Ahhh, Valentine’s Day is looming. It’s the day when we get to express our undying love for our significant other in different ways. These could be through flowers, chocolates, cards, jewellery and/or a candlelit dinner for two. Some are more extravagant and choose to take their loved one on a weekend away to a romantic city like Paris.

It’s so romantic; I can’t wait for Valentine’s Day to arrive.

And neither can florists, restaurants, card retailers, jewellers and holiday retreats. They can hear the cash tills ringing loudly in their ears! Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day is a cash cow for these retailers. For example, the price of flowers increases threefold on Valentine’s Day and a meal at an average restaurant (set menu, of course) can cost anything between £50 – £85 per person excluding alcohol!

In an article by Forbes last year (2015), it was estimated that the average spend (what they spend) by Americans on Valentine’s Day would have been US$142.31 per person on gifts with a total spend of US$18.9billion in 2015!

Men spend twice as much as women – US$181 men versus US$97 women. Mmm I wonder, does guilt and last-minute panic buying have something to do with this generosity?

Cards, flowers and chocolates are the top sellers, but jewellery comes a close fourth. In another article I read, it said that whilst 52% of women said Valentine’s Day wasn’t important, 20% still expected to receive a gift.

I know, the rules of the game are complex and we women work in mysterious ways. You have my sympathy, gentlemen. And beware if you don’t buy us something: 53% of women in the US are prepared to dump their boyfriends if they don’t receive a present. So, you have been warned.

Where is the romance in all this spending?  According to Dr Gary Wood, a psychologist:

Over-commercialism tends to obscure the true meaning of special days. Money replaces values and meaning. So before you get carried away with extravagant and expensive gestures, it’s important to ask what you are really trying to communicate and if money is the only way and the best way to do it. We are often trying to communicate to our partners that we love and appreciate them. Sometimes actions speak louder than a till receipt.” (Source: Business Life)

I couldn’t have said it better myself. The Beatles’s song, “Can’t Buy Me Love” suggests that money can’t buy us love, but we certainly do our best to do just that. No wonder love is such a lucrative business.

As for my husband and me, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Instead, we celebrate the day after (15 February) as it’s the day we first set eyes on each other and started our journey as a couple together.

Ahh, I can feel Cupid’s arrows whizzing past me.

For the romantics out there, you might also like to read my post on love idioms to get you in the right mood.

Ciao for now and Happy Valentine’s Day.