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What phrase do you want to hear most from your partner?

Words of encouragement and praise outrank "I love you," according to survey

By No Kyung-min

Published : Nov. 21, 2023 - 15:17

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What phrases would you like to hear more frequently from your partner?

An online survey of divorced singles reveals that it's words of encouragement or appreciation for their efforts that they longed for most when they were married.

According to the survey, conducted by South Korean matchmaking agencies Only U and Bien-Aller on 514 individuals, the top answer from male respondents (31.1 percent) was the empowering phrase, "You're the best."

The top choice among female respondents (30.3 percent) was "Good job."

Both male and female respondents selected the highest-ranking expression from the other gender as the second-most phrase they wanted to hear, with 25.3 percent of males wishing to hear "Good job," and 26.1 percent of females choosing "You're the best."

In third place for the male respondents, nearly 19 percent pined for the expression "Jal danyeo-wa" ("Have a nice time"), words of care when parting, followed by 16 percent of them preferring the affectionate term "yeobo" ("honey").

Conversely, the third-ranked phrase for women was "I love you," at 21 percent, followed by “yeobo" at 15.6 percent.

For the male divorcees, the lowest percentage preferred "I love you" at 8.9 percent, while only around 7 percent of the female respondents wished to hear the expression, "Jal danyeo-wa."

The primary reason for divorce cited by the highest percentage of male respondents was ostracization or bullying by family members at 33.1 percent. In contrast, 35 percent of female respondents said that "gapjil," or unreasonable, authoritarian demands, was the main factor that made them consider divorce.