This Valentine’s Day, it may be that the only people who tell you that you’re beautiful may be your mum and James Blunt, but it’s not the end of the world. We take off the rose-tinted glasses and have a closer look at the real cost of Valentine’s Day.
Do you know which day is most likely to spark a break-up? Yes, you guessed it. The day of a dozen red roses and heart-shaped candies with “Be Mine” on them spells the kiss of death for many relationships. Studies show that more than half of 18-39 year-olds choose on or around February 14 to call it quits.
The status says it all
But don’t bury your tears in your pillow just yet, there’s an upside to this Hallmark holiday according to Facebook: 49 per cent more new relationships than break-ups are formed on February 14, and 22 per cent more new relationships than break-ups happen the day after.
The day of love is also National Condom Day in Australia (to raise awareness of sexually transmitted infections, which would turn you right off even looking at a pack of condoms). In the US, sales of Durex condoms jump about 20 per cent – which is the company’s third biggest sales spike for the year (in first place is New Year’s Eve, followed by Independence Day on July 4).
Say it with a card
As for Hallmark greeting cards, they seem to be faring well in the V-day stakes, even though its US headquarters in Kansas City suffered two rounds of redundancies back in 2009. In 2014, the company offered around 1200 card designs representing this day of love. And in the same year, Australians shelled out about $14.6 million on cards.
But you can opt for a less traditional card. Remember that episode of The Simpsons where Lisa Simpson gave Ralph a card that reads “I Choo Choo Choose You”? Well, you can download the card and give it to that special someone (who doesn’t love pop-culture references?).
The price of love
Last year , IBISWorld estimated that Australians would spend $791.4 million on V-Day, and the average amount spent on their loved one is $86, with romantic getaways being the most popular gift for loved-up couples. However, the biggest growth market in 2013-14 is dining, which increased by 24.4 per cent to $42.3 million, and is expected to grow even more next year .
In 2012, results of a survey by the World Society for the Protection of Animals suggest that 1.6 million Aussies prefer to spend time with their pet rather than their partner. And about 360,000 planned to buy their pet a gift. So it seems your furry friend always comes out smelling like roses.
A rose by any other name…
Speaking of flowers, bespoke flower arrangements instead of roses are popular, since roses seem to cost so much more around Valentine’s Day, ranging between $20 to $90. The increase is due to the rising costs of water, electricity and labour make it more expensive to grow flowers in Australia. For Sydney rose farm, Bagala Bros Australia, Valentine’s Day makes up 30 per cent of its annual turnover.
All the single ladies (and fellas)…
If you’ve ever felt like you’ve been jilted by a lover, you can sell your items online at ExBoyfriendJewelry, or join the hundreds embracing International Quirkyalone Day, which is a “DIY day of romance, friendship and independent spirit,” according to the official site. Or you can opt for Singles Awareness Day in the US – yes, the acronym spells SAD – where singles toast to their uncoupled status (new trend alert: “Conscious Uncoupling” a la Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin).
Let’s just all buy a copy of 500 Days of Summer and become an anti-Valentine’s Day greeting card writer (yes, they exist). I’ll bring the flowers and candy hearts.