Valentine’s Day 2022: what men and women really want as gifts

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As Valentine’s Day approaches, many Americans are looking for a gift or gesture to say “I love you.” YouGov asked people what they would like to receive for a Valentine’s Day gift this year, and found that among men and women, the top choice is something simple but meaningful: a card.

When asked what they would like to receive as a Valentine’s Day gift, the most common answer among Americans was a card, at 30%. A similar percentage (28%) say they want a good dinner at a restaurant and 27% would accept chocolates or sweets. Slightly fewer want flowers (22%) and a home-cooked meal or baked goods (20%) to celebrate the day. Just under one in five (17%) would like sexual favors to celebrate the holiday and 16% would like jewelry.

Nearly one in five (18%) say they don’t want anything for Valentine’s Day.

What men and women want for Valentine’s Day

About a third of women want a menu, chocolates or sweets and/or flowers (34% each) or a good dinner at a restaurant (33%). Men are less likely to say they want any of the above, although their top choice for a Valentine’s Day gift is a card, at 27%. About a quarter (23%) of men want a good dinner, and 22% say sexual favors would be a Valentine’s Day gift they would welcome – twice as many women who name sexual favors as a gift they want.

A quarter of women (25%) would like to receive jewelry for Valentine’s Day, and 22% would like a home-cooked meal or baked goods. About one in five women (19%) want a certificate for a massage or spa day. Slightly fewer people want clothes or lingerie (16%) or wine or spirits (15%) to mark the occasion.

One in five men (21%) and 15% of women say they wouldn’t want to receive anything for Valentine’s Day.

A person’s relationship status doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on what they want for Valentine’s Day, although people in relationships are less likely to say they don’t want anything for Valentine’s Day ( 14% versus 18% overall). Among women in a relationship, 10% say they want nothing compared to 15% of women in general. Men in relationships are also less likely than men overall to say they don’t want anything (17% vs. 21% overall).

Among women in a relationship, the gifts they would most like to receive for Valentine’s Day are a card (38%), a good dinner (38%) and/or flowers (37%). For men in a relationship, a card (31%), a good dinner (27%) and sexual favors (26%) top the list.

What different generations want for Valentine’s Day

Among Gen Z women, 42% say they would love to receive candy or chocolate for Valentine’s Day. Slightly less (35%) would like flowers. Responses are similar among millennial women, where the most common responses are chocolates or candies (38%), or flowers (34%). Among Gen X women, 36% want a nice dinner for Valentine’s Day and 35% want to receive flowers. Baby boomer women are more likely to say they want a card (39%), a nice dinner (34%) or flowers (34%).

Among Gen Z men, 24% would like to receive a card and 22% would like to get chocolates or candies. Millennial men most want to receive chocolates or candies (24%) or a card (24%). Among Gen X men, nearly three in 10 would like a card (28%) and/or sexual favors (27%). Baby boomers tend to say they would like to receive a card (30%) and/or a good dinner (28%) for Valentine’s Day.

Analyzing the results by sexual orientation, the results suggest that straight men and gay men have similar desires for Valentine’s Day gifts. And the same goes for heterosexual women and lesbians. Among heterosexual men, a card comes out on top with 27%. For gay men, 28% want a menu and 26% want a good dinner at a restaurant. Among heterosexual women, 35% want a card; similarly, among lesbians, a card (32%) and chocolates or sweets (32%) topped the list. Among bisexual men, 30% want a card. For bisexual women, chocolates or candy topped the list with 38%.

Related: Valentine’s Day Ranks Behind Almost Every Major Holiday Among Americans

See the crosstabs of this YouGov poll:

Methodology: This Daily Agenda survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 19,804 U.S. adults surveyed online from January 21-24, 2022. Samples were weighted to be representative of the U.S. population, based on gender, age, race, education, United States. census region and political party.

Image: cottonbro from Pexels

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