A new study reveals the startling thing we really won't do for love

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Anna Pollitt
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How far would you go for love?

A new study has revealed just how much Brits will compromise for their romantic partners - and the one thing we're most resistant to is - arguably - pretty shocking.

We're not talking about small sacrifices most people make for relationship harmony, such as watching that dire TV show about robots, putting up with a 40-minute snooze button, or letting them hang loo roll in the murdery way instead of the proper way (which is sheet front, in case you're wondering). We're talking about the biggies. Absolute deal-breakers. 

That deal-breaker, it seems, is meat.

YouGov has studied 1,652 people and found that people are more willing to emigrate for a partner than they are to go veggie.

Yes, 62% of meat eaters would rather move house, quit smoking, give up drinking and even leave their job, than quit steaks for their relationship.

The study also revealed that only 5% of those questioned would be willing to convert their religion for their partner, and in a victory for the power of friendships, a meagre 14% of people said they would ditch a friend for their lover.

Happily, only 23% of people said they would change the way they look for their other half, with 33% of men willing to change their appearance against just 13% of women.

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.


What people will do for love:

  • Move house (within the UK) - 73%
  • Quit smoking - 66%
  • Emigrate - 49%
  • Give up booze - 45%

What people won't do for love:

  • Give up a job - 50% 
  • Go vegetarian - 62%
  • Ditch a friend - 71%
  • Convert religion - 85%

Celebrities reveal the secret to love

  • Andy Murray and Kim Sears (together since 2005, married since April 2015)

    Tennis star Andy on his secret to a healthy marriage with Kim: “I've found spending a bit of time apart isn't actually a bad thing. If you spend two or three weeks apart and then get to see each other, you appreciate it more. You spend six months with each other, then every single day you start arguing about little things. We don't have to travel with each other every single week to make it work.” (Speaking to The Mirror, 2015)

  • Beyonce and Jay-Z (married since 2008)

    Beyonce on building foundations for the relationship: "We were friends first, for a year and a half. Before we went on any date, on the phone for a year and a half. And that foundation is so important in a relationship. And just to have someone that you just like, is so important. And someone that is honest." (speaking to Oprah Winfrey in 2013)

  • Iman and David Bowie (married since 1992 until his death in 2016)

    Iman on having a happy marriage: "The secrets to a happy marriage are, you have to talk to each other all the time and the other one is have fun together. You have to really like the person and enjoy their company" (Interview with Grazia, 2013)

    Bowie on Iman: "You would think that a rockstar being married to a supermodel would be one of the greatest things in the world. It is."

  • Michelle Pfeiffer and David E. Kelley (married since 1993)

    Michelle on David: "I chose really well with David. I got really lucky … And 19 years later, I never take him for granted. I’ve never met a person who has more integrity than my husband. I respect that. There’s his humor and intelligence, too, and he’s really cute, all those things—but if you don’t respect your partner, you’ll get sick of him." (Interview with Parade magazine, 2012)

  • Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi (together since 2001)

    Portia on marriage: "We’ve settled into happily married life. We really support each other in whatever we’re doing and we’re incredibly happy, which is why you don’t see us in the press so much." (Interview with Out magazine, 2013)

  • Kate Middleton and Prince William (met in 2001, married since 2011)

    Kate, on having the support of family and friends in a relationship: "The people around home are very supportive to us and those are the people who really matter to us, our close friends and close family and I think if they feel you are doing the right thing you can only be true to yourself and you sort of have to ignore a lot of what's said, obviously take it on board, but you have to be yourself really and that's how I have stuck by it really." (Interview with ITV, 2010)

  • Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban (married since 2006)

    Nicole, on discovering a new side to a relationship when you become parents:
    "[It] gives you some glue, [so] you’re both kind of in there together and you’re having to work through raising them, which brings up an enormous amount of personal things in terms of history and your own life. Yet if you kind of move into each other, you discover and heal a lot of things in each other, too. Well, that’s what I’ve found for us—very, very healing, when it’s gently, gently done." (Interview with Vanity Fair 2013)

  • Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick (married since 1997)

    Sarah on becoming famous as a couple: "Matthew and I come from a different time and place. We didn't think of fame or money because, honestly, money was never part of the dream.I never saw the trappings; nobody talked about being a celebrity. So when our marriage came up in conversation, it wouldn't occur to us that we were obligated to respond to allegations or gossip. ... I love that he's the father of my children, and it's because of him that there's this whole other world that I love" (Interview with Harpers Bazaar, 2013)

  • Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (together since 2005)

    Angelina on Brad: "[Brad] has expanded my life in ways I never imagined. We built a family. He is not just the love my life, he is my family. I hold that very dear. I suppose what I’ve learned from Brad is to be able to have the kind of family whose happiness and well-being comes before your own. I’m very very grateful to have such a loving family, and I wouldn’t have that without him."

  • Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof (married since 2003)

    Alyson on the best love advice she's ever received: "Don't ever spend more than three weeks apart. Two and a half weeks, maybe three, was the longest we ever did. We're best friends. He's my partner and I wouldn't want to do it with anybody else." (Interview with YourTango, 2013)

  • Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy (together for 26 years until his death in 1967)

    Katherine on making love work: "Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, only what you are expecting to give, which is everything." (Quote from her autobiography, 1996)

  • Julia Roberts and Danny Moder (married since 2002)

    Julia on bringing past experience into your relationship: "When you end up happily married, even the failed relationships have worked beautifully to get you there." (Interview with The Sunday Times, 2010)

  • David and Victoria Beckham (married since 1999)

    Victoria on David: "I wouldn't be where I am without David. He gives me the security and encouragement to do what I do. I do the same for him." (Interview with Vogue, 2014)

    "Some women ask if I'm so thin because I shag all day. 'Actually, yes! And I bet you would too if you were married to David Beckham." (Interview with OK!, 2008)

  • Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler (married since 1992)

    Vivienne on trust: "If he didn't come home at night I wouldn't care... I've never been more secure about anybody in my life." (Interviewed in 1996)

  • Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson (married since 1988)

    Rita on staying in touch when you're not around one another: "He leaves me notes, by the phone or the coffeemaker. I keep them all. He also sends me pictures from his phone all day—where he is, what he’s doing, something he saw." (Interview with Parade magazine, 2012)

  • Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith (married since 1997)

    Jada on being partners in marriage: "I don't think it's easy to be married to anyone. I think that you have to go into a relationship knowing - especially when you're dedicating yourself to someone for the rest of your life - this is a life partnership ... He's my best friend. He's been by my side through some of the most difficult parts of my life. And so that's something you can never take away." (Interview with The Huffington Post, 2013)

  • Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford (togther since 1986)

    Helen on not being materialistic in a relationship: “I’d be completely horrified if Taylor gave me a Valentine’s card. That’s not our sort of relationship at all – we would pour cold water on that sort of thing. We even forget to get each other birthday presents – I’m always thinking the day before, 'Oh, I must get Taylor something for his birthday.’ Without being corny, we try simply to be considerate to each other every day rather than lavishing each other with gifts." (Interview with The Telegraph, 2013)

  • Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff (together since 2012)

    "I know there's some rule that you're not supposed to talk about your boyfriend publicly because it seems like all starlets under the age of 33 have decided not to do that, but if you're in love with someone great, then I don't understand why you wouldn't tell everybody." (Interview magazine 2013)

Images: iStock, Rex Features


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Anna Pollitt

Anna is a freelance writer and editor who’s been making her dime from online since 2007. She’s a regular at, ITV News and Emerald Street and moonlights as a copywriter and digital content consultant.