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In February 2019, Relationships Australia focussed on Valentine’s day in the monthly online survey.  Our attention on Valentine’s day relates to our continuing interest in national holidays and events and how they impact positively or negatively on couple and family relationships.

While Valentine's day is not a national holiday in Australia or overseas, many countries recognise the day as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of love, with many modern families celebrating Valentine’s day with the exchange of gifts.  In the U.S, for example, more than half of Americans participate in the rituals of Valentine's day, while in the United Kingdom is it estimated that 1 in 3 adults participate.  In a poll conducted in 2016, customary gifts associated with Valentine’s day included chocolates, alcohol, flowers and cards, while common activities cited by couples celebrating Valentine's Day included a meal in a restaurant (51%), a romantic night in (32%) or a night out at the cinema (7%).

While many people support the celebration of Valentine’s day, conflict may occur if there are differences in the expectations of partners in relation to celebrating national holidays and events, such as Valentine’s day.  In one Australian survey, more than half of survey respondents thought Valentine’s day was important in long-term relationships; however, research suggests that people’s interest in observing Valentine’s Day wanes as they age and reduces as the length of their relationship increases.  Couples who had been married less than five years consistently spend the most on Valentine’s Day activities and gifts.

Notwithstanding, there appears to be a high proportion of Australian couples who value the cultural rituals that have evolved alongside Valentine’s day.  Relationships Australia’s Valentine’s day monthly online survey asked visitors to our website a few questions about their views of the importance of Valentine’s day in their personal partner relationships.

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites