For many Americans, Valentine’s Day is a time to express and openly show their love and affection for their partner, but for many, it can also be a tense and stressful period trying to find that perfect gift.
To help reveal how Americans feel about spending money this Valentine’s Day, we surveyed over 1,500 adult Americans - of which over 1,200 were in a relationship - about their intended spending, what gifts are most precious to them, and their expectations of their partner.
- Americans estimate they will spend $113.25 on their partners this year, with men estimated to spend $129.87 compared to $99.63 from women
- New passions don’t lead to higher spending, relationships of a year or less are estimated to spend $90.50, while those 10 years of more will spend $115.99
- Romantic meals (39.7%) are the most appreciated Valentine’s Day gift, followed by chocolates (34.2%), and jewelry (32.4%)
- One in 10 (10.6%) admit the wrong or an unwanted gift could have a negative impact on the relationship
- Less than two-fifths (38.4%) of Americans in relationships have actually told their partner what would appreciate most
Spending On Your Valentine
According to our survey, 84.6% of people in relationships in the U.S. intend to buy a gift for their partner this year, with those within the first one-to-two years of their relationship the most likely to buy one (92.9%) and those that have been together for over 30 years the least likely (77.9%).
Results showed that 92.8% of men in a relationship intend to buy their partner a gift, compared to 78.8% of women. Age also plays a part in Valentine's gift-giving, with 87.9% of under 45s saying they intend to buy a gift for their partner, compared to 79% of over 45s.
However, more than two-fifths of adults say they intend to buy something for their partner, fewer than three-quarters (73%) believe their partner will get them anything, with 27.9% of women and 25.2% of men saying they don't think their partner will buy them anything this year.
In terms of spending, those with partners and looking to spend money this year, indicated that they intend to spend upwards of $113.25, with men saying they intend to spend an estimated $129.87 compared to $99.63 from women.
When asked how much they expected their partner to spend on them, our survey found that women expected their partner to spend an average of $110.40 on Valentine’s Day gifts, while men expect their partners to spend an average of $126.83 on them this year.
In terms of relationship length, those that have been together for three to five years are expecting their partners to spend the most ($123.40), while those who have been together for less than a year expect their partner to spend the least ($94.83).
|Less than 6 months||$85.50||$96.50|
|Less than a year||$95.50||$93.17|
|1 - 2 years||$99.70||$107.19|
|3 - 5 years||$111.97||$123.40|
|More than 5 years, but less than 10||$93.68||$112.48|
|More than 10 years, but less than 20||$124.79||$122.63|
|More than 20 years, but less than 30||$115.60||$115.73|
|More than 30 years||$107.56||$116.18|
When we asked respondents about how their spending this year is likely to be different from last year, two-fifths (45.5%) of adults said they are going to spend more in 2022, with just one in six (15.3%) saying they are going to spend less.
However, results did show a disparity between men and women, with 58% of men saying they intend to spend more this year, compared to just 36.9% of women. At the other end, fewer than one in 10 (8.1%) of men intend to spend less this year, compared to one in five women (20.3%) who say they intend to spend less this year.
|Spend More||Spend Less||Same|
|Overall||Spend More45.64%||Spend Less15.29%||Same39.06%|
|Men||Spend More58.00%||Spend Less8.10%||Same33.90%|
|Women||Spend More36.93%||Spend Less20.33%||Same42.74%|
To understand how people might be able to afford their Valentine’s gifts, we asked respondents how they intend to pay for the gifts to their partner. More than one in four (26%) said they intend to use a credit card to buy their partner a gift(s), while a similar number (26.1%) said they intended to use savings they’d put aside.
Men are 34% more likely to use a credit card to buy their Valentine’s Day gift(s), with 34.3% of men saying they intend to use a credit card compared to just 25.5% of women.
Spending That Is Appreciated
To understand a little more about which gifts mean the most to people, we asked all respondents about which gifts they’d appreciate being given for Valentine's Day most.
Results showed that going for a romantic meal at a restaurant (39.7%) is the most meaningful gift to get your partner, followed by chocolates (34.2%), and jewelry (32.4%).
Ten Most Meaningful Valentine’s Gifts
|Vacation Within the U.S.||31.60%|
|Home Cooked Meal||26.70%|
|Valentine’s Day Card(s)||17.60%|
|Perfume / Cologne||15.70%|
In addition to the top ten most meaningful gifts, our survey found that for one in 25 (4.3%) of Americans, the gift of cryptocurrency would be a meaningful gift to them.
Our research found that three in five (60.8%) Americans would feel hurt if their partner didn’t get or arrange something for them this Valentine’s Day, with those who have been in a relationship for one to two years the most likely to feel hurt (66.7%).
Between men and women, men were less likely to be upset if their partner failed to get them something for Valentine's Day (42.9%), compared to just over a third of women (36%) who said they wouldn’t feel hurt or upset if they weren’t given something.
In terms of knowing their partners and what they’ll appreciate most, the vast majority (86%) of partnered Americans believe their partner knows what they’ll like, however, less than two-fifths (38.4%) have actually told their partner what that is.
When it comes to buying the “wrong” gift, the majority (70.5%) of people in relationships would feel positively about their partner, however, one in 10 (10.6%) admit that if their partner bought then a gift they either didn’t like, need, or want, it could have a negative impact on their relationship.
Even if a partner did buy them a gift, two-fifths (41.1%) of Americans in relationships say they would be upset if they found out their partner had spent less on their them than they had theirs; with men the most likely to be upset at their partner spending less on them (42.6%).
A similar number (38.5%) of partnered Americans would also be hurt if they found their partner had spent more on them than they had on their partner's gift(s), with men (again) the most likely to feel hurt if their partner had spent more on them.
We surveyed 1,596 adults between January 31, 2022 and February 3, 2022, of which 1,263 were in a relationship, asking them a series of questions about their intended and previous Valentine’s Day shopping, gift preferences, attitudes towards theirs and their partners spending, and expectations.
For all questions related to spending and buying gifts for partners this year and in the past 12 months, we analyzed data from the 1,263 respondents in relationships. Where respondents were asked their gift preferences, and what would be most appreciated as a gift, we included all respondents in the results.