Infographic of a house

Today, Relate and Relationships Scotland publishes The Way We Are Now, a major study of the UK’s couple, family, friend, and work relationships. The study presents the results of a representative survey of over 5,000 people across the UK and 250 Relate and Relationships Scotland counsellors and sex therapists.

This wide-ranging study – one of the largest of its kind – offers a unique insight into our home lives, working lives, social lives and sex lives, to take the temperature of the UK's relationships and build up a picture of our relational health in 2014. Check out our infographic of the headline findings:

Infographic: The Way We Are Now: The state of the UK's relationships 2014

View a larger version of the infographic

Happily, the results show the vast majority of people enjoy good-quality relationships with families, friends, partners, bosses and colleagues. Four in five people in a relationships enjoy a good or very good relationship with their partner with the majority saying commitment, honesty and communication are the top ingredients for sustaining a good relationship. Our relationships with friends are likewise generally in good health, with over 90% saying they have at least one close friend.

The shape of family life is changing with one in four people having experienced the breakdown of their parents’ relationship and many citing money worries as the biggest strain on relationships. Most people told us they enjoy good relationships with their parents, although the strongest bonds are with mums rather than dads.

Our survey also reveals some real areas of concern, one in four told us they are dissatisfied with their sex life, and worryingly, a fifth never or rarely felt loved in the two weeks before the survey. There's also evidence that a number of people may be feeling isolated with one in 10 saying they have no close friends to turn to. We also see the difficulties many of us have in balancing work and family life with over a fifth thinking their employers would like them to be available 24 hours a day.

As well as revealing how many friends we have and how often we have sex, the study also highlights the connection between people’s relationships and their personal wellbeing – and in particular how people feel about themselves. Overall the results show that those who benefit from better quality relationships are more likely to feel good about themselves. Nurturing and investing in relationships is therefore key to our national wellbeing, health, resilience, and productivity.

How we can help 

We offer a range of services to help you with your couple and family relationships, whether you're young or old, straight or gay, single or in a relationship. Here's how to get in touch:

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