The SWS Valentine surveys | Inquirer Opinion
Social Climate

The SWS Valentine surveys

/ 05:08 AM February 16, 2019

The new SWS report, “Fourth Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey: 50% of Pinoys say age gap matters in a relationship; women are relatively unwilling to be with somebody younger; 51% are ‘very happy’ with their love life” (, 2/13/19) is the latest in the Valentine’s Day series that began in 2002.

To date, there have been 16 Valentine releases, all done in the second week of February, and all based on the final SWS quarterly survey of the year before.  The titles of these reports sweep across Filipino sentiments on love in the new millennium:


“59% of Pinoys would choose career over love life; 57% are very happy with their love lives” (2/13/18).

“44% of Pinoys believe that falling in love with more than one person at the same time is possible; 55% are very happy with their love lives” (2/9/17).


“67% of Pinoys believe in a ‘long distance relationship’; 73% believe in ‘forever’ or ‘magpakailanman’” (2/11/16).

“51% of Pinoys believe, 29% do not believe, that ‘love is sweeter the second time around’” (2/11/15).

“13% of Pinoys see ‘big possibility’ of being with a much older person; 2% of women and 1% of men see ‘big possibility’ of same sex relationship” (2/14/14).

“78% say love just comes to a person, 22% say love is planned and pursued until one finds it; 54% are very happy with their love life” (2/13/13).

“For love, 68% would not change religion and 55% would follow their heart over mind; 59% are very happy with their love life” (2/13/12).

“55% believe that first love never dies, 78% believe in love that is meant to be” (2/11/09).

There were no releases in 2010 and 2011, for inadvertent reasons.


“40% believe in Cupid” (2/13/08).

“70% believe that ‘Love is blind’” (2/13/07).

“85% believe there is one person they are destined to be with for the rest of their lives; 70% have already found that person” (2/13/06).

“Fewer women are happy with love life, with more wishing it could be happier” (2/11/05).

“50% say spouse is ideal Valentine Date; being responsible is the top trait of a ‘real man’” (2/12/04).

“Filipinos more attracted to brains than to bodies” (2/13/03).

“Filipinos more romantic than Americans” (2/13/02).

The Valentine themes vary over time. (The survey items are all nonsponsored—maybe we should solicit from Hallmark?) This year’s theme is about the willingness to have a relationship with someone at least 10 years older, or at least 10 years younger. For one out of two, such an age gap matters; for two out of five, it does not.

Age gap. Having a significantly older partner is common among women (54 percent willing versus 28 percent unwilling, or net +26), and barely acceptable to men (43 percent willing versus 33 percent unwilling, or net +10).

On the other hand, having a significantly younger partner is not unusual for men (48 percent willing versus 31 percent unwilling, or net +17), but is objectionable to most women (23 percent willing versus 58 percent unwilling, or net -35).

Self-assessed love life. This has been asked 10 times since 2002, and annually since 2014; it has only three answers: (a) Very happy, which has ranged from 46 to 59 percent (51 is not a statistical majority), (b) Could be happier, which has ranged from 29 to 44 and (c) No love life, which has ranged from 9 to 14. The relation of this indicator to Satisfaction with life and Self-Assessed Happiness, which were also in the SWS December 2018 survey, will be published in another report.

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TAGS: Filipino, Heart, love, Relationship, survey, SWS, Valentine’s Day
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