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Is it possible to be a cheapskate on Valentine's Day (and live)?

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Have we all the sudden become hopeless romantics? Jennifer Hughes, an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of California, Riverside, says there might be some external factors at play. “Difficult economic times change the meaning of romance,” she says. Gestures might take on more meaning when the ability to buy “things” is diminished.

Alarm bells

For some men that might set off alarm bells. The Move It study showed that women would rather date a bad kisser who can dance, rather than vice versa – no small pressure for the less rhythmically inclined, while the Lindt study showed that only half of men have even attempted to pen a love poem or letter.

Yet there are still reasons to resist the pressures that abound this weekend. A Reuters/Ipsos poll, which contacted men and women in 23 countries, showed that a good percentage of both sexes said that they’d actually just rather spend the day with their pet.

That means that men in Turkey, where 49 percent would rather hang out with their dog (or cat or fish), followed by India (41 percent), Japan (30 percent), and China (29 percent) should be able to get away with a fairly low investment this Sunday.

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