Beware of February 14, it could be break-up day
Donna said: “This will be our second Valentine’s Day in business here and we have been surprised by how busy we are. We didn’t think we would be able to compete with the supermarkets but people are coming in for something a bit different.”
And how much will lovers pay for a sweet treat for their other half? The answer is anything from a few pounds up to £35 for a box of 60 chocolates.
Lovely though it might be to receive chocolates and flowers, is this what women would choose for themselves? I put the question to Sarah, who is a principal lecturer in psychology. “What do women really want?’’ she said. “What do men want? Freud, after 30 years of research still didn’t understand what women want.
“I think women tend to have romantic expectations. Stereotypically they want breakfast in bed, flowers sent to work and a nice meal. Men, I suspect, would like to wake up in the morning and find that Valentine’s Day had been cancelled!” Sarah added: “My partner would like to sit and watch the sports channel all day with me sitting beside him and not complaining. That would be something that he wants.”
Her own Valentine’s Day is likely to be a low-key event. She is currently on maternity leave after giving birth to a second daughter, Honor, and says what she would value most would be the chance to wallow in a hot bath and get an early night.
“Times are tough at the moment for many people and they don’t want to be spending a lot of money on one day,’’ she said. “Thoughtful gifts are the most appreciated – those connected with your personal tastes.
“But if women don’t want to be disappointed they have got to communicate better with their partners. Men are not mind readers and probably feel really anxious about what to get.
“Both women and men like to be listened to and women want to feel that they are special. It’s like the Rihanna song with the line ‘Make me feel like I’m the only girl in the world’.”
Her advice to anyone choosing flowers or chocolates is to personalise the gift “or it can be seen as an easy road.”
But what about sexy lingerie, another traditional choice of gift from men to their partners?