£1.9bn Valentine's spending splurge begins today according to eHarmony research

Valentine's planning and spending is set to commence today (Saturday 7 February) with dating activity increasing by 55 per cent this weekend according to research from eHarmony.co.uk.

Brits are predicted to spend £1.9bn on Valentine's Day celebrations this year, up from £1.3bn last year, with the average per person spend estimated to be around £53.38.

Those from London, Southampton and Manchester are predicted to spend the most with people in Plymouth, Bristol and Milton Keynes to spend the least.

In terms of spend break down £557m will be splashed out on dinners, £461m on gifts, £211m on flowers, £173m on drinks, £115m on chocolates and £57m in cards alone. Split by gender men spend more than women with an average of £70.47 compared to £39.58.

Three key indicators - daily Google searches for dating terms, social media mentions of these phrases and visits to eHarmony - create the Lovedex which measures daily interest in dating on a scale between 0 to 100. During today, or 'Red Saturday', interest rises to 46.8 from an average rating of 28.

According to the Lovedex January and February are the months Brits are most interested in dating with New Year prompting new starts and the desire to find the perfect partner.

Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos said Valentine's Day can lead to "panic dating" amongst singles with Jemima Wade, a spokesperson for eHarmony.co.uk, adding that it's important to remember "Valentine's Day is just another day" and that long-term happiness is about more than just having a date on 14 February.

Despite the dating peak four per cent still forget about Valentine's Day having to compromise on gift quality for leaving it too late.

Gillian West

Gillian West manages the Creative Works section of The Drum covering weekly round-ups, Ad of the Day, Creative Work of the Week and Creative Work of the Month.

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