The Psychology of Valentine’s Day

February 4, 2015 / Blooms Today

Americans have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. For some, it’s the most romantic day of the year, and they wouldn’t think of not marking it with flowers, chocolates, or some other special gift. In fact, while the romantic among us will spend about $134 each on Valentine’s Day gifts for their sweethearts — about $19 billion – nearly half of Americans (43%) won’t be celebrating the holiday at all.

If you’re part of a couple, experts say it’s important to understand how men and women view Valentine’s Day, so that you don’t create a problem for yourself in how you handle it. A recent Google survey showed that men worry more than women about what kind of gift to get their sweetheart – but women worry more if February 14 isn’t acknowledged by their significant other.

Why Americans Have a Love/Hate Relationship with Valentine’s Day


In 1954, Frank Sinatra re-recorded a 1930’s show tune called My Funny Valentine, but it seems that a lot of people don’t find much that’s funny about the holiday. In fact, it’s not funny at all when you’re stressed about the holiday.

We often talk to men who agree with psychologist Regina Barreca that it’s the holiday of inadequacy, when they feel a tremendous pressure to find the perfect gift. In Psychology Today, Dr. Barreca wrote that the fear of sending the wrong card or gift is so pervasive it’s practically an epidemic.

Valentine’s Day can be stressful for both men and women, but for different reasons. Experts say that, for women, not receiving a Valentine’s Day gift from their boyfriend or husband can fuel fears that they aren’t valued or loved. For men, it can seem like they can’t win. If they buy the wrong gift – or no gift at all – they fear damaging the relationship. If they spend too much, or send a gift that seems too romantic, they worry about raising the wrong expectations. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The key to a successful Valentine’s Day gift is the same as the key to a happy relationship: talk to each other, and discuss your expectations. That’s true whether you’re sending flowers or picking some other gift. The more you know about your sweetheart, the more likely you are to pick the perfect gift. Don’t limit yourself. Long-stemmed red roses, which symbolize passion and romance, are the traditional Valentine’s Day gift – but if your sweetheart loves white or purple, pink, yellow or orange, incorporate those colors into your gift.

What message is your gift sending?


Is there a hidden meaning in your Valentine’s Day bouquet? Some kinds of flowers send a specific message. Long-stemmed red roses convey a message of committed, passionate love.  Carnations and gerbera daisies are more playful, and are linked with the idea of flirtation and fascination, making them a good choice for the beginning stages of a relationship.

Lilies of all kinds make a bold statement. They’re perfect for someone who’s fashionable, independent, and confident. There are dozens of varieties, most with heavenly fragrances. Among the most popular are alstroemeria (Peruvian lilies), calla lilies, stargazer lilies, and (of course) Valentine’s lilies.

Tulips are for the hopeless romantic in your life, and when mixed with other flowers they send the message that your love may be complex, but it’s always beautiful and vibrant.

Flower arrangements can convey a variety of moods, from formal to artistic, romantic or cutting edge chic. So talk to us about the mood and message you want, and let us help you choose.

One final tip to reduce the stress of sending Valentine’s Day flowers is to remember that when you’re on a website like, where there are hundreds of photos of stunning flower arrangements, the arrangement that arrives on February 14 may be slightly different from the photo you see online.

That’s because the florist who is putting the bouquet together will use the freshest, prettiest flowers available in order to deliver your arrangement on time. So, once you’ve placed your order, relax, and have a fantastic Valentine’s Day!

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