After spending almost a year in lockdown two thirds (66%) of Brits are struggling to feel the love as Valentine’s Day approaches. 

Picture Credit: Pixabay

Picture Credit: Pixabay

Even before lockdown, over half (53%) found the day caused undue pressure thanks to worries about buying the perfect gift (20%), getting the ratio of romance right on a date (19%) and living up to society’s expectations of having the perfect Valentine’s Day (18%).

Add a global pandemic, video dates and social distancing to the mix and over two fifths (41%) admit they’d prefer not to celebrate romantically this year, with added pressure caused by dodgy wi-fi (12%) or even hearing the dreaded words - ‘you’re on mute’ (7%). Singles who live with others also fear flatmates in neighbouring rooms or parents with prying eyes might spoil the chemistry of a Valentine’s virtual date (22%).

The research of 2,000 adults by dating app, Plenty of Fish, also found mental health plays an important part. Over half (62%) of those surveyed have struggled with their mental wellbeing during lockdown 3.0, and 54% have lacked the time to focus on self-care, leading 61% to feel like they’d rather use Valentine’s Day as a chance to practice self-love rather than romance. 

What’s more, over half (52%) of Brits would like to see the romance industry and media support self-care this Valentine’s Day instead of piling on the pressure to produce the perfect day.

In light of this, Plenty of Fish is taking the pressure out of Valentine’s Day and encouraging singles to focus on themselves. The brand has today released a self-care resource, helping singles to prioritise their own wellness this Sunday, which can be found here.

When asked about how they’d focus on their wellbeing this Valentine’s Day, over a quarter (28%) of those surveyed would spoil themselves with a special gift, indulge in sweet treats (44%), cook their favourite meal (24%) or relax in a long bubble bath (23%). Four in 10 would tune into their favourite TV shows, a third would enjoy a tipple or two, and a quarter (24%) would even invest in a new house plant. 

And after a turbulent year in lockdown, 44% feel that catching up with family and friends would be far more enjoyable than sitting through an awkward date (44%).

Picture Credit: Pixabay
Picture Credit: Pixabay

Resident dating and relationship expert at Plenty of Fish, Shannon Smith, says: 

“After a year of searching for love in a global pandemic, we thought it was about time singles caught a break on what is typically the highest-pressure day of all when it comes to romantic expectations. Rather than worrying too much about the perfect video date or sending presents in the post, we’re encouraging those in the dating game to feel free to focus on themselves this Valentine’s Day. Taking this day to reset can work wonders when it comes to refreshing your outlook on dating for the year ahead.”

Shannon’s top tips for self-care and self-love are:

  1. Take a break (from your screen) – With so much time spent at home in lockdown it’s easier than ever for screen time to go sky high and take over your day. Why not make the decision to take a break from all of your apps? Everything can wait a day - I promise you’ll feel refreshed!
  2. Reconnect with an old friend – Instead of forming a new connection, why not reach out to an old one this Valentine’s Day? Especially at the moment everyone appreciates a check in, and chatting about old memories might bring a dose of very welcome laughter to your day.
  3. Fall in love with nature – Getting outside for a breath of fresh air, no matter the intensity of the exercise, is a sure-fire way to clear your mind and get a change of scenery too.
  4. Swap out your usual routine for something new – You might find that you always reach for your phone first thing in the morning, so why not grab a book instead? Equally, swap out that shower for an indulgent bubble bath or your evening Netflix binge for a yoga class.
  5. Don’t push yourself too hard – If you don’t want to do anything and just want a chilled-out day on the sofa, that’s okay too. Self-love is all about listening to your body and doing what you really want to do. Maybe your body is saying run 10k, but maybe its saying have a lie in - either way forget the pressure and enjoy yourself!

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