Couples in Bermuda may have to spend Valentine's Day pumping up the volume on Al Green's classic song "Let's Stay Together".

According to a recent survey by Research.bm, 27 per cent of people either don't know or don't think they will be with their significant others in five years' time.

Nearly 73 per cent believe they will be, but according to wedding consultant Allister Simmons: "I think it should be higher. Everyone is looking for that special person to spend their lives with."

While the percentage drops to 53 per cent for seniors, Mr. Simmons says older people should not be taken out of the love game. They are looking for someone special as well.

Mr. Simmons, who organized the wedding in Bermuda last October of American talk show host Montel Williams to Tara Fowler, said brides he works with have so much passion in their eyes. Ms Fowler was no different.

"They want it to last forever, " he said.

Bermuda College senior lecturer in sociology Dr. Geoff Rothwell said if the people who answered the survey were married their responses are in line with divorce rates.

And when it comes to older people, it could be they are more realistic about their mortality. Dr. Rothwell said: "I would suspect that many of the seniors are taking a pragmatic look at their respective ages and health, and have concluded that one of them is not likely to be around in five years' time."

Christ Church rector Canon James Francis is taking heart from the willingness of couples to work on staying together.

He said the responses are in line with what he sees. He said he always asks couples he counsels in advance of their marriages where they see themselves in five years' time.

"Most of them have dreams," he said. "They hope to be together."

He said they encounter problems but they work at trying to resolve them. "They are more successes than there are failures," he said.

A total of 404 people who took part in the survey were asked to respond to the statement: "I think I will be with my significant other five years from whether they believed they would be with their significant other in five years time."

Nearly 73 per cent either agreed strongly or somewhat with the statement. But five per cent disagreed somewhat, ten per cent disagreed strongly and 13 per cent didn't know.

People in the 35 to 50 age group were the most optimistic about the future of their relationship. Seventy seven per cent either agreed strongly or agreed somewhat.

The survey also asked people whether they would do something special for their significant other on Valentine's Day.

A majority (69 per cent) answered in the affirmative but the percentage was higher among men (75 per cent) and those aged 18 and 50 (73 per cent).

Among women the percentage was (62 per cent) and for seniors it was 50 per cent.