10 Biggest Valentine’s Day Myths

Louanne Ward

Relationship Expert

Feb 14, 2023

Which ones are true or false, plus five tips to have your best Valentine’s Day yet!

Commercial hype or the most romantic day of the year? However you perceive Valentine’s Day, there’s no denying it dominates conversation every February.

To gift or not to gift?

How soon is too soon to celebrate?

Do I go all out or keep it simple?

These questions become even harder to answer when we’re overwhelmed by traditions and myths surrounding the way single and partnered men and women like to celebrate the big ‘day of love’. 

What is the truth about Valentine’s Day? 

Are men definitely less romantic than women? Is a bouquet of roses actually the best flower to gift? Will a pair of socks really show your significant other how much you care for them? 

We surveyed Australian singles and couples this Valentine’s Day 2021 to find the answers – and they may just surprise you. 

couple, kissing, love

  1. “Men are less romantic than women”

False (but also true) 

This one is a strong point of contention – ask any dating expert this question and you’ll typically find it’s the opposite – men are more romantic than women! However, in a 2021 survey of Australian singles and couples, 58% of respondents believed women were in fact more romantic than men. So what’s the reality? 

According to the scientifically-developed ‘Romantic Beliefs Scale’, men were found to exhibit more romantic behaviours, despite femininity remaining a higher predictor of romanticism than masculinity. Additionally, anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, explains that this comes down to biological disposition that equips men with better vision (from testosterone) that heightens their attraction, making them fall in love faster and espouse more romantic tendencies. 

Moreover, women are pickier than men when it comes to choosing a partner, making men more likely to commit to a relationship, say “I love you” first, and appreciate hearing those words from their significant other more.  Despite this, women continue to appreciate romance from their partners and would consider ending the relationship without it. It’s safe to say this one is fairly 50-50. 

  • “Boomers are more romantic than millennials”


Remember when you’d cringe at the sight of your parents kissing? It seems the idea that our older counterparts are more loved up has followed us through to our adult years. But it turns out the older you get, the less romantic you become. Often, it’s a result of becoming comfortable and routined in your relationship as you age – something that subsequently makes older couples less likely to celebrate Valentine’s Day. More mature generations also have smaller social networks, are less drawn to ‘novelties’ like red roses and conversation hearts, and narrow their sphere of interest but often remain happier and more content in their couples than their younger counterparts. 

  • “More couples break up before (and on) Valentine’s Day”


We’re familiar with breakup season and cuffing season around the Christmas and New Year period, but Valentine’s Day brings it all to a head. It turns out while many singles are desperate to find a date before February 14, their coupled counterparts are desperate to call it quits. Moving out of the festive season can draw up tension and issues that, when left unresolved into the New Year, translate into a heightened desire to break up before the season of love truly reaches fever pitch. And with half of respondents sharing they’ve had a fight with their partner on February 14, it’s clear the festive season represents a time of reflection and heated conversation for many couples. 

And what are among the biggest causes for a breakup? Lack of romance. 

When it comes to having their partner express romance, 50% of women shared they have (or would) leave a relationship if zero romance was expressed on the big day. 

  • “Buying a gift to show your love is important”.


Forget the red roses, teddy bears, and chocolates – 63% of Australian men and women would prefer to be told how loved they are this Valentine’s Day 2021. While a thoughtful gift can be meaningful and appreciated, these findings indicate it’s the sentiment behind it that truly matters (not how much cash you splash). Be it a kind gesture, helpful hand, or home-cooked meal, a Valentine’s Day spent appreciating each other rather than unwrapping gifts is proven to be a more successful one.

5.  Men care more about sex than women.


Turns out both sexes care about sex, affection and intimacy in fact two thirds of participants in the survey rated it as important on Valentine’s day.
6. Lingerie keeps both men and women happy.


What would a Valentine’s celebration be without lingerie? It turns out over three-quarters of men would buy it for their significant other and almost 70% hope to see their partner in it. A further 64% of women would be happy to receive it as a gift from their partner. 

Sydney’s Momofuku Seiobo Named Top Restaurant In Australia4
Sydney’s Momofuku Seiobo Named Top Restaurant In Australia

7.  The best way to celebrate is a romantic dinner out.

It’s a hung jury

Other than making love, I also asked participants their preferred way would to celebrate? Surprisingly the 50% said they preferred a romantic meal in while the other half preferred to be waited on in a restaurant. Overall, the results overwhelmingly show it’s the thought that counts when it comes to making Valentine’s Day 2021 a memorable one in your relationship. 

  • “Red roses are the most romantic flower”.


They’re part of every Valentine’s Day marketing campaign, and labelled the flower of love, even though red roses are a safe choice, it’s not always a woman’s first choice. That’s despite 62% of men believing they’re the best flower for the day. It comes down to knowing your lady, according to the Valentine’s Day 2021 survey, with 4 out of 5 women sharing they’d prefer to receive their favourite flower over the mandatory red rose. Additionally, over 70% prefer the flowers to be given in person rather than delivered.


9. The right gift is the ultimate expression of love.


Even nailing the present for your significant other may not be enough to make Valentine’s Day memorable, with words of affirmation remaining the most meaningful ‘gift’ men and women want to receive this February 14. Over two thirds of Australians would prefer to be told how loved they are, either verbally or via a card or love letter. Being on the receiving end of a romantic gesture, rather than a mandatory expected gift also ranks well in the love game.

10. It’s better to acknowledge and celebrate Valentine’s day even if you don’t believe in it. 


It seems the day of love is best not forgotten considering over 67% of men and 37% of women surveyed say they have felt obligated to buy a gift in order to keep their partner happy on Valentine’s Day and 50% of women have ended relationships because their partner showed no romance.


By Louanne Ward

Relationship Expert

Louanne Ward is a relationship and dating development specialist with over 25 years experience. She writes about love, dating and modern relationships.



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