Monday, February 13, 2012

The truth about romance

Romance as a fiction genre continues to boom, romance as a real life institution is on the decline. recently funded university researchers to gauge of single Americans' attitude toward romance in general and matrimony specifically. The result? Only 34% of single Americans said they knew they wanted to get married. another third were "uncertain."

But it's not actually the statistics on marriage which I found all that surprising; it was the statistics on those who are looking for a relationship, or more precisely, aren't looking:

80.8% of single Americans aren't actively seeking a relationship right now (this includes those who "don't have time," "want to stay unattached" and who just aren't putting in any effort).  Of that 80.8%, only 48% said that while they weren't actively looking, they'd consider a relationship if the right person should drop into their lap ... metaphorically speaking.

But don't try to tell yourself that the reason you fall into one group or the other has to do with your geography, notably the lack of suitable (wo)men in your region, not until you let the Icelandic people put that one into perspective for you.  In Iceland -- an isolated island country with roughly the population of Pittsburg -- there is an online incest database where you can check out just how related you are before things get too serious. It takes the notion of Googling your date to a whole new level.

Meanwhile, sales of romantic fiction stay steady (even grow) while other genres decline. Romance novels used to be seen as the fantasy which married women or wistful teens engaged in, but give the data it's not surprising that the romance novel remains popular, particularly the paranormal romance: singles don't expect to experience it themselves; they approach it as purely a fantasy whether or not it contains a vampire.

Image by l.giordani on flickr

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