SYDNEY–Australian women may have embraced the digital era, but they prefer a face-to-face declaration of affection to an “I love u” text and find men addicted to their mobile phones a major turnoff. That’s according to a study carried out by romance publisher Mills & Boon, timed to coincide with Valentines Day on Tuesday. The 2012 Australian Romance Report found 91 percent of woman expected to be asked out on a date with a telephone call rather than via a mobile phone message. And 86 percent of respondents were more comfortable saying “I love you” in person than via text. The least romantic of gestures was declaring one’s love via a relationship status change on Facebook. At a time when women see themselves as more independent than ever before, many of the traditional beliefs about romance still resonate, said Michelle Laforest of publisher Harlequin Enterprises, which carried out the survey. “We are seeing new challenges as women manage their persona on a digital level yet they are still cynical about finding romance on the very same medium, instead preferring the authenticity of real life experiences,” she said. While most single woman would admit that the rules of dating have changed, 61 percent still believe a guy should “ask me out.” The online survey of 1,200 single women aged 18 to 55 also revealed 76 percent would be more willing to stand in front of someone naked with the lights on then send a naked photograph by text. When it came to relationship deal-breakers, a Blackberry/iPhone dependency and Facebook photos with ex-lovers rated highly as turn-offs.
Asked what they most wanted in a partner, women were mostly traditional, nominating a killer smile, a great sense of humor and an accent as their biggest turn-ons.