Love don't cost a thing? Hongkongers disagree ahead of 'double Valentine's Day'

Many young locals say they can't afford the expense of dating and relationships, a survey says, as romantics prepare for rare Valentine's clash

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 February, 2014, 5:32pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 February, 2014, 5:32pm

It’s “double Valentine’s Day” on Friday and romantics are busy planning – and budgeting – for celebrations with their significant others.

In a recent survey young Hongkongers cited the heavy expense of dating as one of the main reasons for staying single. The results of the survey were released ahead of Valentine’s Day, which this year clashes with the Yuen Siu festival – also known as Chinese Valentine’s Day – which falls on the fifteenth day of the first month of the lunar year.

“We suggest to young people that when they go out with someone, it does not need to involve spending a lot,” said marriage counsellor Sherman Cheng Ching-man. “They could do things such as hiking. Don’t just rely on material things to measure relationships.”

Last month, the apm mall in Kwun Tong distributed questionnaires to 525 shoppers mostly aged between 18 and 32.

Half of respondents were single. 68 per cent of those said they enjoy the freedom that being single allows, while 42 per cent said they simply couldn’t afford the expense of dating and getting married.

Of all those who took part in the poll, 67 per cent agreed that they were happy having no fixed partner. 63 per cent said they find it acceptable to date two or more people at the same time.

Cheng said this may seem "worrying" to the old-fashioned romantics among us, but her experience is that young people "also yearn for a loyal partner and a stable relationship".