We’re Top 2 in Relationship Index!

We’re Top 2 in Relationship Index!

Nov 30, 2016

While the Philippine peso and the Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) continue to decline, let me share with you a Philippine Index where we’re dong well: the Philippine Relationship Index!

Pru Life UK launched the inaugural Prudential Relationship Index (PRi) in order to understand the state of personal relationships in the Philippines and throughout Asia. This includes relationships with partners, children, parents, friends and relatives. The Philippines ranks 2nd out of 10 countries surveyed. Here are the results:


We’re a pretty close no. 2 to Vietnam among 10 Asian countries at 79%. That’s a C+ borderline B-. It’s something that when you receive in your school days, you would use all your charm to your teacher so he could bump it up to 80%, which looks a lot better. Incidentally, it’s very similar to our investment grade rating BBB-. 🙂

Other interesting findings from the Asian survey are as follow:

  1. Filipinos express their love for their partners more than any other nationality in Asia. It’s not surprising to know that 87% tell their partners “I love you!” once a week and 68% do so everyday because we all know that we are romantics. 🙂 Enjoying activities with our partners is very important to 84% of Filipinos compared to the region’s average of 68%.
  1. However, it’s interesting to note the Filipinos also argue with their partners the most in the region.

So is there an inconsistency here? I don’t think so. Don’t we always say, “the more you hate the more you love?” The high incidence of arguments is a sign of higher engagement. That means we don’t “deadma” (ignore) our partners.  Higher engagement leads to higher satisfaction.

Inasmuch as conflicts are inevitable in any relationship, we should also be careful about the frequency of our conflicts. Marital stability expert Dr. John Gottman, said that there should be a balance in the negative and positive encounters in a marital relationship. The magic ratio is 1:5! This means that for every one negative encounter, there should be 5 lovey dovey positive ones. Remember the ratio is not 50-50 and make no mistake, don’t mix up your ratio. The 5 is the positive, okay? In order to sustain this ratio, design something in your relationship such that there are regular occasions for positive encounter. I think one of the things that work well for us and a lot of couples I know is the weekly date (in our case it’s FriDate). This encourages you to see each other from the same loving perspective as you did during your courtship days amidst the stressful and/or mundane routine of running a household.

In the next two numbers, we will see what Filipino couples argue about.

  1. Money is the top source of conflict among Filipino couples. 46% argue about money. As I would say in my columns and talks, aligning of money values is a necessary ingredient that should ideally be done prior to getting married. Unfortunately, couples take care of every tiny detail of the wedding but almost always fail to even read the Family Code. I bet at least 99% of couples exchanging vows at the altar don’t have a clue about the Community of Property, which they are unknowingly signing up for! If you’re one of them, go ahead and read it now. Then set your goals together. Since each goal almost always has a financial aspect to it, set your financial goals together. It’s impossible to attain your goals if you don’t have the same target. Once you agree on them, just remind each other of the targets whenever one seems to be overspending. Instead of saying, “You’re such a spendthrift/gastador(a)!” a better approach is to go back to the goals, “Honey, do you think we can still build our dream house in five years if we keep spending this way?” At least it’s not an attack on the person.
  1. Technology is the second highest stressor in relationships. If we are to look at the evolution of romantic love, this could be a new development. Who would imagine that one day your partner would be jealous of your gadgets? It’s alarming to note that 41% of partners would find this as a source of conflict, even higher than vices such as drinking and smoking at 31%!

Times have really changed. In my article last week about my interview with Lissy Ann Puno (Affairs Don’t Just Happen) she told me about the newest kind of affair, the Social Media Affair. Inasmuch as FB has brought us renewed ties with friends impossible to reach because of distance, it has also brought a new kind of affair. Here’s how it goes. You see a high school sweetheart (or the one who got away) on FB and you send a PM, “Hey you’re looking good, parang hindi ka nagbago!” (Of course the profile pic is always the best shot!) Then you get an answer, “You’re looking great yourself, sexy ka pa rin, just like before!” Then you keep on “liking” each other’s posts. One coffee leads to lunch, to dinner and after dinner and before you know it, you’re in trouble. Again, design something to put limits and set parameters in your consumption of social media and technology in general, so you don’t sacrifice your meaningful relationships with your loved ones. You can set curfew time and say, “That’s enough, it’s honey/sexy time!” 🙂

  1. Pinoy parents have the highest relationship scores with their children. Among the parents surveyed, almost a quarter are single, divorced or widowed, the highest joint proportion in the region together with Hong Kong. However, almost all of these parents are in a relationship as only 4% of them are without a boyfriend or girlfriend. The Filipino parents scored 59% in their relationship scores with their children compared to the region’s average score of 48%. They value the companionship of their children with 75% enjoying activities together compared to the regional average of 59%. Children are the source of Pinoy parent’s pride and happiness as they receive their children’s “I love you’s” (84% at least once a week). In turn, the children receive the most advice from their parents (90% at least once a week, 59% of which is actually everyday).

There are many more interesting insights we can get from this survey. I wish to share the short video with you.


You may also download the survey findings (English and Filipino versions available) to see more interesting details including the methodology used in the survey. (Click Prudential Relationship Index)

Why don’t you take the Relationship Quiz to find out if you’re Intimate Allies, Dutifully Stuck or Rapidly Unravelling with your partner, family and friends? That will be fun to know.

Below are photos taken during the PRi launch on November 24, 2016.

Left to Right: Jumbing De Rosas, Pru Life Pres. giving the opening remarks; GIzelle Camua, AVP Marketing discussing the highlights of the survey results; The author giving her reaction to the results as the event’s relationship expert.


Left to right: GMA host Tonypet Gaba facilitating the Q&A; Pru Life Pres. Jumbing De Rosas; the author; Managing Director of Ipsos the survey company Marie Lee; PruLife AVP Gizelle Camua


Tomorrow I will discuss the Harvard Longitudinal Study on Adult Development that emphasizes the importance of relationships.



  1. I will give a talk on FQ to Placement Practitioners on November 29, 2016 at the Faber Hall, Ateneo De Manila, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. fq-workshop1
  2. Want to know your FQ Score, click link to take the test. Your feedback is welcome. Poster-FQ-TEst-1024x717-minhttp://tinyurl.com/FQTest

Rose Fres Fausto is a speaker and author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions). Click this link to read samples – Books of FQ Mom Rose Fres Fausto. She is a Behavioral Economist, Certified Gallup Strengths Coach and the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards. Follow her on Facebook and You Tube as FQ Mom, and Twitter & Instagram as theFQMom.

Attribution: Photos from Pru Life UK, Image from httpharrisonvfw.org put together to deliver the message of the article.