Is love a choice? Most Americans say yes

Linley SandersData Journalist
January 26, 2022, 9:37 PM GMT+0

Love is a feeling — but Americans also believe there is choice in the matter.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, YouGov asked more than 19,000 U.S. adults whether they believe love is a choice. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans say yes, with 17% disagreeing.

While there is broad agreement that love is a choice, older Americans are especially likely to assert that it is. Nearly seven in 10 adults 55 and older believe that love is a decision, compared to just half (52%) of 18- to 24-year-olds. The youngest group of adults is more likely than those 55 and up to say that they are unsure (26% vs 17%) about whether love is a choice, or to outright state that it is not (22% vs 14%).

Americans who are married are especially likely to consider love a choice. That finding holds across all age groups, so married 18- to 24-year-olds are just as likely as married senior citizens to believe that love requires that type of intention. Men and women have no significant differences when evaluating whether or not love is a choice.

More than seven in 10 married people say that love is a choice, while a slightly smaller share of unmarried people agree. About three in five unmarried people who live with a significant other (61%) say love is a choice, as do most people (58%) who are in a serious relationship. Americans who say they are in a casual relationship (52%) are the least likely to agree.

Related: Most Americans don’t think Valentine’s Day is a "real” holiday

Methodology: This Daily Agenda survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 19,822 U.S. adults interviewed online on January 21 - 24, 2022. The samples were weighted to be representative of the U.S. population, based on gender, age, race, education, U.S. census region, and political party.

Image: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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