten Spaniards associate the idea of true love with fidelity. 75.7% of the respondents have a partner, most of whom they say are ’emotionally very close’. 

These are some of the main conclusions of a survey on social and emotional relationships in times of Covid-19, published by the Spanish Centre for Sociological Research (CIS). Almost 3,000 Spaniards over the age of 18 were questioned about issues such as relationships, happiness, love, sex and the role of digital technologies in social life during the pandemic.

The majority of Spaniards believe in certain traditional ideas about love. For example, 54.8% of respondents ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’ that ‘a true love relationship should last a lifetime’. 59.1% believe that ‘true love can do anything’. Up to 53.2% believe that ‘for every person there is someone who is the perfect partner (your better half, soul mate)’. Moreover, 81.5% believe that ‘if you really love someone, you will always be faithful to your partner’.  32.3% of respondents believe ‘you can be in love with several people at once’. However, only 24.4% believe that ‘you can be in love with a person you only know online’.

On the other hand, Spaniards are fairly unanimous when it comes to separating sexual desire from love. 66.2% believe that ‘you can have sex with someone without loving them’ and 68.4% that ‘you can be in love with someone and feel sexual desire for another’.

Love

A large proportion of those questioned live together (85.9%) share a home with the other person. Only 11.1% of people in a relationship live in different houses. Spaniards have been together with their partner for an average of 23.5 years and are very emotionally attached to each other. On a scale of one to ten, the average of those questioned is 8.9.

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Moreover, those questioned say they attach more importance to the personality than the physical appearance of the partner when finding love. 96.7% of Spaniards consider characteristics such as a person’s vitality, energy or good mood to be rather or very important when starting a relationship. Meanwhile, only half of them attach much or fairly much importance to the physical appearance of the other person (51.3%). The other characteristics most valued in the other person are charisma (90.7%), sexual attractiveness (74.7%) and image (61.7%).

Pandemic disrupted routines

The pandemic has disrupted loved ones’ routines and daily activities. According to CIS, people in relationships miss family meetings the most (73.2%). This was followed by leisure activities such as eating out, going to the cinema or theatre (72.8%) and romantic dates (41.2%). To a lesser extent, the coronavirus caused couples to miss out on more individual space (37.6%) or intimate moments (28%).

Some respondents also report the pandemic has had a negative effect on their sex life. 15.3% say their sex life is worse now. 16% say the frequency with which they have sex has deteriorated and 8.6% that their sexual desire has decreased.

Flirting via apps and internet

Last year’s lockdown and subsequent restrictions led to interaction via social media and technology. 83.4% of respondents said new technologies brought them closer to family members with whom they do not live. This was predominantly through video calls (77%).

Half of those surveyed are in favour of meeting new people through technology; 33% see this as a negative or very negative thing. Finally, only 14.6% say they use the Internet to meet new people and only 8.9% use the net to flirt.

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