Coupled up Americans & Brits Aren’t Seeking Relationship Advice

More than half of US & UK adults in relationships turn to no one for relationship help, with sex being the most difficult topic to discuss
by Paired
September 12, 2020

You would think that most people need someone to talk to about their love life. But research from Paired couples app found that nearly half (48%) of US adults in a relationship admit they do not speak to anyone for advice. In the UK, the number rises to 6 in 10 adults (62%).

Generational divide

The report, which surveyed 4,000 adults from the US and UK, found a significant generational gap in attitudes to getting relationship help. A startling 70% of Americans over 55 in a relationship don’t go to anyone for relationship advice, rising even further to 80% in the UK.

In comparison, just 16% of young American under 25 and 27% of young felt the same, suggesting that ‘Gen Z’ are much more open and willing to ask for advice when needed than their parents’ generation. There was also a stark divide in who we turn to, with 18-24 year olds in a relationship around ten times more likely to turn to the internet or a search engine for advice than those over 55 (40% versus 4%).

Let’s (not) talk about sex

Paired also looked at the topics people find hardest to bring up for discussion with their partner. Across both countries, adults find sex the most difficult subject to discuss with their partner (20% in the UK vs 16% in the US), followed by money & finance (14% in the UK vs 11% in the US) and mental health (8% in the UK vs 9% in the US).

Interestingly, in the UK 18-24 year olds found talking about their personal beliefs, including religion and politics, just as difficult as talking about sex (both 13%) – the only age group to attach such importance to beliefs.

Stigma of relationship issues

The report also found that there is still stigma around opening up about relationship issues, big or small. The research revealed that Brits in a relationship will often turn to professional help for health or mental health issues. However, a mere 1% would seek relationship therapy or counselling for problems within their coupling and only 5% would seek professional help for problems with their sex life. The survey showed little fluctuation in this figure in relation to earnings and social class, suggesting that money is not the main barrier for adults not turning to professional help within their relationships.

Research was carried out by Ipsos MORI in the US and by YouGov Plc in the UK.

Click here to download the UK press release

Click here to download the US press release

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