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1 In 5 S’poreans Would Celebrate Valentine’s Day Within A Month Of Dating Someone (Really?)

How soon is too soon to celebrate Valentine’s Day? According to a new survey from YouGov, almost 20% of Singaporeans would celebrate it within a month of seeing someone, while a quarter would wait slightly longer (2 to 5 months).

Do you agree? What’s your take on Valentine's Day? Our writers discuss the findings, about impressing a new flame with a Valentine's date, the best date idea for a fun night out without someone new, and what is the right time to say, “I love you”?

One in five Singaporeans would celebrate Valentine’s Day within a month of seeing someone

Almost one in five Singaporeans (20%) also say that they would be open to celebrating Valentine’s Day with someone they’d been dating for less than a month. A quarter (24%) would wait slightly longer (2-5 months of dating), one in six (17%) between 6-11 months, and 16% would celebrate after at least a year of dating.

Nicholas: This one is 100% me - I would consider it a great reason to bring someone out on a date. And since I’m paying, I don’t see why she would say no to a free meal anyway. Then again, going out on Valentine’s with someone I only just met happened once before in my life, for some reason I always seem to be attached near the end of the year.

Diane: Hmmm. While I agree that it’s a great reason to bring someone out on a date, I wouldn’t necessarily say yes to a free meal on Valentine’s Day because “free” often comes with unspoken terms and conditions. Valentine’s Day also dinners tend to be marked up, so I’d feel a little wary of accepting a date with someone that I was okay with, but not super into, lest I feel pressured afterward or he felt led on.

Nicholas: That makes sense, I didn’t think about it that deep. You’re so nice, lah!

Diane: More like I don’t want to deal with guys I’ve known for less than a month raging or continually asking me out just because we spent Valentine’s Day together. Okay, plenty of guys are more mature than that, but in my time, Valentine’s Day just felt too high stakes to spend with someone I’d known for just a month, unless the two of us were super into each other or had been friends prior to seeing each other. Maybe I just find Valentine’s Day and being treated like a princess a little stressful because it can be rather exhausting to reciprocate, especially when it’s for someone you just started dating.

So you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with someone you’ve been seeing for less than a month. What’s an appropriate date idea? 

Nicholas: For me, I think a nice dinner that’s not super ex like fancy omakase or CUT by Wolfgang Puck. More like simple but good, maybe a nice Italian place with an average 4.5 rating on Google, to show I care also about bringing her to someplace nice.

Diane: Like you, prior to meeting my husband, I always seemed to be single around Valentine’s Day. And while we’d been seeing each other for more than a month at that point, he must think like you because he really did take me to a nice Italian place with a 4.5 rating on Google, hahahaha. In hindsight, if I were spending Valentine’s Day with someone I’d been seeing for less than a month, I’d have appreciated a date that was more activity-based and less overtly romantic - for instance, cosmic bowling, a trip to the Night Safari, or maybe a pottery class for two, to help dispel some of the awkwardness of being in a super romantic environment with a person you might barely know.

YouGov’s data revealed that a similar proportion of Singaporeans would say I love you (18%) to their partner within the span of a month (that's up 4% from last year!). However, the highest proportion of people (25%) believe the ideal time of saying the three love words would be within two-five months of dating.

Nicholas: Guilty as charged. I was told off before for saying “I love you” very early in the dating phase, especially because it seems like we’re moving “too fast” in the relationship.

Diane: Ummm, Ted Mosby alert! But as much as it'd freak me out if a guy professed his love within a month, IMO, it’s usually a red flag when “I love yous” aren’t exchanged after more than a year.

Millennials are most likely to say they will celebrate Valentine’s Day with their partner this year

Nicholas: This one is a no-brainer. Every year die-die must celebrate Valentine’s Day with my better half. Where got skip Valentine’s one, it’s like the best (and easiest) time to show how much you love him/her. In my relationship, I’m the one who plans out everything for the special day, from searching and booking the restaurant to getting gifts.

Diane: I’d say it’s a no-brainer as well, but on the opposite end of the spectrum - after getting married, we stopped seeing a need to celebrate it every year. My husband and mine’s Valentine’s Day gift to each other this time will be more money and time for renovate our house and prepare for a baby (coming in 4 months!). Maybe we’re just really practical/unromantic, but I guess that’s why we’re happy together. Plus, Chinese New Year just ended, so who has the capacity for another big meal and celebration??

Not that we’ll never celebrate Valentine’s Day again, or that we confirm won’t celebrate it this year (maybe we’ll spontaneously grab some 4.5 star-rating Italian over the weekend), just that we’d both rather do something simple given our season of life. I guess what’s important is that you and your partner are on the same page about the scale of your celebration.

Valentine’s Day mostly = food, but does it require flowers and gifts?

Nicholas: Nowadays I give less gifts lah, I keep those precious presents for my wedding anniversary instead. My wife said she’s ok with just a dinner, but I don’t know - I at least try to get some additional stuff like chocolates and wine too. Feels like just makan is not enough bah.

Diane: I neither give nor expect gifts either (yeah, save those for wedding anniversaries or birthdays!). But a bouquet of flowers can go a long way when both of you have neither the time nor the energy to plan a 3-course sit-down dinner.

So what are your Valentine’s Day plans this year?

Nicholas: I hope my wife doesn’t read this, but it’s going to be Peruvian cuisine at Cancheta, Dempsey Hill. Thought this year’s Valentine’s could be more adventurous and try something totally new.

Diane: Nothing elaborate because we’re already maxing out our bandwidth due to house renovations and preparing for a baby. We almost never celebrate on Valentine’s Day itself due to crowds and menu markups, so if anything, we’ll celebrate over the weekend after shopping for bathroom fixtures. Like I said earlier, as long as you’re on the same page as a couple, there’s nothing wrong with keeping things low-key and chill during certain seasons of life!

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