Romance is dead - at least it is if you have been with your partner for four years or longer. A new study has revealed that while we'll pull put the stops for the first few years, once we're in a settled relationship we can expect 'romantic' gifts like a wheelbarrow or jump leads - if we get anything at all.
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The study, by Groupon, found that new couples are still making an effort, and those who have been dating for less than a year will spend an average of £77 on one another. Between 11 months and 2 years this rises to £105 - presumably because they're worth a bit more of an investment. However, after this point the generosity starts to flag.
The researchers discovered that once you hit five years together, the spend drops to £62 - and sits around this level for the next ten years - before dropping to £57. By the time couples have been together for 40 years, they are spending just £34 on one another. The longer couples have been together, the less likely they are to do something nice to celebrate too. In fact 41% of those who have been together more than 31 years don't plan to mark the day at all.
And while 25% of people who have been together for five years or longer would still describe themselves as romantic, the list of shockingly bad gifts they give would seem to point to a real dearth of romance.
Ten weird Valentine's Gifts
1. Bag of air labelled 'nothing'
2. Piece of string
3. Set of jump leads
4. Twin pack of chicken livers
5. A wheelbarrow
6. Spicy chicken pasty to symbolise "hotness"
7. Breakfast bowl
8. Fire extinguisher
9. Tins of chickpeas arranged in the shape of a heart
10. Yellow bath duck
Better gifts for free
The good news is that keeping romance in your relationship doesn't necessarily have to equate to spending a small fortune on your other half. Overall, Brits want to receive a good old fashioned Valentine's Day card (31%), with the top choice for a gift being dinner (18%). Second place, was something that means something to both of you (12%), and third (11%) was an experience.
It means you can make a Valentine's card, cook dinner for your other half, print off a few photos of the good old days to reminisce over, and you have covered most of the bases for next-to-nothing.
When it comes to offering them an experience, what you opt for (and how much you spend) is entirely up to you. It's worth highlighting that the washing up, followed by falling asleep in front of the TV together, probably doesn't count.