Relationships

Love, sex and marriage get surprising updates thanks to 'Satisfaction' survey

July 17, 2014 at 8:51 AM ET

Modern love ain’t what it used to be. That’s the upshot of a survey that USA Network commissioned in connection with the network’s new drama, “Satisfaction.”

Most of the Gen X and Gen Y members surveyed rated their relationships at 3.5 out 10 (on a scale where 1 is nothing like their parents' link and 10 was exactly like it).

How is love different today? For many, love is more monogam-ish than monogamous, love is probably not forever, and, for some, love is digital. Here are some of the survey’s more surprising highlights.

Video: Psychiatrist Samantha Boardman and Melissa Lavigne-Delville, founder of Culture Co-op, join TODAY to talk about a USA Network survey that looks at today’s views on love and marriage.


  • A slight majority of those surveyed (54 percent) believe cheating can be justified. Their most acceptable reason: “They cheated on me.” But there's a double-standard: While 82 percent said they would have "zero tolerance" for someone chating on them, 81 percent said they would cheat if there were zero consequences to their actions.
  • Parenthood was the biggest predictor of infidelity among respondents. Parents were more likely than non-parents to admit that they’ve cheated (24 percent vs. 15 percent.) 
  • Three-quarters of survey participants admit they have fantasized about being with someone other than their partner. And 48 percent said they don’t feel guilty for it.
  • Most of the Gen Xer’s and Gen Yer’s in the survey (51 percent) believe monogamy is “a social expectation but not a biological reality.” And 40 precent said "until death do us part" should be removed from wedding vows, with nearly half (48 percent) believing marriage vows should be renewed.
  • A majority of the Gen X'ers and Gen Y'ers surveyed (58 percent) said couples therapy — once the realm of pairs with problems in their marriage — is advisable before marriage.
  • Nearly a third of respondents (31 percent) said they have been involved in a purely digital relationship. Men aged 25 to 34 were most likely (39 percent) to have had one, and parents were more likely than non-parents (13 percent vs. 9 percent.) Plus, 19 percent of men (and 13.5 percent of women) said they'd developed affections for someone they don't know, but followed online.
  • The Internet has made stalking easier, and a surprising number of people admit they’ve taken advantage of this. Women in the survey were more likely to stalk their ex-partner’s new beau (35 percent of women did it, vs. 17 percent of men.) Younger women in the survey were more likely to digitally stalk than older ones: Forty-five percent of Gen Y respondents said they had followed an ex online, as opposed to 20 percent of Gen Y women.

"Satisfaction" premieres on USA Thursday night at 10 p.m. ET.


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