Being “easy to get along with”, laughter and avoiding arguments over money key to making relationships happy, positive and fulfilling
Hong Kong, 9 February, 2017 – It’s the season of relationships. With the start of the Year of the Rooster and Valentine’s Day soon upon us, families, friends and loved ones across Asia are celebrating their love, affection and friendships. Amidst the festivities, a new research study, the Prudential Relationship Index, is released today by Prudential Corporation Asia, decoding relationship dynamics and highlighting relationship trends in Asia.
The Prudential Relationship Index measures, via a numerical score, how satisfied people in Asia are with their primary relationships with partners, children, family and friends. Findings suggest “being easy to get along with” and “laughter” are key attributes of healthy relationships. However, while many couples offer expressions of love to each other, they often argue over money matters. Many also feel that digital technology is disrupting their relationships.
Conducted by Ipsos, the independent international research firm, the Index covered 5,000 interviews across 10 Asian markets – Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Who has the best relationships overall? Across Asia, the Prudential Relationship Index average satisfaction score is 68/100. This means, in Asia, people’s primary relationships fulfill 68% of their relationship needs. It also means there is a “satisfaction gap” of 32% in personal relationships. People in Vietnam expressed greatest fulfillment with their relationships (83/100), followed by the Philippines (79/100) and Indonesia (73/100).
Tony Wilkey, Chief Executive, Prudential Corporation Asia said today, “The Prudential Relationship Index offers insights into relationships in Asia and on how to make them stronger and more rewarding. As a company that believes in ‘Always Listening and Always Understanding’, Prudential understands rewarding and fulfilling relationships are crucial to healthy living and longevity. For more than 90 years, we have been helping people in Asia protect their loved ones and valued relationships with products that cater to their evolving needs at different life stages.”
Who are most fulfilled with their partners? 85% of the adults surveyed in Asia are in a relationship with a partner, including 69% who are married. The average relationship score that people in Asia have with their partners is 63/100, indicating that partners provide 63% of what people think is important in relationships. The Vietnamese are the most fulfilled by their relationships with their partners, with an average relationship score of 83/100 followed by the Philippines (74/100) and Indonesia (69/100).
What do people want the most from their partner? The one thing that people in Asia want most from an ideal partner is that they are easy to get along with (68%). This is particularly true in Singapore with 77% citing it as a desirable attribute from an ideal partner. It is least important in Indonesia (56%). Laughter is also reported as vital to relationship fulfilment, with 63% stating that an ideal partner would make them laugh or smile. Laughter is most important among adults in the Philippines (79%) and Thailand (75%).
Who says “I love you” the most? 57% of adults in Asia tell their partners that they love them at least once each week. Expressions of love are most important in the Philippines: 87% of Filipinos tell their partners they love them every week, including 68% who do so every day. It is the lowest in Hong Kong with just 39% of adults doing so each week. However, only 29% of people in Hong Kong consider it important that an ideal partner offers expressions of love, also the lowest proportion in the region.
Who wants to leave? Each week, 20% of those surveyed in Asia seriously think about leaving their partners. People in Thailand think about leaving their partner the most (28%) and people in Vietnam the least (8%). 24% of couples in Asia argue with each other every week, 65% do so at least once a month and 7% every day.
What makes people argue the most in Asia? In Asia as a whole, money (39%), children (39%) and lack of attention (33%) are the most likely sources of arguments. These are closely followed by housework (28%) and drinking or smoking (26%). Money is the biggest source of arguments in Vietnam (55%), Malaysia (41%), the Philippines (46%) and Thailand (46%). People in Cambodia (23%) and Hong Kong (29%) argue about money the least. With couples arguing regularly over money matters, the research also revealed almost one-third (32%) did not seek for help with their financial planning. For those who did receive help with their financial planning, 49% consulted their friends or family; only 34% obtained advice from bank or insurance representatives or independent financial professionals.
Mr. Wilkey said, “Money clearly is a significant stressor in many relationships, but this does not need to be the case. A key insight from the research shows that professional financial advice offers proven relationship benefits: couples who consult professional financial advisors are less likely to argue about money (35%) than those who only ask friends and family for financial planning advice (47%).”
Parents are happiest when their children interact with them. 63% said they most wanted their children make them laugh or smile from within. This is highest in Vietnam (80%). Adults in Asia want their parents to provide them with moral and emotional support: 70% want their parents to stand up for them, including 85% of adults in the Philippines. 59% of adults in Asia want parents to have a calming effect on them, with Indonesians being the most likely to want parents to help calm them down (68%).
Friend or foe? People in Asia greatly value their friends. Filipinos have the highest relationship score in the region with their best friends at 50/100. Filipinos particularly enjoy companionship with their friends and are the most likely in the region to want friends to enjoy doing things with them (71%). Laughter is also very important: 59% of those surveyed in Asia want their friends to make them laugh or smile. This is also highest in the Philippines (69%) as well as Thailand (68%) and Vietnam (66%) but lowest in Cambodia (43%).
Technology is disrupting relationships. Many feel that technology is disrupting their relationships at home. 37% of adults in Asia say that their partners sometimes prefer their smartphones to being intimate. 31% admit that they themselves prefer their smartphones to being intimate with their partners. This situation is most acute in Thailand where 51% say their partners prefer their phones to intimacy. In view of this disruption, 82% would consider having technology-free days in order spend more time with other people, including 32% who say they already do so.
Who is most social? Although many report that technology can be disruptive to their relationships, it is also welcomed: 68% of people in Asia surveyed think it makes it easier for people to keep in touch and 65% think it facilitates making friends. On average, those surveyed say they have 210 different contacts on social media. The most social are people in Indonesia with an average of 367 contacts across all their social media; the least social are people in South Korea with an average of 83 contacts.
Mr. Wilkey concluded, “A primary insight from the Prudential Relationship Index research is that it is the simple, little things that matter like making each other smile and doing things together. Given relationships are precious, we need to nurture them not only through daily action but also through long-term protection during good times and bad. Long-term financial planning is just as important: it helps reduce stress and uncertainty and measurably strengthens family relationships in Asia.”
For more information on the Prudential Relationship Index:
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