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Monday
Feb102014

How Much Should You Spend on Your Partner for Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day is what it is. At its best, Valentine’s Day is a day where you can be a little extra romantic and take the opportunity to celebrate your relationship. At its worst, it is an overly commercialized “Hallmark holiday” with too much of an emphasis on chocolates, flowers, and pushy jewelry advertisements. Think what you want, but if you’re in a relationship, you should probably be thinking about what to get your partner.

You need a gift. You can read here about what to get or here to read about bad gifts to avoid. But how do you figure out how much you should spend on that gift?  You could take a guess, ask a few friends, or you could do what we did and survey over 1000 people in the United States. (Click here for more details about our survey) Here’s what we found out:

How Much Money Should Someone Spend On Valentine's Day For His/Her Partner?

  • On average, participants said you should spend a minimum of $26 and a maximum of $159.
  • The overall average amount to spend on Valentine’s Day gift was $134

Who Thinks You Should Spend More, Men or Women?

  • Generally men and women were on the same page about this, though there were some small differences. 
  • Women suggested a range of $21 - $153, while men suggested a range of $30 - $165.  

Which States Have the Biggest Spenders? 

  1. Texas
  2. Florida
  3. NY
  4. California
  5. Pennsylvania

If You Think You’ll Be Having Sex, Will You Spend More? 

  • When people were expecting to get some action, both their minimum and maximum spending amounts were significantly higher than for those who weren’t expecting sex. Apparently people think you’ve gotta pay to get some play.
  • The biggest spenders? Men expecting to get some.
  • The most frugal? Women not anticipating having sex. 

Plan On Spending Less? What That Could Say…

  • If you plan on spending closer to $50 for your partner’s Valentine’s Day gift, rather than $150, you might be in love. In our sample, respondents who reported being in love were willing to spend about $40 dollars less on their gifts than those not in love.  
  • Why does a lack of love lead to spending more? Although we can’t say for sure, it’s possible that those not in love feel less secure about their relationships and are overcompensating with material gifts as a way of gaining their partner’s love. 
  • It is also possible those in love are in longer-term and more stable relationships where Valentine’s Day isn’t as big of a deal. Of course, partners in these relationships might also spend more money on gifts throughout the year, especially on more personally meaningful occasions (e.g., dating or wedding anniversaries). 

Want to learn more about Valentine's Day? Click over to www.ScienceOfValentinesDay.com. Interested in learning more about relationships? Click here for other topics on Science of Relationships. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get our articles delivered directly to your NewsFeed. Learn more about our book and download it here. 

Dr. Gary Lewandowski - Science of Relationships articles | Website
Dr. Lewandowski's research explores the self’s role in romantic relationships focusing on attraction, relationship initiation, love, infidelity, relationship maintenance, and break-up. Recognized as one of the Princeton Review’s Top 300 Professors, he has also authored dozens of publications for both academic and non-academic audiences.

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