New research shows Kiwi are romantic, believe in love at first sight, spend more on Valentine’s Day than their partners, and would rather cuddle up as a couple than have time alone according to a new study.
The Ecosa Bedroom survey investigated Kiwis attitudes to relationships even during the most romantic day of the year partners can irritate us with their nocturnal habits.
The study found that couples were most bothered by a partner's snoring (38%) followed by someone who “hogged” all of the blankets (24%) and those who used their phone in bed 22%.
One in ten were irritated by a bedmate talking in their sleep and a further tenth of respondents found reading or watching TV an unwelcome bedtime habit in a partner. Eating in bed was raised by 7% of respondents as annoying.
Competition for the retail dollar is high with most Kiwis spending similar amounts on Valentine’s Day as they do for Mother’s Day.
Males however are more likely to lavish their partners with gifts than their mums with a fifth (19%) of men saying they spend more on Valentine’s Day than Mother’s Day, versus just over a tenth (13%) of women.
Psychologist Sara Chatwin says while it is positive to see men putting in effort to acknowledge their partners, their motives may not always be as altruistic.
“It is important in relationships to demonstrate your affection for your partner in a way that resonates with them - not just as a statement of your financial success.
“In a #MeToo climate it may also be that men want to show women that they value them in a way that makes sense to them,” she says.
“Valentine's Day is a polarising day with some seeing only the commercialism of the day while many people like myself take advantage of being able to celebrate LOVE in an unabashedly honest way. But how much we "buy-in" is completely up to us!,” she says.
The research also showed that Kiwi males are romantic at heart with 62% of them believing in love at first sight, compared to women (55%), similarly Cantabrians (66%) and those in Otago/Southland (64%) were more likely to share the sentiment.
Almost six in ten Kiwis (58%) say they believe in love at first sight with those over 65 the most likely (77%) to feel this way compared to just over half (53%) of Gen Z respondents aged 18-24.
When it came to celebrating Valentine’s Day Kiwi women were not as generous and were more likely to spend more on Mother’s Day than their male counterparts, more than a third (36%) of all Kiwis say they don't spend anything on these occasions, with Father's Day the least likely day to be celebrated.
Chatwin says that women have become empowered and perhaps don’t need validation from men as much as they used to and don’t feel the need to spend on their partners either.
“Women may have also become disillusioned with men in light of all of the abuse scandals that have proliferated media and so they may mistrust men’s motives.
“They may have been damaged in relationships and with divorce statistics on the rise it's not surprising they don’t believe that love at first sight exists,” says Chatwin.
Generation Z (aged 18-24) were the age group who say they spend the most on Valentine's Day.
When it comes to who we spend our spare time with, more than a quarter of Kiwis (27%) would prefer to have more ‘me-time’, with half of the population preferring to spend it with a partner. The remaining quarter (23%) were ambivalent as to who they spent it with. Females (29%) and millennials (aged 25-34) were more likely to want to have time by themselves while males (53%) were more likely to want to spend it with a partner.
Emma Edwards spokesperson for mattress company Ecosa.co.nz who commissioned the research says they wanted to better understand Kiwi attitudes towards their relationships.
“The research results really demonstrated that romance is alive and well in New Zealand but some may see common bedroom habits as not only a barrier to closer relationships but also to a good night's sleep for both partners,” she says.