Survey: 90% Of Americans Believe Attraction Can Be Rekindled

Survey: 90% Of Americans Believe Attraction Can Be Rekindled

How much power does attraction really hold? A lot, it turns out. While a relationship's flame may flicker, 90 percent of men and women believe that dwindling attraction in a relationship can be rekindled, according to a new survey of over 20,000 people. The survey was conducted by MSN lifestyle website, YourTango and and analyzed by leading biological anthropologist and relationship expert Dr. Helen Fisher.

"The common belief is romantic love dies and most people in long-term relationships are unhappy—but our melancholy myth is simply not true," Dr. Fisher said.

"The study points to the inherently resilient and hopeful human spirit—the deeply ingrained belief that true love really can endure," adds Anne Weintraub, Glo editor-in-chief. "You just need to weather a relationship's ebbs and flows and be willing to put in the necessary work. It's romantic love grounded in reality."

The survey also debunks long-held gender stereotypes about attraction and relationships. Eighty-one percent of respondents cited "talking about the relationship" as a way to reignite attraction, making it the most popular choice among both men and women—and upending the common belief that women put more emphasis on communicating than their male counterparts do.

Additionally, men and women are attracted to the same characteristics. Both genders place the most weight on kindness, sense of humor, smile and sexual chemistry when meeting someone for the first time. Sexual chemistry ranks the highest for men (68.4%), while women value kindness (85.4%) but also believe sexual chemistry plays an important role (67.5%) in initial attraction. Over time, both genders believe kindness is the most important trait.

"Men may be from Mars and women from Venus, but when it comes to attraction they are on common ground," said Andrea Miller, CEO and founder of YourTango. "While 63 percent of people believe men care more about sexual attraction than women do, our survey shows that both sexes find it almost equally important, putting a common misnomer to bed."

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Sex matters: Not surprisingly, respondents said that sex is important, both in the beginning of a relationship and in the long-term. Eighty percent report that sexual attraction is necessary to fall in love; 88 percent report that it is necessary for a successful marriage.
  • Cleanliness is next to attractiveness: Poor hygiene was the factor most frequently cited as reducing initial attraction (94 percent) and long-term attraction (87 percent).
  • Romantic love becomes more important as you age: When asked how attraction changes over time, the greatest single turn-off cited by people over 50 was a "lack of romantic love," which shows that the desire for intimacy and sexual chemistry does not diminish with age.

Want more? Check out for all the results, plus tips and tricks for rekindling passion in your relationship.