Put down your mobile phones and pick up your pens: handwritten cards, letters and notes are three times more likely to secure a date with your amour this Valentine’s Day than a ‘like’, ‘swipe’ or e-mail, according to new Royal Mail research.
The study of modern dating habits sees over 6 in 10 (65%) Britons claim that a text or social media message is not a suitable substitute on Valentine’s Day for a heartfelt card, letter or note.
With over 20 million Valentine’s cards purchased last year – an increase on figures seen in 2016 – this is a tradition that shows no sign of abating any time soon.
When asked why a handwritten missive is more likely to equal dating success, respondents cited the ‘personal touch’ of a physical note (78%), and their likelihood to stand out from the usual tirade of social media ‘likes’ and ‘swipes’ (38%). 45% cited the simple joys of receiving something in the post!
But despite their perceived sincerity, just over a quarter 26% of Britons have never sent a love letter or Valentine’s Day card.
When asked why, responses included concern over being mocked (6%), the fact that they don’t believe their partner expects one (11%) and even worries about not having nice enough handwriting (1%).
Keep it Anonymous Or Go Public?
Just over one in ten (11%) Brits prefer the art of mystery in a Valentine’s Day card, whereas over a third (36%) believe senders should proudly announce their identity.
Reasons for supporting an anonymous romantic missive include the elusive ‘air of mystery’ (59%), and the fact that it makes the receiver feel desired (25%).
But advocates of ‘going public’ claim that it is ‘better to be honest about feelings’ (39%), and the fact that an anonymous note could cause arguments between a couple (32%).
The research also suggested that an anonymous note is more appropriate for the initial stages of a flirtation (18%). However, 14% of people have sent a partner an anonymous card or letter at some point.
Unusual Written Dating Habits:
- More than one in ten (13%) parents have sent their child a Valentine’s Day card.
- Just under one in ten (8%) Britons have sent their friend a Valentine’s Day card to cheer them up.
- Just under two in ten (12%) have written their own piece of prose, poetry or a rap in a Valentine’s Day card.
- 5% of naughty wordsmiths admit to stealing song lyrics or lines from a film and passing it off as their own in a card.
- 1% of people have sent themselves a Valentine’s Day card in a bid to look more popular.
- Respondents from Bristol (42%), Cardiff (41%), Manchester (40%) and Plymouth (40%) place most value on written romantic correspondence.
Mark Street, Head of Campaigns at Royal Mail commented: “Whilst social media is a great way of keeping in touch on a day-to-day basis, a handwritten card, letter or note is one of the most heartfelt and romantic ways of showing the object of your affection that you care this Valentine’s Day – whether you’re in an established relationship or not.”
Lovelorn wordsmiths are reminded to post their letters and cards with enough time to spare for Valentine’s Day. The last posting date for 1st Class stamps is Wednesday 13th February, and Tuesday 12th for 2nd Class.
 Figures from Greetings Card Association, Valentine’s Day 2017: http://www.greetingcardassociation.org.uk/news/launch-of-the-gca-market-report-2018