A new study has revealed that the average person in the North West will spend £30.65 on a gift for their partner this Valentine's Day, with 30% admitting that they scramble for a last-minute date in order to save themselves from the ignominy of spending it alone.
According to a new survey by vouchercodes.co.uk, the UK will spend over £990m this February 14th, with a romantic meal out or a special weekend away topping the list as the most popular celebratory options while flowers, expensive jewellery, watches, and event tickets ranked as the best presents.
Perhaps feeling the social pressure of the day, some 17% of people actually spend Valentine's with an ex, while 14% just bite the bullet and reach out randomly, sliding into a stranger's DMs in search of a bit of companionship. After all, 16% of North West residents say that Valentine’s Day is the loneliest time of the year to be single.
Eschewing the arguably staid Valentine's traditions, more and more Millennials in the North West are choosing to forego a soppy evening for two in favour of a more communal and inclusive friend-oriented gathering, with 21% spending the 14th with their mates and over a third (34%) exchanging gifts with a pal for their Palentine's. 51% said they'd be fine with a casual hook-up, however.
Despite the connotations, the study also showed that Valentine's is in fact not the time for men to try spice up activity in the bedroom, with 11% of those asked naming new underwear as a gift they would hate to receive. Struggling to find a good gift? Join the club: plenty said it was impossible to get it right, with 36% blaming a lack of funds.
Then again a bad gift is the perfect option according to some; 9% said they deliberately got a rubbish present for their other half as they suspected them of infidelity, and 8% said they did so in order to hasten being dumped. Ouch.
“The UK is set to spend over £1.5bn on a variety of intimate plans and personal gifts this year," said Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor at VoucherCodes.co.uk. "Far from being risqué and adventurous, the research has shown that we’d be safer sticking to traditional celebrations like a romantic meal with some flowers."
When it comes to landing a hot date for the most romantic evening of the year, however, people across the North West have a range of tactics. Simply heading to the pub or a bar is the most common ploy (38%), while pursuing someone on dating apps (20%), putting out a request on social media (18%), and calling on someone whom they had previously turned down (12%) also up there.
Still very special to plenty of people in happy relationships, Valnetine's Day is made by sentimentality for 39% of people, while for a quarter (28%) it has to be romantic and for a demanding 23% it has to be a surprise.
As for bad surprises, well, look no further than mini golf, which one in five people picked as a terrible option, and watching sports, which more than one in three chose as a decidedly unromantic thing to get up to on Valentine's. Better to be safe and choose an evening in front of the telly - picked as a solid option by 17% of those surveyed.