While “I love you” may be the most romantic phrase ever for many, a domestic poll showed that most couples would prefer to hear their partner say: “It’s great to have you” (有你真好) on Valentine’s Day.
About a quarter of male respondents and 21 percent of their female counterparts voted for the phrase “It’s great to have you,” said the Loving Family Foundation, which conducted the poll.
It was followed by the phrase “I will always be by your side” (我會一直陪在你身邊), which garnered 13 percent of the vote from men and 18.6 percent from women.
In third place for men was the classic “I love you” with 12.8 percent, while “You’re the best” (你最棒了) and “I miss you” (我想你)” tied for fourth place at 8.1 percent.
For women, third place went to “I’ll like you no matter what you become” (不管你變得怎麼樣，我都喜歡) at 12.6 percent, while “Thank you for all the hard work” (謝謝你，辛苦了) and “I love you” tied for fourth at 11.6 percent.
On what they wished their partners or lovers would do for them on special occasions, the top three choices — regardless of gender — were: planning a special trip or event; holding hands and talking while going out on a walk; and a warm hug.
Foundation deputy director-general Teng Hao (鄧皓) said that the choice of what partners would like to hear on Valentine’s Day show a gradual change in mentality from wanting to hear sweet nothings to wishing to hear their partners affirm their values.
The survey also discovered that after marriage, couples are less likely to “do what the other person asks; do things together; give each other gifts; hug, hold hands or initiate body contact; and praise and thank each other — the five acts that experts consider to be the best way of expressing love.
The frequency with which couples do these declines further after having children.
Teng said that couples should not forget to nurture and maintain their relationship with each other even after having children, or they might find that their partner has become “the most familiar stranger” once their children have grown up.