Youth serious about love, survey reveals

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 February, 2007, 12:00am

In today's open-minded society, many believe that young people have a more casual attitude towards love than the previous generation.

But a survey has revealed that their views on romance and marriage are much more conservative than previously thought.

Conducted by The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) earlier this month, the survey interviewed 258 people aged between 15 and 29 about their dating experience and views on love and marriage.

More than 80 per cent of the respondents said they wanted a committed, long-lasting relationship with their partners. Nearly half of the interviewees said two people who had been together for some time should get married.

More than 60 per cent of the respondents said switching partners frequently was wrong.

The younger generation's traditional views on marriage and love surprised the researchers.

'With the media churning out romantic melodramas and movies, society has become more open-minded about dating and romance. We thought that youngsters might have developed a casual attitude towards love.

The fact that most of them were in favour of a committed and loyal relationship, and even marriage,

is surprising,' said HKFYG supervisor Angela Ngai Mei-mui.

The survey also found that the internet was playing an increasingly important role in young people's romantic lives.

More than 40 per cent of respondents said they did not mind striking up a romance with their online friends.

A quarter of them considered online dating exciting, and shared their romantic encounters and thoughts through blogging.

Fourteen per cent said they were not against posting intimate pictures with their partners on the Web.

There is a growing trend towards online dating among young people, but Ms Ngai said they should be aware of the risks.

She reminded young people, especially girls, about the potential dangers of meeting their 'mystery friends' face to face.

'Young people are attracted by the mystery and excitement of online dating. But they should never meet their online friends alone in a quiet place,' Ms Ngai said.

'Before they develop a romantic relationship with their online friends, they should get to know them better and consult their teachers and parents.'