13 Feb 2023

Love Crush: No bed of roses as cost-of-living hits Valentine's Day plans

  • 77% of daters say rising costs have impacted plans while data points to lower spend on dating sites 
  • But people will still spend an average of £91, with men splashing out 33% more than women  
  • Nationwide offers cost-of-living hotline and support & hosts ‘Money Matters’ webcast on 21 February 

Three quarters of Brits who date say that rising living costs have impacted their Valentine’s Day plans, according to a poll1 from Nationwide Building Society.  

The fact that 77 per cent of people have changed their ‘dating habits’ due to the cost-of-living crisis chimes with data from Nationwide’s December2 spending report, which points to an eight per cent drop in year-on-year spending on dating sites. 

The poll of more than 2,000 respondents was commissioned as part of the Society’s efforts to understand the impact of the cost of living. Britain’s biggest building society operates a freephone cost-of-living hotline (0800 030 40 66) for those experiencing money worries. (See Notes to Editors). 

As a result of cutting back on dating plans, close to a fifth (19%) want to go on dates that cost nothing, 17 per cent are committed to going on fewer dates and 13 per cent are intent on finding partners that are financially stable. More than one in ten (11%) have stopped subscribing to dating sites completely, while eight percent have reduced their subscriptions. 

This year, the average amount a person will spend on Valentine’s Day is £91, with food and drink being the most popular gift, followed closely by clothing, cosmetics, perfume and jewellery. However, some 44 per cent of Brits will not be spending anything for February 14. 

Two of the greatest variances highlighted by the Society’s poll was the amount of money men spend on Valentine’s Day compared to women and those aged between 16-24 years old versus those over the age of 55.  

In 2022, men spent an average of £93.88 while women spent £87.39 - a difference of seven per cent. This year will see men spend even more (£96.98), whereas women will spend £64.25 - more than a third less (36%) than last year and 33 per cent less than men. 

Younger people (16-24) will spend three times as much compared to those aged over 55 – at £117.40 versus £39.15. 

Mark Nalder, Payments Strategy & Performance Director at Nationwide Building Society, said: “Our research shows the cost of living is impacting us all in different ways. With an average price tag of £91, Valentine’s Day could prove to be an expensive gesture for many, which is why we would remind people to shop around for a special gift that doesn’t break the bank. This is perhaps more relevant to men, with the data highlighting a small rise in the amount men intend to spend this year compared to last year. By contrast women expect to spend far less than last year. We would urge anyone struggling financially at this time to get in touch with us on our cost-of-living hotline - 0800 030 40 66).” 

To further support its members Nationwide is holding a Money Matters webcast on 21 February - recognising that discussing financial concerns can be daunting, it will work to alleviate any concerns by taking members through what a discussion would look and feel like, as well as sharing the type of support the Society and debt advice charities can offer.  

Notes to editors

1 The research was conducted by Censuswide with (2,028 nat rep respondents) between 25/01/23-27/01/23. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council. 

2 Nationwide Spending Report 01/2023 

Nationwide cost-of-living support: 

At this time, Nationwide Building Society is supporting members struggling with the rising cost of living. A freephone cost-of-living hotline (0800 030 40 66) for those experiencing money worries was launched in the summer. The service is supported by dedicated, trained experts based across the Society’s main branches. It is available from 9am-4.30pm weekdays and 9am-12pm Saturdays. Nationwide is aiming to answer calls to the hotline within ten minutes.  

Since the autumn, all frontline colleagues have been providing additional cost-of-living help for members, whether in branch or on the telephone, and this month Nationwide’s cost-of-living experts started to offer face-to-face, telephone and video appointments.  

Anyone in financial hardship should contact their bank or building society for support. See more at Cost of living | Nationwide