Valentine’s Day 2021 will be a tale of takeaways, reduced spending, zoom calls and forbidden meetings, research reveals

Those planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year don’t have a huge range of options available to them, especially if they live apart.

Worryingly, three in 10 (30%) of those who are in a relationship, but live apart, plan to spend time together indoors on 14 February. This makes it the top plan for these couples, despite it being a violation of lockdown rules.

According to annual research from the shopping comparison site,, the second most popular option for couples who live apart is to chat via video messaging or on the phone, with a quarter (25%) of those celebrating doing this.

A further 19% plan to go on a walk and 14% will exchange gifts.

Couples who live together appear to be prioritising good food in order to make the occasion special. The number one plan for them is to get a takeaway (27%), closely followed by cooking a special meal (26%).

The next most popular option for couples in the same residence is to simply watch a movie or TV box set together (21%), while 19% also plan to go on a walk. Living together isn’t stopping gifts being exchanged for 18% of these couples as well.

A lack of options will lead to a fall in Valentine’s spending

With the nation locked down and many couples not being able to celebrate together, the overall spend on Valentine’s Day this year is set to fall by over a third (36%), from £1.45 billion last year to £926 million.

The research also found that the average spend per person on things such as gifts, cards or a special meal will drop to £23.25. This is down significantly from last year’s figure of £35.06.

More people are also planning to celebrate Valentine’s day without spending anything. A quarter (26%) of the population will do this, compared to 18% in 2020.

As well as spending less, a growing number of the public are not planning to mark the occasion at all. While 4 in 5 (80%) people marked the occasion in some way last year, only 76% plan on doing so this year.

You can view and download the full report into Valentine’s Day 2021 intentions here.

Georgia-Rose Johnson, shopping specialist at, said: “With Valentine’s date ideas limited by the nationwide lockdown, you might expect people to spend more on presents this year. Instead, it seems that most couples are content with some nice food and a night in front of the TV.

“For those that don’t live with their partner, there are still ways to mark the occasion without breaking lockdown rules and potentially endangering your health. You could participate in a live, online event like a cooking class or interactive game, or just block out a good chunk of time to have a chat over the phone. However, if you are planning to send a gift or card to someone, here are some ideas.”