When Americans need advice, most seek out their partners

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
January 22, 2018, 3:00 PM GMT+0

Couples who don’t live together are less likely to rely on a significant other for advice

Life can sometimes feel like it’s overwhelmingly filled with problems. From time to time, it can be helpful to turn to the people you trust – a partner, parent, friend, or religious leader – for advice. Whether it’s the need to just talk to someone or seek out an impartial party’s insight, results from the latest YouGov poll report that Americans are most likely to turn to their partner (36%) or friend (20%) for personal advice.

One in ten Americans (10%) say they don’t ask anyone for advice. For the majority who do seek the support of others, some turn to a parent (12%), sibling (7%), other family member (6%), or religious leader (2%).

While the most popular person to turn to may be one’s partner, research from YouGov Omnibus shows that age is a factor. The youngest American adults, ages 18-25, are more likely to turn to their friends (26%) or parents (23%) than any other age group does, and just 22% rely on a partner.

Observations on the next age group, millennials from the ages of 25 to 34, show that it’s between those ages that many begin to turn to a significant other for advice (33%) rather than friends (21%) or a parent (22%). As the poll moves to older Americans, more and more say they rely on a partner than anyone else.

One explanation for the shift in one’s central support figure may be cohabitation, a life decision that can have a tremendous impact on one’s relationship. Data from YouGov Profiles shows that though more than half of Americans (57%) who are in a relationship and live together turn to their partners for advice, just a third (34%) of those also in a relationship but not cohabitating say the same. Some in this latter group choose to turn to their friends (21%) and parents (14%) instead.

Americans of different races also rely on different people in their lives for support. While the same three people – a partner, friend, or parent – appear at the top of each race’s go-to person for advice, whites (41%) are much more likely to rely on their partner than Hispanics (31%), Asians (27%), or blacks (21%). Amongst these minority groups, more people are likely to turn to a parent for advice.

Read more results from this poll here

Learn more about YouGov Omnibus and YouGov Profiles

Image: Getty