The pressure to find a date for Valentine’s Day causes millennials to go to extraordinary lengths to avoid being alone on the most romantic day of the year, according to new research released today.
VoucherCodes.co.uk, the leading savings site, surveyed over 2,000 people across the country and discovered that half of millennials (45%) feel under pressure to have a date for Valentine’s Day, causing them to turn to friends to celebrate PALentine’s. Indeed, while three out of five (59%) spend Valentine’s Day with their partner, a fifth (21%) choose to instead be with their friends instead.
A quarter of millennials (24%) believe Valentine’s Day is the loneliest time of the year to be single. This is double the number who feel alone when they have no-one to kiss on New Year’s Eve (13%) and as a singleton on their birthday (12%), causing half (54%) to confess they will spend February chasing a last-minute date.
The research has found that millennials have been guilty of adopting a varying range of tactics in the past to make sure they have a date for February 14th, with varying degrees of success. The usual avenues are the most popular, with a quarter (27%) having gone on the hunt at a pub or bar and one in five (22%) pursuing someone on dating apps. More surprisingly, a fifth (20%) have even slid into a stranger’s DMs and 1 in 10 (9%) put out a request for a date on at least one of their social profile pages. It seems that millennials are also happy to overlook decisions and repeat past mistakes in the search for a Valentine, with a fifth (18%) returning to an ex and 1 in 6 (16%) calling on someone they had previously turned down advances from.
Millennials rebrand Valentine’s Day as PALentine’s Day
With the pressure not to spend Valentine’s alone mounting, millennials are increasingly likely to reject the traditional norm and rebuff social expectations. A quarter of millennials (23%) have been on a friend date and a third (34%) have exchanged Valentine’s gifts with a pal. The average millennial is prepared to spend £39.90 to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a friend – 30% more than they would be willing to spend on a partner if they had been together less than a year (£30.70).
|How millennials would spend Valentine’s Day with friends|
|Exchange Valentine’s Day gifts||65%|
|Go on a friend date||60%|
|Throw a PALentine’s party||45%|
|Go speed dating||40%|
There is also a case of solidarity between friends in either celebrating their independence or sharing a common goal – one in eight (12%) have thrown a PALentine’s Day party to actively rejoice being a singleton and two out of five (40%) head for speed-dating with a friend. A fifth (19%) admit they have hooked up with a friend on Valentine’s Day and a half (51%) confess it is something they would consider.
The UK’s perfect Valentine’s Day celebrations
The UK is set to spend over £990m* celebrating Valentine’s Day this year and it can be a pressure-filled situation, as your ability to deliver a romantic experience and a special gift is often seen as a measure of how much you’re invested in the relationship. Indeed, a third (34%) admit that sentimental value is the factor they’re most looking for from their partner on Valentine’s Day, with a quarter insisting it has to be romantic (25%), a surprise (24%) or personal (23%). Very demanding, eh?!
When it comes to plans, the research has discovered that the tried-and-tested path is the way to go. A romantic meal (41%) was voted as the nation’s favourite way to spend Valentine’s Day, followed by a weekend away (36%).
While a quarter want a special surprise date (19%), the invitation to move away from the norm is not a suggestion to do something active. The likes of climbing or mini golf (18%) came second only to watching a sports match (33%) as the worst ways to spend Valentine’s Day.
|The UK’s favourite Valentine’s Day plans|
|A romantic meal||41%|
|A weekend away||36%|
|A special surprise date||19%|
|At home in front of the TV||15%|
|A movie at the cinema||11%|
The average person is planning to spend £28.60 on a Valentine’s Day gift this year and they’ll be better off playing it safe on traditional gifts as flowers (17%), jewellery (12%) and chocolates (12%) came out on top as our favourites. However, not everything that rom-coms have taught us is true, with teddy bears (14%) voted our worst present.
The research has revealed that the most romantic day of the year is in fact not the time for men to try spice up activity in the bedroom, with underwear (11%) and redeemable ‘love tokens’ (7%) among the presents women most hate to receive.
|The UK’s worst Valentine’s Day gifts|
Half of the UK (47%) admit they have previously bought a bad gift. A quarter (28%) blame a lack of money and a fifth (21%) confess they left it until the last minute, however the reason can be a little more sinister for millennials in particular. A tenth confess they mixed their partner up with an ex (12%), wanted to be dumped (10%) or had more than one person to buy for (10%).
Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor at VoucherCodes.co.uk, said: “The UK is set to spend over £1.5bn on a variety of intimate plans and personal gifts this year. 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.
“If you need some inspiration this Valentine’s Day, we invite you to put your relationship to the test by trying our Compatibility Calculator. The fun quiz gives you the opportunity to get your hands on a range of bespoke discounts and deals for romantic treats including flowers, fragrances and holidays depending on how you truly feel about your partner.”