NEW YORK — Keeping the romantic spark alive after having children is undoubtedly a challenge, but a new survey of 2,000 U.S. parents finds that the romance is very dead in an alarmingly high number of households. According to the research, the average parent hasn’t been on a romantic date in three years!
Moreover, three in 10 respondents can’t even recall the last date they went on. At least most respondents are looking to make a change; 81% recognize that they need to step up their game in the romance department and go on more dates.
The survey, commissioned by Groupon, also discovered that the romance quickly disappeared in 70% of respondent’s relationships after having their first child together. Another 53% often long for the freedom they once enjoyed before having kids.
When respondents were asked what they miss most about life before having kids, spending time with their significant other was the most popular answer (45%), followed by going on dates (44%), and less responsibility (40%). Having sex (39%), sleeping in (36%), and traveling (36%) were other common responses.
Surprisingly, many respondents said they aren’t particularly upset about the lack of romance in their life. A prominent 77% said they are more fulfilled with their life today than they ever were before starting a family.
Working parents in particular love spending time with their kids after a long day on the job. The top activity moms and dads look forward to at the end of the day was preparing dinner for the family (44%), followed by tucking the kids into bed (39%), reading bedtime stories (37%), snuggling with their children (35%), and cuddling with their significant other (35%).
Valentine’s Day is supposed to be the end all be all when it comes to romance, but 66% of respondents would still prefer hang out with their children on February 14th over a romantic date. In fact, 31% of surveyed parents can’t even remember the last time they did something special for Valentine’s Day with just their partner.
This year, 56% plan on spending Valentine’s Day with their children. Also, since having kids, 36% have never spent Valentine’s day without them, and 79% believe Valentine’s Day is better spent all together as a family.
“As parents, it’s great if we can pull off a romantic date night experience with our partner on Valentine’s Day. However, it’s also about celebrating our other loves, too,” says Groupon’s Head of Experiences Brian Fields in a statement. “And when it comes to finding the perfect gift for all of your loves, our research shows that experiences are remembered nearly 40% more than physical things and leave people feeling nearly 20% happier.”
Survey participants were also asked about their favorite Valentine’s activities, both as a couple and as a family. For just couples activities, a dual massage was the top answer (36%), then a romantic dinner (28%), and a spa day (26%). The top five couples activities were rounded out with a manicure / pedicure (21%) and going to a concert (18%).
Regarding top Valentine’s activities for the whole family, a spa day (28%) was the most frequent response. Other popular answers included dinner (26%), going to a museum (25%), going to a concert (24%), and manicure/pedicure (24%).
The survey was conducted by OnePoll.