Great Expectations - O2 reveals loyalty comes at a price as young Brits no longer believe in unconditional love

Brits are evaluating the cost of their relationships and awarding themselves loyalty points based on the amount of affection, financial support and sex they expect to be given, according to research released today by O2.  The research was conducted by O2 to understand the changing nature of society, people and brands and what makes us loyal and committed. Unlike 46% of over 55 year olds who don’t expect anything in return for their loyalty the UK’s young couples no longer believe in unconditional love, so when it comes to loyalty there are definitely strings attached.   Up close and Personal Finance   ·         Three times more young women than men expect their partner to invest in a relationship by spoiling them with gifts as a pay off for their commitment ·         They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach however almost one in five women (17%) demand to get wined and dined by their man on a regular basis ·         If men can’t afford to perform these duties they are likely to be given their P45, especially if they are aged between 16-24 years where 81% believe loyalty comes with a price tag ·         Women are twice as likely as men to finish a relationship if he becomes financially dependent   Performance Related Partnerships ·         Whereas women award themselves loyalty points when their man buys them presents, men base their level of commitment on performances in the bedroom with almost a third (32%) requiring regular sex to keep them faithful       ·         Men are more inclined to break up with girls who lose their looks and let themselves go physically whereas two thirds of singletons believe life’s too short to be with someone who doesn’t fit the bill.  They are more than twice as likely as their married counterparts to ditch their partners if someone better came along   It seems as though money, affection and sex aren’t the only demands testing the nation’s loyalty – careers are also an important factor with one in five (19%) cynical singletons choosing to concentrate on their career as they believe that relationships don’t last forever.  In fact current singles would go so far as to end a relationship if it had a negative impact on their career progression.   Relationship expert Jenni Trent-Hughes explains the reasons for these trends, “Many factors – from new technology to changing taboos – have resulted in a shift in the nature of modern relationships.  The O2 research reveals that nearly half (46%) of 16 to 24 year olds have already had two or three serious relationships compared with only 32% of people aged over 55.  This is because we now have a much larger pool of potential partners to choose from and no longer feel we need to stoically stick with a relationship that is not working as there is more opportunity to browse for something better.  These days we have to work harder at successful relationships and for this reason we can no longer expect to be loved unconditionally and have the right to expect something in return for our commitment and loyalty.”   These findings are part of a new report published by O2 and the future gazing think tank The Global Future Forum (the GFF) which examines the wider role of loyalty in 21st Century society.