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NEW YORK — A lot of things changed in 2020, including the priorities of many people when it comes to their life and family. A new survey finds seven in ten Americans say that 2020 changed their perspective on what truly matters in life.

Simple things like dinner with family (44%), phone conversations with relatives and friends (42%), and having quality conversations (41%) top the list of things that respondents value more than ever. The OnePoll study of 2,000 people examined how such small actions have the power to create memories that brighten up a long, dark year, and also how people’s perspectives have changed.

Almost two in three Americans say even though 2020 was full of heartache, they will remember certain tender moments from that year for the rest of their lives. From in-depth conversations with mom over video calls to hearing a girlfriend declare her love for the first time, respondents experienced some truly touching moments in 2020. Other respondents said they’ll remember precious moments like getting engaged, seeing a newborn smile for the first time, or a grandmother waving to her grandson through a window.

The survey, commissioned by Nathan’s Famous, finds three in five people (59%) credited their loved ones for keeping them sane last year. Although time together doesn’t come without a few zany moments, 64 percent still said they love those close to them more than ever.

It’s the little things that count

Redefining love 2020In spite of going a little stir-crazy in 2020, three in four (73%) think it’s more important than ever to show love to those you care about. Respondents definitely had opinions about the best methods to demonstrate such devotion. Seven in 10 said frequent little gestures are “a thousand times more important” than the occasional big loving gesture.

When asked what little gestures would melt respondents’ hearts, a third (35%) wished for someone to take care of dinner without having to ask. Thirty-four percent said doing the grocery shopping for them would be positively swoon-worthy and 32 percent would be thrilled if someone would fill their car with gas for them. Over half of the poll (58%) said the way they think about love has totally changed in light of 2020.

“It’s no surprise that Americans have experienced a reshuffling of priorities since the pandemic started. The data shows that little moments like family dinners and quality conversations matter more than ever. These special moments don’t need to be elaborate displays of affection. Just sitting down for a meal can create a lasting memory,” Diane Purnell, brand manager for Nathan’s Famous, says in a statement.

Redefining love 2020Respondents’ preferred love languages (quality time, acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, and gifts) have even evolved over the course of the pandemic. Forty-seven percent said their preferred love language is now different than it was at the start of 2020. Currently, quality time (39%), words of affirmation (35%), and acts of service (14%) round out the top three.

Making Valentine’s day about all kinds of love

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, 62 percent revealed they don’t want a big fuss this year. However, over half the poll (51%) want to make the day special in a new way. After all everyone has been through, three in five respondents (60%) think Valentine’s Day should celebrate love in all its forms and not just the romantic variety.

“Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be for grand romantic gestures. It’s about showing affection for all the loved ones in your life,” Purnell adds.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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