CBS News Valentine’s Day poll: Most Americans think they are romantic, but what is it that makes them so?

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Are you romantic? Most Americans think they are, at least somewhat. And when it comes to what they think makes someone romantic, it’s some of the little everyday things that people can do that come to mind first.

And how romantic people think they are is a good indicator of how likely they are to celebrate Valentine’s Day. 

But what makes someone romantic?  It’s the everyday things that are important indicators. When asked, the top qualities given are being loyal and reliable, being a good listener, and doing considerate things regularly. In contrast, only half say it’s very important to do unexpected and spontaneous romantic things. 

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Does marriage change romance? Not necessarily, since three in four married Americans think of themselves as at least somewhat romantic. Still, it’s possible that romance may cool a bit for some married couples: those in a committed romantic relationship who are not married are nearly twice as likely as those who are married to consider themselves as “very romantic.”

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Not every couple sees eye to eye on this. More than a third think they’re more romantic than their significant other, while less than a quarter think they are less so. 

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Still, overall, men tend to think of themselves as romantic in the same proportion as women do. And while the percentage of Americans who say they are “very” romantic does decline with age, even adults 65 and older largely think of themselves as at least somewhat romantic.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day

Not all Americans will be celebrating Valentine’s Day, but most who have a romantic partner will be. Sixty-eight percent of Americans who are in a committed romantic relationship plan to celebrate the holiday, compared to a third who are not. 

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Overall, half of Americans plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

How romantic one thinks of themselves as has something to do with whether or not they’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day: Most who think of themselves as romantic will be celebrating, while most who don’t will not.

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Not surprisingly, the main reason for not celebrating Valentine’s Day is not having someone to celebrate it with, but those in committed romantic relationships have different reasons. Many feel it’s too commercial, or that it’s just not something they do. For many, the expense is also an issue. Those earning under $50,000 a year who are in a relationship cite the cost as their top reason.

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But for those Americans who will celebrate the holiday, many go the traditional route, commercial or not. The top answers chosen were giving or receiving flowers or candy, going out to eat and giving or receiving cards. 

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This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,791 U.S. adult residents interviewed between January 29-February 2, 2024. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as past vote. The margin of error is ±3.1 points.

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