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March 2009

February 2009

The Economy of Valentine's Day 2009:
A Combination of Past Traditions and New Trends

PALM DESERT, CA. (February 10, 2009) The business of Valentine’s Day can be spelled out in a number of ways, but in the end it all boils down to the significance of the intentions for both men and women alike.  In its annual Valentine’s Day Poll, It’s Just Lunch (http://www.ItsJustLunch.com) reports a shift in how the infamous day will play out in these tough times.

“Overall we are seeing a shift in spending habits as well as the way people will spend the day with a significant other, yet the importance of the day has by no means lost its significance,” said Irene LaCota, president of It’s Just Lunch, International, LLC. “People have a very real desire to connect with others especially now. We anticipate this Valentine’s Day that men and women will say how much they care for their significant other in creative ways.”

It’s Just Lunch polled over 2,500 respondents who weighed in on what is conceivably the most heralded day of the year for romance.  Not surprisingly, spending will be down this year.  In 2006, the largest percentage of men polled 35%, said they would spend over $100.  Today, that number drops to 31%. But money does not say it all.  Romance is alive and well with the percentage of those who will spend the evening at a romantic dinner up from 9% in 2006 to 14% in 2009. And true to form, when gifts are given flowers and a card are the winner from both the men and women’s perspectives.  

The following results are from the It’s Just Lunch poll:

1.How will you spend Valentine’s Day this year?              Overall Male  Female

Like any other night                                                               63%     62%     64%

Romantic Dinner date with significant other                                     14%     20%     11%

Night on the town with single friends                                                16%     13%     18%

Invite a friend over to watch a movie                                     6%       4%       7%

2. How long after you have been dating do you expect to receive a gift?

2 weeks                                                                                   6%       6%       6%

1 month                                                                                   19%     19%     19%

3 months                                                                                 23%     22%     24%

6 months                                                                                 8%       8%       8%

Only when in a committed relationship                                  43%     44%     42%

3. What is the perfect Valentine’s Day Date?

Dinner at a nice restaurant                                                      48%     46%     49%                

Preparing dinner together at home                                          41%     41%     41%

An evening at a trendy bar/lounge                                          6%       7%       5%

Not celebrating at all                                                               5%       6%       4%

4. How long after you’ve been dating do you expect to have a Valentine’s Day date

A couple of weeks                                                                  26%     29%     24%    

A month                                                                                  30%     33%     28%

2-3 months                                                                              32%     27%     35%

6 months                                                                                 11%     10%     12%

                                                           

5.  (Women only) What Valentine’s Day gift would you like to receive from your significant other?

A box of chocolate                                                                 4%      

Spa Package                                                                            26%    

Flowers and a card                                                                  42%    

A nice piece of jewelry                                                           22%    

Sexy lingerie                                                                           6%      

6. (Men only) What Valentine’s Day gift would you like to receive from your significant other?

A massage package                                                                 8%

Tickets to a special event you have been talking about          21%    

A nice wristwatch                                                                   6%      

A box of chocolate                                                                 3%      

A romantic dinner at home                                                     61%    

7. (Men only) What do you plan on giving your date on Valentine’s Day?

A spa package                                                                         15%

Flowers and a card                                                                  31%

I don’t plan on a gift this Valentine’s Day                             34%

A nice piece of jewelry                                                           13%

Sexy Lingerie                                                                          6%

8. (Women only) What do you plan on giving your date on Valentines Day?

A massage package                                                                 3%                              

Tickets to a special event you have been talking about          22%

A nice wristwatch                                                                   2%

A romantic dinner at home                                                     23%

I’m not planning on giving a gift                                            49%

9. (Women only) How much money do you expect to spend on Valentine’s Day?

None                                                                                       31%

Under $20                                                                               5%

$20-$50                                                                                   23%

$50-$100                                                                                 27%

Over $100                                                                               12%

10. (Men only) How much money do you expect to spend on Valentine’s Day?

None                                                                                       20%

Under $20                                                                               3%

$20-$50                                                                                   16%

$50-$100                                                                                 29%

Over $100                                                                               31%


Before you start dating, it's a good idea to have a clear idea of what you are looking for.  You also need to think about how important those traits are - what's on your wish list and what are your deal breakers.  Be realistic.  Ask yourself : "if everything else was perfect could I deal with the fact that___?" 

For example, if everything else was perfect could I deal with the fact that the person I am dating is of a different religion?  The answer could be no and this could definitely be a deal breaker for some.  On the other hand if you ask yourself "if everything else was perfect could I deal with the fact that the person I am dating has red hair instead of blond?"  In most cases the answer would be yes and this would go on the wish list. 

Everyone has preferences and there is nothing wrong with that.  Many of these preferences are positive, like wanting to be with someone with good values or needing to be with a non-smoker.  However, preferences can be limiting when we become so rigid that we don't allow ourselves to explore new people or new ideas.  You may need to leave your comfort zone to get out of your dating rut.