However, according to a new survey by PARSHIP, Europe’s largest premium online dating service, which uses a rigorous personality profiling test to determine compatibility, unlike their European counterparts – who, with the exception of Ireland, would choose an unformalised long-term relationship over marriage (across Europe an average of 35% favour a long-term relationship and 17% a marital commitment) – UK singles would go for wedding rings (29%) rather than simple cohabitation (24%).
In the survey of 5,000 single people it found marriage was not a priority for the majority of Europeans. All the mainland countries in the survey favour cohabitation, with – at the other end of the spectrum from the British Isles – only 8% of Austrians wanting marriage. As might be expected, it’s women in the UK who especially favour marriage vows: one third of them (34%) are looking forward to their Big Day, compared to just one
Bianca Mercer, PARSHIP’s Country Manager UK and Ireland, commented:
“Whilst these survey figures may suggest a large proportion — over half – of UK single people are looking for a long-term relationship it’s difficult to interpret exactly what proportion see marriage as the ideal form of commitment. Many people will be open to the idea of marriage but will not necessarily know if it is for them until they have met the right person. So, even though we cannot say exactly what percentage of people intend to marry in the future, when the UK is compared to other countries in Europe, the country still has relatively traditional views on marriage.
For example, 29% of UK singles are looking for commitment leading to marriage in the future, compared to only 8% of Austrians. UK singles’ relatively traditional attitudes to relationships are echoed in their views on raising a family. 27% of UK singles believe that it’s preferable that one parent should stay at home to raise a family while the other person pursues their career. This proportion was the third highest amongst the European countries surveyed. The lowest were the Spanish, where 7% felt it preferable for one parent to give up work to bring up children.”
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