I’d do anything for love (but I won’t do that)

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
August 01, 2016, 12:35 PM GMT+0

People are willing to move house and stop smoking for their other halves – but don’t ask them to stop eating meat

If you’re dating someone you consider to be a bit of a “fixer-upper” you might want to revisit your decision, as large majorities of people are resistant to making lifestyle changes for the sake of their partner.

Just 29% of people are willing to give up their job for a partner – bad news if you feel like the one you love is focussing on their job at your expense. Giving up meat is off the table too – 62% of people would be unwilling to go vegetarian, and 76% would draw the line at going vegan. And if you want your loved one to change religion for you – good luck. A mere 5% of people would be willing to convert for their partner, against 85% who would not.

If you don’t like your partner's appearance then you’re probably stuck with it – only 23% of people would change the way they look for their other half. That being said, the odds are slightly more in your favour if you’re looking to tidy up your boyfriend: there is a 20 point difference between the sexes, with 33% of men willing to change their appearance but just 13% of women.

In terms of changes that most people were willing to make, the least controversial was moving house. Approaching three quarters of people (73%) are willing to move house within the UK for a partner, and 49% were willing to move abroad (against 28% who would not). People are also more willing to stop smoking and drinking for the sake of their other halves, with 66% and 45% saying they would be willing to kick the respective habits.

Overall, the research finds that people are also more willing to change their surname for their partner than not. However, men are far less likely to break with tradition and change their surname, with 49% saying they would not be prepared to do so, compared to 20% of women.

There's gonna be some changes made

If you are looking to stick with and change your partner, there is also no clear consensus on when the right time is to start broaching these issues with them. The largest proportion of people – 32% – simply don’t know when they think it is ok to ask loved ones to make big changes on their behalf. A waiting period of two years is the next most popular option with 26%, with a further 22% of people opting to wait between one and two years. One in five (20%) are "quick fixers" – people who would wait less than a year before demanding big changes.

If everything you’ve just read makes you think that you don’t want to make give things up for love, think again. More than four in ten people would dump someone for not being willing to change, against 30% who would not. Nobody in life is perfect, so if you truly love someone, you might have to be prepared to figure out whether you love yourself the way you are more.

Photo: istockphoto

Download the full results here