LoveGeist 2011-2012: No Expensive Gifts Please, We’re British!

LoveGeist, the definitive guide to love and relationships in the UK, reveals Brits have no love for elaborate gifts on Valentine’s Day

It is supposed to be the most important day of the year for couples to express their love for one another. But many Britons are now shunning the traditional excesses of Valentine’s Day, according to research findings released today by match, the company behind dating and relationship sites match.com and matchaffinity.com.

Unlike the USA, where a recent poll found that 53% of women would dump their boyfriends if they did not receive a Valentine’s gift, 44% of British women surveyed in the UK by match.com said they wouldn’t be upset if their partner didn’t celebrate the date at all – a feeling shared by 50% of men. And whilst the average US consumer spends almost $120 on Valentine’s Day, women in the UK aren’t looking for anything nearly as expensive with over half saying they would like a card from their other half, 42% longing for flowers and 21% wanting chocolates.

However, the findings of match’s LoveGeist Report 2011-12 imply that this is not a reflection of people being less romantic than in previous years, but more of a backlash against the commercialism of Valentine’s Day. The research suggests that more Britons are bringing Valentine’s Day back to more simple gestures, with 43% of the UK’s women saying they would still want a verbal signal (such as an ‘I love you’) from a partner.

The news is sure to be music to the ears of cash-strapped men across the country, who are traditionally expected to foot the bill for Valentine’s Day extravagances. However, there is still an emotional cost attached to the day: indeed, a fifth of women said they see Valentine’s Day as a way of establishing how a partner feels about them, and 6% of women said that a discussion about the future of their relationship would make an ideal Valentine’s gift!

Kate Taylor, resident relationship expert at match.com has provided her top tips for celebrating Valentine’s Day and comments: “While it’s good to see British women keeping Valentine’s Day in proportion, I wouldn’t take this as an excuse to skip the day completely. Even the most pragmatic of partners can’t help feeling a bit left-out if they’re forgotten on February 14th. Plus, anything you do to celebrate your relationship will remind you how much you value and appreciate your partner. So, the best approach this Valentine’s is to send a card and take a few minutes to write a heartfelt message. It will be cherished forever.”

Read on for Kate Taylor’s top “Dos and Don’ts” for Valentine’s Day 2012:DO keep it in perspective – it’s just one day. Don’t blow your month’s salary on an inflated restaurant meal if a home-cooked one will cost half as much but be just as well received. Keep things simple on the day and try to make an effort to focus on your relationship.
DON’T compare. If you do receive a Valentine’s gift from your partner, resist the temptation to compare it to those your friends receive. I know this is near impossible, but do try.
DO take time to consider how your partner would most like to celebrate the day. You might be the type who likes a balloon-bouquet arriving at your office, but would your other half? Really? Give the type of love that your partner likes receiving.
DON’T be afraid to break with tradition. With 2012 being a Leap Year, the females of the species are just as likely to get down on one knee if they feel the time is right.
DO celebrate the day even if you’re single. In fact, especially if you’re single. Buy yourself a gift to remind yourself that you’re fabulous and lovable. Go out with your friends and have fun, throw a cute Valentine’s party at home for your kids or single friends, treat yourself to your favourite meal and film, or just write a list of 50 things you like about yourself. Knowing how special you are is the secret to contentment whether you’re single or in a couple.
DON’T think that on February 15th, you can go back to being unromantic. The LoveGeist Report 2011-12 found that “thoughtful gestures” are the most important way to keep relationships happy. A cup of tea in bed, scraping the ice off your partner’s car, picking up their favourite wine on the way home or just sending a text saying, “I love you” are simple ways you can make your partner feel appreciated, whatever the date.

The LoveGeist Report 2011-12 is published by match, the company behind the UK’s best-known dating and relationship sites – match.com and matchaffinity.com