Finding Love Across the Ocean

William JordanUS Elections Editor
January 06, 2014, 3:46 PM GMT+0

Americans are much more likely to meet their partners in the daytime than Brits, who are often either drunk or drinking when they start romantic engagements

Great Britain and American share a common heritage, language and no small amount of popular culture, but recently YouGov discovered that British adults were about 30% less likely to have experienced heartbreak compared to Americans. Can the romantic experience really be so different for either half of the 'special relationship'?

YouGov investigated the Anglo-American dating divide with a survey of how dating habits differ between Americans and Brits. Here are some of the findings:

Same number of partners

One broad similarity between both countries is in the number of partners people tend to have.

In both countries the median number of partners people have had so far in their lives is four.

Same game, different venue

However, Brits and Americans do appear to take differing approaches to courtship.

The research shows that British adults are about three times as likely as Americans to have met their most recent partner in a bar or pub (Americans were asked about a ‘bar or nightclub’). 6% of American couples met in a bar or nightclub, while 19% of British couples met somewhere like that. British suitors are also more likely to be drunk, by a similar multiple (13% of British under-40s were drunk when first meeting their other half, compared to only 3% of American under-45s) and much less likely to have met their partner during the ‘daytime’, perhaps suggesting that Americans prefer the park to the pub when it comes to finding a mate.

And one positive sign for romance on either side of the Atlantic: the majority of people in both the US and UK believe in love at first sight.

Sole mates

But there are also differences in where the relationship is likely to go from there. When it comes to making a relationship monogamous, there is greater consensus among Americans than Brits as to when you should make a relationship 'exclusive'.

Most Americans (55%) say it’s a spoken conversation that makes a relationship ‘exclusive’ – meaning that it is no longer appropriate to see other people romantically. Only a third (34%) of British adults say the same and they are just as likely to say a relationship automatically becomes exclusive after multiple dates, indicating that the stereotype of Brits leaving things unspoken, and the American one of spelling everything out, both have some truth to them.

And in fact, no more than a third of Britain’s would-be lovers select anything – and nearly one in five (18%) say they simply don’t know when it is that a relationship becomes monogamous, almost double the number of Americans (10%) who are in the dark.

Image: Getty

See the full poll results

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