By David Saunders | UPDATED: 05:28, 14 February 2020
No annual celebration divides opinions like Valentine’s Day does – while people in relationships try to meet each other’s expectations those who are not coupled up feel the societal pressure for being single.
New research on why Britons celebrate Valentine’s Day reveals that UK men seem to be more romantic when it comes to this holiday with 48% celebrating it, while this number lowers to 37% for UK women.
However, when it comes to York, it is one of the places in the UK where Valentine’s Day still sparks excitement. According to the search volume for Valentine’s Day related phrases, York ranks as one of the most romantic cities.
According to the study conducted by Note Cosmetics, those celebrating Valentine’s Day opted for showing love and affection to their partners as the main reason for celebrating this day for both men (28%) and women (26%) across all age groups.
However, when it comes the second most commonly selected reason for Valentine’s Day festivities the responses differ. For women, societal pressure came second while male respondents opted for partners’ expectations. Both genders consider the exchange of presents as their third reason for celebration whereas social media approval ranked the least important.
When it comes to age differences, societal pressure seems to be the most common amongst 35-44-year olds with 29% choosing this as their reason for celebrating Valentine’s Day. This age group is also the most aware of social media pressures and approvals associated with this day as a third of respondents selected this as the reason behind their celebration. 25-34-year-olds are the most keen about present exchanges (31%) while partner expectations top the list of priorities for 18-24-year-olds (21%).
PhD Leslie Baker-Phelps the author of Insecure in Love says: “Valentine’s Day confuses people’s priorities and exposes their insecurities. Those in romantic relationships may stress over the expense or creativity of romantic gestures. Those without a partner may feel like all the holiday hype is spotlighting what a loser they are. In reality, people are happier when they recognise all the love in their lives, not just the romantic kind or the gifts exchanged on this day.”
The pressures associated with Valentine’s Day are hard to avoid. From restaurant offers for two, heart-shaped products in window shops to social media. Taking into account Instagram hashtags only, #valentinesday accounts for close to 18 million posts, followed by #valentines with close to 12 million posts while Google searches peak to 6 million for the term “Valentine’s Day” in February.