Valentine's Day choices may mean more than you think

Thursday, February 9, 2017

It's the time of year when those of us in a relationship, be it long- or short-term, can find ourselves in a struggle -- is a card enough for a long-term spouse? Is jewelry too much for a new crush?

Judging from the numbers, more of us seem to be giving up rather than risking a wrong move.

The average consumer will spend about $10 less on Valentine's Day this year, according to National Retail Federation projections, $136.57 compared to $146.84 in 2016.

That still adds up to $18.2 billion, but that's a billion and a half fewer dollars than last year.

Broken down, we plan to spend about $85.21 on our significant other or spouse; $27 on other family members, $6.56 on classmates and a few bucks on friends, pets and co-workers.

Jewelry, an evening out and flowers are the most popular gifts, in that order.

Don't panic, but it turns out your Valentine's Day decision could have long-term repercussions.

The Your Tango website notes that February is the busiest month of the year for divorce filings, according to a study by legal referral sites Attorney Fee and Avvo. Divorce referrals increase about 40 percent in February, with the biggest spike on -- you guessed it -- Feb. 15.

Your Tango speculated that many couples evaluate the overall state of happiness and success in their marriage or romantic relationship based on whether or not their expectations for Valentine's Day are met.

Bad results might be the final straw after a year's worth of disappointment, which may lead to affairs and ultimately divorce.

The numbers show up as well in new signups on websites for married individuals seeking affairs the day after Valentine's Day.

Rather than worrying about picking the right card or selecting the right restaurant next week, we would do well to work on our relationship the other 51 weeks of the year.

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