Swiss want fewer kisses but more hugs

53% said they missed hugs and handshakes. Pictured here: a woman embraces her grandmother through a plastic "hug curtain" in Brazil. Keystone / Sebastiao Moreira

Nearly half of the people in Switzerland would welcome more personal space. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, many say social situations were too close for comfort.

This content was published on August 30, 2020 - 15:59

In a survey commissioned by Swiss dating agency, 42% of men and 48% of women said they wanted more distance in everyday life. Regardless of age and gender, around four out of ten respondents said they had felt obliged to allow more contact than they would have liked.

However, 53% miss hugs and handshakes. Yet many could do without hello and goodbye kisses. According to the survey, 38% miss that ritual. Among those under 30, it’s only 22%.

Two out of three respondents said that the current hygiene rules were creating unnatural distance between people, and that they looked forward to life as it used to be.

“In everyday life there is a clear difference between wanting more contact and having to have more contact because social norms dictate it,” according to psychologist Dania Schiftan.

Digital market and opinion researcher MarketAgent conducted the study in late June / early July. It surveyed 1,008 people aged 18-69 in German- and French-speaking Switzerland.

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