Women chose flowers (65%), jewellery (51%), perfumes (46%), sweets (38%) and gift voucher (32%)to be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

What are the expectations of South Africans towards the holiday of love? What does the perfect Valentine’s Day look like according to women and men? Which gifts are the most expected and which should be avoided? 

Picodi Analysis Team decided to look into one of the most commercialised holidays in the world and check how much love is still there.

An average South African is going to spend R744 on a Valentine’s Day gift. Men spend around R566 more than women do: R1027 vs R461.

Women’s take on Valentine’s Day

What is it that sparks joy in a woman’s heart on Valentine’s Day – a gift, displays of affection and love or perhaps a promise of commitment? 

The survey results show that both material and non-material aspects are equally important for the majority of women (57%). 10% of women find gifts to be important on Valentine’s Day whereas 33% of respondents would rather spend time with their partner.

Women chose flowers (65%), jewellery (51%), perfumes (46%), sweets (38%) and gift voucher (32%)to be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift whereas home appliances (24%), plush toys (18%) and money (15%) were deemed as unpopular gift choices. 

Interestingly, flowers and sweets were also voted as the least desirable gift by the surveyed women (21% and 16% respectively).

What is the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day according to women? The survey results don’t give the perfect recipe for a successful Valentine’s Day date, however, among the most popular activities were having a romantic dinner in a restaurant(37%), cooking dinner together (29%), taking a romantic bath (27%), making love (27%) and watching a movie at home (21%).


It turns out that going to a concert is a bad idea (22%), same as seeing a play (20%), relaxing doing nothing (19%), playing board games (18%) or spending time actively (17%).

Men’s take on Valentine’s Day

The answers of the surveyed men show that pleasing them can be more difficult than pleasing women. 16% of men expect a material gift from their partner, 28% does not want any gifts but they would like to spend time together with their significant other and 56% declares that they would like to get both.