Less Than 1 In 4 Singaporeans See Valentine's Day As A "Proper" Special Occasion
Valentine’s Day has always been a big deal in Singapore. But most Singaporeans celebrate because of “peer pressure”, according to a recent YouGov survey.
Peer pressure from who? Not from their other halves or even from social media, but from, uh, commercial entities, like greeting card companies. According to a YouGov survey polling 19,000 people in 18 countries and territories, only 24% of Singaporean respondents consider Valentine’s Day a “proper” special occasion. Meanwhile, over 60 percent see it as a commercial event.
This follows a similar survey from 2019, which showed that the longer Singaporean couples have been together, the less likely they are to go all out for the occasion. Huh, really ah?
Two Wonderwall.sg writers who tied the knot with their partners last year discuss the findings:
Diane: Do you and your wife celebrate Valentine’s Day? And has this changed since marriage?
Nicholas: Of course must lah! My wife says it is important that we celebrate Valentine’s Day forever to keep the spark alive, and I agree completely. Do you feel anything different after getting married? I guess things aren’t all that different for me, compared to before we were married. For now it still feels kinda the same… except for the fact that I see her a whole lot more often now. That’s the best part for me.
Diane: Yeah, while I agree that Valentine’s Day has become a commercial entity, I think it's a great opportunity to take a step back from the day-to-day responsibilities of married life to enjoy each other’s company, and to make each other feel special. Which is why I still try to plan V-Day dates with husband, even though we're usually pretty lazy and would rather just veg out at home.
Another survey from Durex found that the biggest turn-ons for both guys and gals are cooking up a storm in the kitchen (19%) and doing some household chores (17%).
Diane: I wouldn’t call doing chores a turn-on since keeping one’s home tidy is just part and parcel of being a responsible adult. But going above and beyond your “job scope” is nice bah. My husband and I have to do laundry twice as often now that we’re cohabiting, so it means a lot to me when he does my share, unbeckoned, on nights when I’m burning the midnight oil.
Nicholas: But doing chores as a turn-on, ehhh… no lah. My wife and I did agree, no gifts on Valentine’s. But, I have to take her somewhere nice. My only problem is trying to one up myself every year. We celebrated Valentine’s Day over the past weekend, as we were both going to be busy this coming week. It was special this year because we had a really nice dinner in KL. What do you have planned?
Diane: We haven’t started planning yet! But before you call us out as a part of the 63 percent who don’t celebrate, knowing us, we’ll surely do something this week, just not on Valentine’s Day itself. Some may find it bo chup, but since we see each other every day, it’s easy to make decisions on the spot and to be spontaneous. But you and your wife seem like planners. What was it like now that you’re married?
Nicholas: Oh, planning for Valentine’s Day was slightly more difficult this year. The fact that we live together makes it hard for me to sneak around to get it sorted, plus we were supposed to be in KL too - and I’m very out of touch with what is really good there. Luckily my brother’s GF helped with ideas, otherwise I sure lost sia.
Diane: Wah, effort. Your bro’s GF is a real one!
According to the Durex survey, only 2% found handmade gifts attractive.
Diane: Would you be upset with a handmade gift?
Nicholas: Actually, no wor. I kept all the cards my wife gave me (and vice versa). I still think it is very sweet. Maybe I am too romantic. How about you?
Diane: My husband and I both work in creative fields, so we appreciate the love and labour that goes into handmade gifts! That being said, if you make something for your other half, it should still show some effort and be something they would like. Don’t just scrawl a one-sentence message on a folded piece of A4 paper and try to pass it off as a card.
Not everyone is feeling the love this V-Day. Two thirds (66%) of Singaporeans won't be celebrating because they think it's all become too commercialised (47%). Other reasons include thinking that it's just like any other day (46%), everything being more expensive (36%), and not having a partner to celebrate with (26%).
Nicholas: I get what some of the respondents are saying, but then again, I feel it is important to keep the flame alive in a relationship. I’ve been in plenty of failed relationships to know that feeling loved, appreciated, and valued is something to cherish, but it takes effort. Doesn’t have to be just Valentine’s, but at least there should be special days to celebrate together.
Diane: Okay yeah, set menus, bouquets, and gifts aren't easy on the wallet. But there are plenty of ways to celebrate for $0, if you and your other half are into that or are trying to save up for something bigger.
Perhaps if all else fails, cooking a homemade meal and doing the dishes afterward might suffice. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!