This February 14th, you can forget the flowers and chuck the chocolates – a new survey of 200 Kiwis has revealed what people really want for Valentine’s Day: handwritten love letters.
• 60% of New Zealanders think love letters are the perfect Valentine’s Day gift
• 81% think it’s vital to exchange love letters in a relationship
• 86% of men, 92% of women think it’s acceptable to keep love letters from an old flame
• Just 5% of Kiwis think texts and emails are more romantic than handwritten letters
Love letters are NZ’s most-wanted Valentine’s Day gift
The survey, which was conducted by dating site EliteSingles, asked 200 New Zealanders to pick their perfect Valentine’s Day gift. 60% said that their dream present would be a heartfelt love letter or poem – making love letters a more desired treat than being taken to a fine restaurant (chosen by 26%) or getting flowers and chocolates (picked by 12%).
81% of Kiwis think that exchanging love letters is an important part of a relationship
The survey also showed that, far from being a dying art, love letter writing is flourishing in New Zealand. Love letters are considered an important part of a relationship by 81% of those surveyed, with 77% of men and 85% of women admitting that they’ve written one in the past.
86% of men, 92% of women think it’s acceptable to keep love letters from an old flame
Kiwis are likely to treasure their love letters, sometimes forever: 86% of men and 90% of women think that’s it’s perfectly acceptable to keep love letters from an old flame. What’s more, 55% of men and 67% of women think it’s fine to keep old letters – even when you’re with someone new.
Honesty really is the best policy: how to write a love letter
So how should you go about crafting the perfect love letter? Don’t fret, it doesn’t have to be all polished prose. In fact, 82% of respondents said that that a letter written straight from the heart was more special than one that focused on beautiful writing. Similarly, 77% agreed that honesty is the most important thing to try for when writing a love note (although 5% do prioritise poetry).
The medium also matters. As old-school as it may seem, 60% of New Zealanders agreed that actually putting pen to paper was the most romantic format for a love letter. Just 5% said they thought love texts were more romantic than handwritten letters.
One final tip for guys; pay attention to when you send your love letters. 23% of Kiwi men said that they would use a love letter to express interest in someone before dating them. However, only 11% of women said this was appropriate, with 89% preferring to wait until they’re exclusively dating! As such, would-be-Wordsworths may be best to err on the side of patience.