Whether you celebrate the occasion or not, it’s that time of year again, the one day where couples relentlessly flood your social media feed with sappy dedications, and love songs dominate every radio station. Valentine’s Day, the day commemorating Saint Valentine has evolved into a commercial holiday glorifying romantic love and consumerism.

Here at milieu, we take a closer look at who celebrates this sentimental occasion and how they celebrated it. This survey was conducted in January 2019 among a sample of 4735 Thai residents and 3293 Singapore residents aged 16 and above in both countries by Milieu Insight.The data was weighted to ensure that it represents the online population of Singapore and Thailand in terms of age and gender demographics.

Who celebrates Valentine’s Day?

If you feel overwhelmed by the pressure to buy chocolate or flowers for your partner, you’re not alone. Most Singaporeans will be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year, with 17% reporting that they will definitely be celebrating it and a further 27% who will most likely be celebrating the occasion. For many, this will be a usual occurrence as most (59%) report celebrating Valentine’s Day usually. In other places, Valentine’s Day is proving a popular occasion too with a little more than half (51%) of Thais also celebrating it.

The stereotype of a young couple celebrating Valentine’s Day with teddy bears holds true especially for Singaporeans, as those who celebrate Valentine’s Day are more likely to be younger and in a relationship, but not yet married. Only 47% of married couples still celebrate Valentine’s Day while an overwhelming 71% of those in a relationship celebrate the event.

Contrary to popular belief, more men celebrate Valentine’s Day than women. In both Singapore and Thailand, 56% of men say they celebrate it as compared to 44% of women. Despite society’s popular belief that women are most susceptible to Valentine’s Day marketing, it appears that men are more likely to feel the pressure of celebrating the sentimental occasion and spoiling their partners. 66% of men report taking on the responsibility and initiative of organising a celebration.

How do they celebrate Valentine’s Day?

If you’re thinking of doing something unique and boycotting the cliched romantic Valentine’s dinner, you may have the right idea. A majority (76%) of those celebrating Valentine’s Day will be going out for a meal, followed by just 28% who will be going on an activity driven date.

The idea of a special gourmet dinner date is a large part of our perception of romance, with dinner somewhere special (37%) topping Singaporeans’ top 5 most desired romantic gestures, followed by a heartfelt letter (39%), a surprise holiday (38%), home cooked dinner (37%) and a handmade gift (35%).

In Thailand, a surprise celebration comes in second (33%) after going out for a meal (38%), while only 27% of Singaporeans favour surprise celebrations.

Dating trends

When it comes to dating, Singaporeans are not as open to dating someone outside of acceptable gender body types as Thais. Singaporean women are significantly less likely to date someone shorter than them than Thai women. Around two-thirds of Thai women are likely to date someone shorter than them as compared to only 28% of Singaporean women.

Men in both countries are open to dating women taller than them, with a majority (81%) of Thais reporting they are willing to date someone taller than them than Singaporean men (68%).

Both Singaporeans and Thais are willing to date someone slightly overweight but that willingness drops significantly when considering a severely overweight partner. Only 21% of Singaporeans would date someone severely overweight as compared to 64% of Thais.