It’s Valentine’s Day weekend. I have seen enough pink hearts to last me a lifetime and I am sick of trying to find synonyms for “romantic” for my About.com Valentine’s Day lists. But I’m still looking forward to my champagne and professions of love this Saturday.
In honor of the big, pink, champagne-drenched and candlelit holiday, I thought it would be interesting to look at how Americans are thinking about love in the midst of a tough economy. Is the recession forcing us all to re-evaluate what’s really important and decide that all we need is love? Are job losses and money woes cramping our dating style? The answers may surprise you.
The Bad News — Recessions Aren’t Very Romantic
According to the January 2009 PayPal “Can’t Buy Me Love” survey:
- 43% of U.S. couples say the recession has caused them to argue more frequently.
- 10% of U.S.couples say that the role of primary breadwinner has changed over the past six months due to job losses or salary decreases.
But Poverty Has Made Us Less Shallow
- 73% of women view financial know-how as more important than attractiveness when choosing a potential partner, according to a 2008 study by Money Management International, a nonprofit credit counseling agency.
And We’re Still Willing to Splurge on Romance
- 49% of men and 35% of women said that they will not curb their dating spending in a tight economy, according to a 2008 TRUE.com survey.
- 70% of respondents in relationships are still giving gifts to their significant others for Valentine’s Day, according to the 2009 PayPal survey.
Most Importantly, Money Still Can’t Buy Us Love
A February 2009 Zoomerang Survey found that job losses and tighter budgets haven’t ruined our love lives.
- 70% of Americans say their love lives have not been impacted by the weak U.S. economy.
- 36% of couples said that the economy has brought them closer.
- 56% say trust is the most important aspect of a love relationship, while 0% listed money as the key factor.
I hope you are feeling the love this Valentine’s Day. Even if you hate the commercial Hallmark circus of a traditional Valentine’s Day, February 14th offers a great opportunity to show appreciation for those you love – significant others, family members, friends, loyal pets, and Sports Illustrated swimsuit models.
Raise a glass to all who love you for you and not for your job, title, salary, or disposable income.