Mush Aside, Top Things that Bug Us about Our Sweethearts

Tom H. C. Anderson
February 13th, 2017

Valentine’s Day Text Analytics Poll™ Uncovers What People Really Think about their Special Someones

Ah, February 14th—the one day of the year when anything you want to eat comes shaped in a heart!

Yes, love is in the air today, friends. We show it with cards and candy, roses and Build-a-Bears, theater tickets, dinner reservations and sexy unmentionables…

On Valentine’s Day we express our true feelings for that special someone!

Well, maybe we profess our love, at least. But what do we hold back?

The truth is, anyone who’s been in one can tell you that relationships aren’t all sweet nothings and love songs. (Except mine. My wife is a reader. I love you, honey! You’re perfect!)

So, at the risk of cynicism on the ultimate Hallmark holiday, we decided to get a little real here with some help from OdinText. We asked each of three randomly-selected gen pop samples of 1,500 a question designed to give us the good, bad or the ugly about their sweethearts—stuff you might not find in a card store.

What Irks Me about You

I love being married. It’s so great to find one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. — Rita Rudner 

We asked 1,500 Americans to reply to the following question in their own words in a comment box:

“What do you like least about your significant other?”

Omitting a significant number of liars and honeymooners who said “nothing,” here are the responses after running all 1,500 comments through OdinText…

Ok, who did not predict “hair” would be the number three response? Especially against common relationship problems like money/financial issues and lack of communication (which came out relatively low)?

What I Bring to this Relationship

My friends tell me I have an intimacy problem. But they don’t really know me.  — Garry Shandling

Valentine’s Day is all about appreciating the way our sweethearts enrich our lives, but we all like to think we have something special to offer in return.

We asked people one of two questions:

  1. “How would your significant other describe you to a good friend?”

Or

  1. “How would you describe your significant other to a good friend?”

Here’s what they told us, with responses to question 1 in white and question 2 in red:

As you can see from the results, it appears a lot of us consider our sweethearts to be our best friends and we value them for their love and support. But we’re twice as likely to describe ourselves as being the funny one in the relationship (and the crazy one, too).

Life is Lonely without You

If we take matrimony at its lowest, we regard it as a sort of friendship recognized by the police. —Robert Louis Stevenson

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, so we asked people this:

“If you were without your significant other for an entire week, what things would you miss the most?”

And there you have it. I think the responses to this question show overwhelmingly why our sweethearts put up with so much from us.

Wishing you and your special someone a lovely Valentine’s Day!

And for you single folks out there, take heart: You’re not only saving money today; you’re not shackled to a snoring, messy, flatulent sweetheart with a bad attitude.

@TomHCanderson

PS. Could a Text Analytics Poll™ answer your burning marketing questions?  Contact us to see if a single-question open-ended survey makes sense for you! Using OdinText is easy.

About Tom H. C. Anderson

Tom H. C. Anderson is the founder and managing partner of OdinText, a venture-backed firm based in Stamford, CT whose eponymous, patented SAS platform is used by Fortune 500 companies like Disney, Coca-Cola and Shell Oil to mine insights from complex, unstructured and mixed data. A recognized authority and pioneer in the field of text analytics with more than two decades of experience in market research, Anderson is the recipient of numerous awards for innovation from industry associations such as CASRO, ESOMAR and the ARF. He was named one of the “Four under 40” market research leaders by the American Marketing Association in 2010. He tweets under the handle @tomhcanderson.

2 thoughts on “Mush Aside, Top Things that Bug Us about Our Sweethearts”

  1. I wonder if the reason typical relationship problems such as money, sex, and lack of communication didn’t come up more often is that the question asked what they like least about their SO, and many people may recognize that those common issues are not a shortcoming of one person, but conflicting views between two people. In other words, if my spouse has bad breath or a bad haircut that’s something she can fix; if we fight about money that’s not necessarily her shortcoming but the fact that we see things differently. Research is all in how you ask it…

Comments are closed.

Search