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With Valentine’s Day at the top of this week’s agenda, many will be seeking ways to impress their significant other, but the rules of romance have changed according to a new survey commissioned by multi-mobility app, FREE NOW.

The nationwide research has revealed that notions of romance have shifted with traditional gestures such as red roses (16.5 per cent), love letters (29 per cent), using pet names (20 per cent) and having your partner’s name tattooed on you (32 per cent) all consigned to the history books.

Instead, almost half of Brits (44 per cent) now prefer to receive a cool house plant over a traditional bouquet of flowers and a similar level (41 per cent) get the feels if their partner always texts to make sure they got home safely after a night out (41 per cent)

Technology plays a recurrent role in what is now seen as romantic, with little touches seeming more important to Brits than grand gestures. Receiving a message from their loved one first thing in the morning and last thing at night is rated as romantic by over a third of Brits (35 per cent). Getting a video call when apart is also a highly rated favourite (32 per cent) as is waiting to watch the next episode of a box set until you’re together (33 per cent). Having your partner’s photo as a screensaver on your mobile phone (32 per cent) and sending funny memes (29 per cent) are also highly rated.

Ordering a taxi to pick you up and drop you off after your date (21 per cent) also made the list as did having a picture with you on their social media platforms (24 per cent) and receiving personalised Spotify playlists (19 per cent). Nothing says I love you more in 2022 than your partner sharing their TV streaming password (13 per cent) and getting matching tattoos (11 per cent) with you. Meanwhile, posting heartfelt messages about you on social media (15 per cent), never leaving you on read* (16 per cent) and being prepared to learn a TikTok dance with you (10 per cent) were also cited as key in demonstrating true love.

FREE NOW’s deep-dive into attitudes towards romance in 2022 also revealed a list of traditional romantic gestures that are falling by the wayside, with writing love poems (33 per cent), feeding each other food (32 per cent) and a man always paying for dates (32 per cent) topping the list.

And when it comes to the perfect date? Almost two thirds (63 per cent) of Brits report finding travelling to and from dates in a taxi more romantic than public transport, with over half (55 per cent) adding that travelling via public transport on Valentine’s Day would make an evening together much less special.

The study also revealed that the romance capital of the UK is Newcastle upon Tyne, with 28 per cent of Geordies considering themselves true romantics, compared to a national average of 21 percent. Following close behind were Liverpudlians (27 per cent) and residents of Nottingham (26 per cent).

And if you’re looking to be swept off your feet, avoid going on dates in Bristol, as almost one in ten Bristolians (8 per cent) admitted they’re not romantic at all, compared to just three percent of the nation overall.




  1. They always text to check you’re home safe after a night out – 41%
  2. They’ll travel miles to spend time with you – 37%
  3. They message you first thing in the morning and last thing at night – 35%
  4. They’ll hold back from watching an episode of a box set until you’re together – 33%
  5. They have a picture of you as their screensaver on their mobile – 32%
  6. They videocall you regularly when you’re apart – 32%
  7. They send you funny memes all the time – 29%
  8. They don’t look at their phone once when you’re out on a date – 27%
  9. They watch your favourite reality TV programme with you even though they hate it 26%
  10. They have a picture of you both together as their social media profile shot – 24%
  11. They take you on adventurous dates, eg to a theme park or go-karting – 23%
  12. They reply to all your messages in a timely manner – 22%
  13. They order a taxi to pick you up and drop off after your date – 21%
  14. They make you Spotify playlists – 19%
  15. They give you cool house plants – 18%
  16. They watch films with you virtually when you’re apart – 17%
  17. They never leave you on a blue WhatsApp double tick, even if you’re arguing – 16%
  18. They post heartfelt messages about you on social media – 15%
  19. They like ALL your social posts – 13%
  20. They give you their TV streaming password – 13%
  21. They’d never post a picture of you on social media without checking you’re happy with how you look first – 13%
  22. They take candids of you for Instagram without having to be asked – 12%
  23.  They regularly post about you and your relationship on social media 11%
  24. They suggest getting matching tattoos – 11%
  25. They’d learn a TikTok dance with you – 10%


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