The institute is Sandals Resorts’ trend-house responsible for analyzing and spotting the latest global news in modern love, relationships, and intimacy. Surveying more than 1,000 adults across the United States in partnership with Wakefield Research, the data points to major trends, expectations, and other factors impacting relationships, passion, and connection in the year ahead.
The trend report revealed that romantic experiences remain a top priority despite an uncertain economic outlook and the hard reality of inflation. People expect to be far busier in 2023 than they were in 2022, and they’re making difficult choices about how much they spend, prioritizing immediate needs over frivolous ones. And yet, when it comes to spending their ever-shrinking dollars on romance, a majority say they don’t plan to forfeit gifts, getaways, and activities that strengthen connections and fuel intimacy.
What will romance look like in 2023?
For starters, couples are cozying up to a new year with optimism, with 89% saying their relationship will get better or stay the same in 2023. According to the survey, 4 out of 5 Americans 18 and older (80%) plan to make more time for romance, and nearly 3 in 5 (58%) say rising costs won’t derail their plans for a romantic vacation, as most Americans intend to find the time as well as the funds.
For many, what is considered romantic has evolved and changed over time.
81% percent are saying that they find romance has changed in the last decade. As for what’s romantic in today’s modern world, two-thirds (67%) say a getaway for two would be a particularly romantic gift and the top choice for partners in 2023.
The survey went on to reveal that more than gifts, sharing experiences is proving to be the ultimate love language. Watching the sunset (55%), trying new restaurants and shops (52%), and adventurous outings (51%) also top the list of what’s most romantic.
“The definition of romance varies from couple to couple, but there’s a common thread to a thriving relationship and that is to be intentional about making the time for connection.”
Marsha-Ann Donaldson-Brown, Sandals Resorts’ Director of Weddings & Romance, added, “The findings from our latest love study are invigorating and compelling, as Americans confirm their commitment to nurturing their relationships in the coming year – which is why we’re celebrating 2023 as the ‘Year of We.’ Getting away from daily life, free from distractions and stresses, inspires people to focus on what matters most, with the majority of couples agreeing they feel closest to each other while on vacation – and moreover, how this time away energizes the relationship beyond the trip.”
Couples Plan to Make Time for Romance in 2023, Despite Tight Schedules
- 80% of respondents expect to be busier in 2023, with 2 in 3 (66%) acknowledging it is challenging to find the time for romance. Still, the vast majority (80%) are committed to making more time for it in 2023, with 31% strongly agreeing.
- The top obstacles for romance are finding the right setting (41%), financial constraints (38%), work (34%), social obligations (24%), and children (23%).
- For Boomers, finding time for romance isn’t as difficult, with 45% saying it is not challenging, compared to 32% of Gen X, 24% of Millennials, and 25% of Gen Z.
- 76% of parents say it is challenging to find time for romance. Even in light of this, 88% of parents say they will make more time for romance in 2023, compared with 75% who are not parents.
In Lean Times, Many Say Romantic Getaways Are Non-Negotiable
- 58% of respondents wouldn’t let inflation stop them from taking a romantic vacation, and 42% say that romantic activities would be among the last things to cut back during an economic downturn. Moreover, almost two-thirds of those who have been on a romantic vacation in the past year (64%) refuse to let economic factors stop them from taking one in the future.
- To help eliminate obstacles, at least temporarily, and create more time for romance, Americans are ready to pack their bags, with the majority saying a getaway is long overdue. Of the 63% who say they are likely to take a romantic vacation in 2023, Millennials are the most restless; 79% say they are likely to take a romantic trip in 2023.
Vacations Are Key to Connection and Intimacy
- A majority of Americans (51%) say the closest they’ve felt to their romantic partner is when they’re on vacation together.
- When it comes to romantic vacations that deepen connection, Americans prefer a relaxing beach vacation (67%), especially women (72%) and Gen X (74%).
- 49% view 5 to 7 days as an ideal amount of time for a romantic vacation. Over a week-long romantic vacation, 30% would anticipate being intimate with their partner 3 or 4 days during the trip, and more than a quarter (26%) anticipate being intimate each day of the trip.
- Nearly three-quarters (73%) say intimacy is more satisfying when they’re on a romantic getaway. And, that satisfaction doesn’t end when the vacation ends: 80% prioritize intimacy with their partner upon returning home from a romantic trip.
- 48% of Millennials say romantic vacations impact their intimacy by making them more adventurous, compared to 28% of Gen X, and 23% of Boomers.
Surveying past guests as well as global travelers in committed relationships, the Sandals Institute of Romance’s data is designed to drive the development of integrated on-resort programming, innovative partnerships geared towards enhancing the guest experience, and expert relationship guidance for couples before, during and after their Luxury Included® vacation.