Forget Flowers, Chocolates And Being Whisked Off To Paris, The Secret To Romance Is Holding Hands, Being Brought A Cup Of Tea In The Morning, Being Given A Shoulder Rub And Being Asked About Your Day, According To The Nation’s Over Fifties

published on 8. Feb 2023

Researchers from Ourtime, a dating service dedicated to singles over 50, surveyed the nation’s over 50s to reveal what romance means to them, with being told “I love you” (47 percent), a spontaneous hug (47 percent), a wintery walk followed by a pub lunch (43 percent) and snuggling in bed or on the sofa (42 percent) all coming ahead of a surprise weekend in Paris (39 percent).

In fact, according to the 2,000 Brits surveyed, people in later life simply want to be brought a cup of tea in bed (35 percent), have a shoulder massage (34 percent) and be asked about their day (26 percent).

For one in four (24 percent) a knowing wink is a signal of love, while for a quarter (22 percent) being told you look good, even in your scruffs makes their heart sing.

Someone apologising when they are wrong (18 percent), dancing with you in the kitchen (17 percent) and who knows EXACTLY how you take your tea (11 percent) were other signs of a true romantic, according to the Brits surveyed.

Joanna Pons of Ourtime said: “Romance isn’t always about impressing your partner with grand gestures or showering them with gifts, it can in fact be shown through the smallest of gestures. The research findings clearly show that this is especially the case for those over 50. Having lived experience, they now know that it’s the little things in life that are important in showing that they care.”

“Our aim is to help over fifties to take action on their love life, so the next time you want to impress your partner, forget the flowers and chocolates or fancy weekends away – we suggested instead trying things as simple as asking them about their day or surprising them with a cup of tea in bed.”

The survey also found that on average, Brits over 50 go on two date nights a month – the equivalent of 24 date nights a year – with ‘I love you’ being muttered an average of four times a day (the equivalent of 1,460 times a year).

It is no surprise then that one in four (26 percent) say they are romantic, performing at least six small romantic gestures a week. Men perform more gestures a week (seven) compared to women (six).

More than half (56 percent) say they are more romantic now than in their younger years.

Four in ten (44 percent) show their love for their partner by spending quality time together, while a fifth (19 percent) prefer words of affirmation like I love you. A sixth (18 percent) express their love through physical touch, with a further 17 percent choose to do something for their partner.

A fifth (21 percent) think their partner is romantic, while four in ten (38 percent) say that romance is very important to them in their relationship.

One in three (35 percent) agree that their generation is romantic at heart and that romance is alive and well in the modern age (60 percent).

A quarter (23 percent) wish they had more romance in their relationship.

Three quarters (79 percent) agree that romantic gestures don’t always have to be big and bold, while two in three (62 percent) think that small gestures can make you feel more love than big romantic gestures.

A half (47 percent) believe that small romantic gestures are the secret to a happy relationship, while four in ten (39 percent) prefer smaller actions to bigger ones.

A quarter (23 percent) think that grand declarations of love can across as cheesy or insincere.


  1. Being told ‘I love you’ when you least expect it  47%
  2. A spontaneous hug  47%
  3. Going for a wintery walk then a pub lunch  43%
  4. Snuggling in bed or on the sofa  42%
  5. Holding hands when walking down the street  39%
  6. A surprise weekend in Paris   39%
  7. Receiving unexpected, spontaneous kisses  36%
  8. Being brought a cup of tea in bed   35%
  9. Having your favourite meal cooked for you   35%
  10. Having your shoulders massaged   34%
  11. Being treated to breakfast in bed   34%
  12. Finding little love notes around the house   30%
  13. A candlelit dinner   30%
  14. Being brought a bunch of flowers   29%
  15. Being asked about my day   26%
  16. Turning off phones and talking to each other  25%
  17. Receiving a knowing wink when out  24%
  18. Sending a love text   23%
  19. Being told you look good, even in your scruffs   22%
  20. A surprise takeaway so you don’t have to cook   22%
  21. Sending a love letter  21%
  22. Partner rubbing your feet after a hard day at work  19%
  23. Being brought a box of chocolates  18%
  24. Someone apologising when they are wrong  18%
  25. Partner doing the washing up after dinner  17%
  26. Dancing together in the kitchen  17%
  27. Your picture as your partner’s mobile wallpaper  16%
  28. Holding the door open  16%
  29. Sending a love email  16%
  30. Someone running a bubble bath  15%
  31. Pulling out your chair in a restaurant  12%
  32. Getting into a TV series together  12%
  33. Being offered the last bite of chocolate cake  12%
  34. Letting you watch whatever you want on TV  12%
  35. Someone knowing how you like your tea  11%
  36. Partner offers to swap meals  11%
  37. Partner making a packed lunch for you  11%
  38. Receiving a phone call, rather than a text  11%
  39. Your picture as your partner’s computer screensaver  10%
  40. Partner cleaning the bathroom  10%
  41. Someone knowing how you like your coffee  10%
  42. Your other half vacuuming the house  10%
  43. Having the bed made before you get in it  9%
  44. Someone making a playlist of your favourite songs  9%
  45. Being asked questions about your life  8%


Research of 2,000 UK based adults commissioned by Ourtime and conducted by Perspectus Global in February 2023.

About Ourtime Launched in 2017, Ourtime is a dating service dedicated to singles over 50. Ourtime offers 50+ singles a safe environment to meet like-minded people and share special moments together. The expert for the 50+ generation convinces with a variety of features and offers: more than 70 interest filters and audio recordings for the profile, Live Coaching sessions, group video chats in the Live Café, as well as attractive local activities in different cities. Everything is done to bring 50+ singles together.

Ourtime is operated by Meetic and its affiliated companies in Europe, which are part of Match Group, a leading provider of digital technologies designed to help people make meaningful connections. For more information, visit www.ourtime.co.uk
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