Have we fallen out of love with Valentine’s Day?

14 February 2023 by
3 minutes read
Valentine's Day with friends?

As the winter holidays end, another blue Monday passes, and the days finally begin to stretch longer, we begin to see the annual pink beast growing on the horizon – Valentine’s Day. From heart shaped sweets to fancy meal deals , February 14th is a nearly inescapable celebration of love, whether you like it or not. So, this year, we decided to dig in our heels and celebrate with what we at Whycatcher really love – some good old fashion research.

We’re forgoing Valentine’s Day celebrations this year

We spoke to 25 colleagues to ask their thoughts about Valentine’s Day.  Seemingly, not many are explicitly celebrating Valentine’s Day, and just four will indulge in traditional on-the-day romance.

I have got the day off from work to celebrate which is nice! Going out for Lunch in London with my partner and then to the cinema in the evening!

25-40 year old, active V day celebrator

Other couples have found weekend activities, or else are treating the day as a celebration of friends or family, kids included. Some couples have even booked dinners out or planned nights in, entirely forgetting or ignoring the significance of this particular day.

Of those not celebrating, nearly half say they specifically avoid celebrating Valentine’s. The reasons are variable – Apparently the team feels equally cynical about both jacked-up prices and the notion of setting aside only one day a year to shower your loved ones with affection.

I’ll be spending it with my girlfriend and we have a strict no Valentine’s Day rule as we are above such things. Love is every day.

25-40 year old, non-V day celebrator

A few scoffers are working around the prices by going out at the weekend, while others are planning a romantic evening despite hating the heart-shaped faff. It seems we are a relatively unified bunch against the general premise of Valentine’s Day.

I will come home from work to an empty house (wife and daughter both away next week!), cook something (maybe a pie) and watch tv with the cat.

40-60 year old, passive V day celebrator

Evidently, we don’t feel obligated to partake in Valentine’s Day

Overwhelmingly, the team rejects any obligation to celebrate Valentine’s Day and some were outright refusing to celebrate, citing either the societal pressure or corporate greed imbued in the day as a reason to avoid any participation in Valentine’s Day.

Absolutely not celebrating! Doesn’t need a special day to declare your love. Valentine’s day has turned into a commercial circus – flowers and meals out at rip-off prices.

40-60 year old, non-V day celebrator

Those that did feel obligated to celebrate are doing so in non-traditional or minimalist ways, emphasising cards, whole families, and friends.

Sadly, some of these people resented feeling obligated to celebrate something they fundamentally disagreed with.

It’s a capitalistic hoax.

25-40 year old, non-V day celebrator

On the day of love, why do we hate so much?

So, what does this tell us about our view of Valentine’s Day? We can identify three primary pain points in the love heart hullabaloo – social pressure, over-monetisation, and the sentiment of celebrating love only one day a year.

The greater the social pressure, the more determined I am to resist it

40-60 year old, non-V day celebrator

These frustrations could be due in part to the company’s demographic – a group of people who live for data and consumer trends might be more reticent to join in a celebration, without critically examining its potential faults. Or, perhaps, there’s a growing zeitgeist of cynicism, particularly following recent lockdowns at home and in the throes of inflation. In any case, you’ll find few members of the team celebrating Valentine’s this Tuesday in a way that feels relevant to them.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Does our rejection of the Day resonate or jar with your department or agency?  

Drop us a message on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. We’re always happy to learn a bit more about how our research reflects modern trends.

To learn more about Whycatcher, get in touch here.

Cady Crowley works in a project support role for Whycatcher and Jigsaw Research. This Valentine’s Day, she’s celebrating with drinks and friends.

Written by

Cady works in the research and marketing teams at Whycatcher. She moved to the UK from her home in Brooklyn, NY in 2017, and completed her BA in English and Philosophy from The University of St Andrews in 2021.

Cady is an avid outdoorsman in her free time, and has backpacked over 300 miles of the New England wilderness. She can also wiggle her ears.