Wilted roses – understanding post-Valentine’s day disappointment

St Valentine’s day has a certain irresistibility – why is this so? Are people overly romantic about romance? A recent survey of 845 Australians by Better Place Australia shows how strongly the prevalence of romantic beliefs are amongst both males and females. The survey looked into romantic beliefs and focussed on three common themes of romantic ideals relating to ‘there can only be one true love for me’, ‘all you need is love’ and ‘love at first sight’.

Serge Sardo the CEO of Better Place Australia says, “To our surprise men have higher levels of romantic beliefs than women. When comparing results between men and women, we see that 65% of men agree that all you need is love compared to 57% of women. This rate increases to 70% for men aged 30-39 years and 64% for women in the same age group. Men are more inclined to believe that if you truly love each other the relationship will work despite any differences, problems or obstacles.”

Most people are romantic optimists with over 60% of respondents believing that if another person and I truly love each other, the relationship will work despite any differences and problems. With such a rosy picture how can it be that St Val’s dinner dates don’t all lead to the altar? Romance still reigns, however, we as a community may have outgrown the one and only true love belief.

Survey respondents did not all think that you will only ever have one true romance. Only 40% believe that there can only ever be one true love whom I will be with forever. The survey indicates that we now include the possibility of more than one romantic partner in our lifetime.

Serge Sardo says, “As a provider of relationship counselling and family dispute services we know that the longer you wait to get married the less likely you are to get divorced, and the higher levels of satisfaction you’ll experience. You can have more than one true love. Don’t be disappointed if last night’s dinner wasn’t a bed of roses. The St Valentines romantic date is another step in your journey – don’t expect it to be the turning point. The understanding and distinction between an immediate desire and a deep caring love is important. Recognise that love at first sight is making a life-long commitment over the date dinner table whilst in a state of pressure may not be very prudent.”

So, if you’re in first phase of attraction reflect upon your dinner date for what it is and hold off on the wedding plans. Perhaps wait till you transition through the smelly socks, interfering parents, irritating habits and the expanding waistlines before you say, “I do”.

Serge Sardo is available for interview – 0439 578 277. He is also available to travel to Melbourne Studios. Other media contacts – Graeme Westaway 0438 318 311.

Serge Sardo is the CEO of Better Place Australia. Serge is a registered psychologist who has specialised in couple counselling and pre-marriage preparation programs. With an expertise in preventative programs, social policy and advocacy, he has delivered and managed a wide variety of community based therapeutic and prevention services.
Better Place Australia is a charity that has been providing Family Dispute Resolution support, relationship support, psychological services and financial counselling for over thirty years. From 27 locations, Better Place Australia supports over 8500 clients every year.

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