Dating on Valentine’s Day could leave singles with an unnecessary dent in their wallet, according to findings published today by match.com. Research by the dating service has found that the price of many so-called Valentine’s essentials such as dining out, flowers and chocolates increase on February 14th and the days beforehand.
Eating out is one of the biggest casualties of this V.A.T. (‘Valentine’s Added Tax’), with match.com’s research showing that average restaurant prices increase by 35% on Valentine’s Day compared to a normal night. Most chains and independent restaurants offer only special set menus and specified seating times, meaning consumers get less for their money. But wining and dining isn’t the only area where singles will get stung by dating on Valentine’s Day.
Prices for a delivery of a dozen red roses were on average 58% higher on Valentine’s, while chocolates increased by a more manageable 1%. The cinemas surveyed also saw an average price increase of 36%, although this also included additional extras such as champagne at some venues, and many kept their prices unchanged for the big day. 90% of singles surveyed by match.com as part of its annual LoveGeist Report said that they believed prices for Valentine’s-related items increased around 14th February. Just 3% of these believed that price rises were acceptable (compared to 25% who said they were unacceptable) while 22% said that these increases put them off celebrating altogether.
However, some Valentine’s essentials actually saw their prices drop in the lead-up to the big day. Champagne prices dropped by an average of 14%, while perfume was 2% lower than normal, thanks to Valentine’s-inspired promotions at supermarkets and on the high street.
Match.com is encouraging single daters to shun Valentine’s Day, advising its members that there are 364 better days each year on which to date. Kate Taylor, relationship expert at match.com comments: “Valentine’s Added Tax is yet another reason for daters to leave February 14th to couples. Singles have the whole of the rest of the year to go dating, so why pick the most expensive night to go out?”
Taylor continues: “Valentine’s Day and everything that goes along with it can put a lot of unwanted pressure on singles. If you’re not a fan of February 14th you’d be better off using the time to meet likeminded singles online or signing up to one of our regular nationwide match.com nights to line up dates for another night. Remember, there are 364 other, better days to date than Valentine’s day.”
Visit match.com to discover more ways to meet potential dates for one of the other 364 days in the year.
About the research
Research conducted by Brands2Life, based on publicly available price information. Base prices recorded between October 2013 and January 2014 and compared to prices of products and services on February 14th (meals out, flowers, cinema) or in the week immediately before February 14th (chocolates, champagne, perfume). The following number of prices were compared:
Additional research undertaken by YouGov Plc; interpretation by Brands2Life.
Total sample size was 2,064 adults, of which 122 were single and actively seeking a relationship / dating. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th – 11th September 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).