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The truth behind the romance: Is it better to be single on Valentine’s Day?

28 January, 2016

single girl walking graphic

In the days running up to 14th February, it’s hard to avoid the roses, chocolates and teddy-bear shaped hints that Valentine’s Day is approaching.

It might be something to look forward to for those in a relationship, but for some singletons, Valentine’s Day stands out as a reminder that they are alone. 

However, figures around National Divorce Day on 4th January revealed that there is likely to be an increase in the number of singletons facing Valentine’s Day – we saw on average 33,580 users search ‘divorce’ on the internet in January last year, with even more incorporating phrases such as ‘how to get a divorce’ and ‘divorce solicitors,’ and we expect very similar again this year.

In light of this, we conducted a survey to find out what it’s really like to be single or in a relationship on Valentine’s Day. The numbers don’t lie, and you might find yourself feeling a little less animosity towards the giant teddy bears in the high street windows after reading this!

Being in a relationship on Valentine’s Day

It turns out that being in a relationship on the international day of love might not be all it’s cracked up to be. While our survey revealed that 35% of singletons envy their friends who have a special someone, 34% of people who are in a relationship said they would rather be single at Valentine’s because they believe it would be more fun.

With these almost equal numbers contradicting each other, what’s the truth behind being in a relationship on Valentine’s Day?

From one side of the fence, 63% of singletons said they believe Valentine’s Day gifts and gestures are important, whereas 70% of those in a relationship revealed that, to them, it’s not a significant day at all.  In fact for 34% it never was, and 10% said the romance was replaced by the school run once they had children!

Valentine’s Day often makes us imagine restaurants crammed with candlelit tables and bottles of red wine.  And while the survey revealed that those who are in a relationship do eat out more than single people, 58% say their partners have stopped offering to pay for dates and they split the cost of their special outings.  A shocking 42% say this happened even before their first-year anniversary!

Being single on Valentine’s Day

heart graphic

Over half of those surveyed reported that they would rather be in a relationship on Valentine’s Day, but 51% of those currently single say they are content being on their own. In fact, 28% love being single and want it to stay that way.

For the 12% of singletons that plan to spend the night partying with their friends (London having been cited as the best place to be single at this time of year), 22% will be looking for someone new.  A thid of respondents refused to say whether they’ve revisited an ex for a ‘quick reunion’ after breaking up.

If you’re newly single, you might feel a bit down at the prospect of a night in when the rest of the world is celebrating their love, but the truth is that 66% of singletons plan on staying at home for a relaxing night with a movie and some good food.

The truth about romance

It’s impossible to escape the promise of Hollywood-worthy romance that surrounds Valentine’s Day, but our survey revealed the charm could be a façade. While the majority of those in a relationship say they have sex more than once a week, the movie-moment kisses are nowhere near as common – 50% report that they have stopped ‘snogging’ their partners (23% before their first year together).

One third of those surveyed claim the romance began to fizzle when their partner stopped caring about their appearance, and one third said it happened when they bought a house together.

When asked about settling into the comfort zone, the majority of those in a relationship (56%) admitted to using the toilet in front of their partner, and 70% said they were happy breaking wind in their presence within the first six months of their relationship!

The six month period is also when the majority of those in a relationship say they started arguing with their partner.

The truth about the single life

single man graphic

Though the majority might spend Valentine’s Day at home, the truth is that single people are more social than those who are in a relationship. Our survey revealed that 37% of singletons see their friends more than once a week, as opposed to those in a relationship, who are lucky if they see them more than once a month.

Single people report that they go out for drinks several times a month, compared to those in a relationship, who say they only go out every couple months – and when they do, 37% ask their partner for permission.  

Though the first Valentine’s Day as a new singleton can be a daunting prospect, you can face the 14th with a fresh perspective – the truth is, 82% of divorcees say they are happier being divorced. Whether you’ve got plans with a partner, your friends, or a pizza and your favourite box set, just remember you’re not alone this Valentine’s Day.

For more information about getting a divorce, please contact us.

Note: We surveyed 2,000 people of both genders who are single, divorced, married and in a relationship, living in regions across the UK.