Love Spurs Romantic Action on Valentine's Day

Nearly Two-Thirds of American Adults Plan to Woo Their Valentine

Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on February 13, 2004
From the WebMD Archives

Feb. 13, 2004 -- Love conquers all, and a new poll shows it may also beat efforts to commercialize it.

A new Gallup Poll shows that nearly two-thirds of American adults (62%) plan to do something special on Valentine's Day, such as going out to dinner or exchanging gifts with someone.

But an even higher percentage of Americans say they're in love, nearly three-fourths or 72%.

Love may also be for the young, or at least the young at heart. Researchers for nationwide telephone poll surveyed more than 1,000 adults. Results show that love appears to blossom in middle age. Two-thirds of young adults say they're in love, but that number jumps to 83% among 30- to 49-year-olds and 78% among 50- to 64-year-olds and drops to only 51% after age 65.

Researchers say age is also a major factor in determining whether or not someone celebrates Valentine's Day. The poll shows that the number of Americans planning to buy chocolates, roses, cards, or other Valentine's Day trappings drops sharply by age.

Here's a breakdown of who plans to celebrate Valentine's Day by age group:

  • 71% of 18- to 29-year-olds
  • 73% of 30- to 49-year-olds
  • 59% of 50- to 64-year-olds
  • 33% of those over age 65

Love and Marriage Go Hand in Hand

Researchers say marital bliss may help explain why such a high percentage of middle-aged people say they're in love.

Although researchers didn't specifically ask if the object of the participant's affection was their spouse, the poll found 98% of married adults said they're in love. Only 41% of nonmarried adults said they had been struck by Cupid's arrow and were in love.

Of those who said they were in love, the survey found 73% plan to celebrate Valentine's Day, and one-third (32%) of those not in love will also take part in the romantic festivities.