Valentines’ day in the years of recession: to love or not to love?

14 February 2017
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Some people say “you can’t have love on an empty stomach”: In the years of recession, romance can wait, as our priorities change and we turn into realists even when it comes to love. Sex, the economic crisis, the suburbs and the “50 shades of money” make a strong love cocktail that takes us far beyond pink roses, hearts and romantic feelings, celebrated all around the world on Valentine’s day.

The findings of a new study carried out by Andrology Institute highlight how women of our times first look for safety in their love partner. The feeling of safety and security is much more important than money and social life.
The study was carried out in three stages. Namely, it took place in 2008, 2013 and 2016, over a study population of 600 women aged 25 to 45, of medium to higher education, earning either <1,000 euros/ month or >2,000 euros, and living in the northern and western suburbs of Athens.

konstantinidisWe say “life is too short to be miserable” and we go by the “short term thinking capitalism” saying that what matters most is not how rich we are but how fast we can become rich. It is more than evident that our criteria for choosing our love partners are irrelevant to the pink and red shades of Valentines’ day. The red hearts and pink puffy clouds we pretend to live on can only hide away our basic instincts when choosing a partner and trying to survive in today’s world”, points out Dr Konstantinos Konstantinidis, President of Andrology Institute.

Even women who live in the northern suburbs of Athens and have more money in their wallet are affected by the overall climate of insecurity and uncertainty that prevails in everyday life after almost a decade of recession. They want their partner to be able to make them feel secure, so that their relationship can be functional and long-lasting. Love and flowers have to come second.

Studies published in glamorous illustrated magazines point out how perfect women in Hermes, pick up their partners based on his humour, intelligence and devotion, the “Holy Trinity” of the ideal male knight dressed in Armani and driving luxury cars.
A great proof of this way of thinking comes with the success of the movie “50 shades of Grey” in which the young and rich Mr. Grey, impresses the poor yet beautiful and honest young student, says Dr Konstantinidis.
He adds: people say that you can’t have love on an empty stomach. Love used to be blind; people used to choose their partner without thinking of money, but this new study of Andrology Institute proves that women with low income have opted for financial security and not good looks. Women with a higher social status used to think that love doesn’t need money; when something is for granted you never ever ask for it. But now these women are a living proof of Marie Antoinette’s phrase “let them eat cake”.

Love in the years of recession is flourishing on a different basis. Almost a decade ago, all women who were truly rich used to pick their love partner based on his looks, six-pack and humour. They never cared about whether he was rich or not since everyone was feeling rich at the time.

However, during the economic crisis, criteria have changed, at least for women who earn less than 1,000 euros per month.
This sudden landing for Greek economy has made women decide that super markets are not the right place to look for their prince and the only safe choice is security, trust and mutual appreciation. Love comes last and is usually not satisfied, points out the President of Andrology Institute.

Based on the study outcomes, women who live in the western suburbs and have lower income are looking for safety and faithfulness in men. Love life is not an important criterion. On the other hand, women with a higher income of >2,000 euros/month still need to have a good sex life and, paraphrasing the cliché, the way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach and silk bedding.

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