What Swedes wanted for Valentine's
Rather love than gifts - What do you really want for Alla Hjärtans Dag (all hearts’ day) or Saint Valentine’s Day?

Roses? A new fragrance? Some jewelry probably wouldn’t hurt. The best gifts though are, as always, for free and cannot be bought in a store. When asked what they wanted for Valentine’s, most Swedes responded tenderness and respect, also high on the list was time; time and care.


“It’s nice to know that it’s immaterial things like these that top the list,” says Marie Malmros, Information Officer at Fritidsresor, a travel agency, which polled around 1500 Swedes on what they felt are the most romantic gifts. And lo and behold, classic Valentine’s gifts like jewelry and perfume were easily outdone.

“This might be interpreted as a reaction to our hectic society, where we are constantly pressed for time,” says Lars Plantin, Professor in Social Work at Malmö University. “Many people feel guilty that they cannot take time off to be that perfect partner, the perfect parent, and at the same time be perfect at work.” Valentine’s Day is often criticized for being too commercial, but perhaps that is changing? “It’s gestures like these that are considered more important than things,” Plantin says.

The ten most romantic gifts (according to Swedes):
1. Nearness and respect (43%)
2. A trip for two (35%)
3 and 4. Time and care (7%)
5. Security (6%)
6. Breakfast in bed (3%)
7. An experience shared as a couple (2.5%)
8. Flowers (2%)
9. A beautiful piece of jewelry (1%)
10. A luxurious perfume (0.5%).