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‘To my darling grandson, on Valentine’s day’

Whilst Valentine’s Day has long been associated with blossoming romance and showing affection to partners, the occasion is now increasingly celebrated by families.

According to national polling on behalf of Clintons, one-in-20 UK adults have sent a Valentine to a parent or their child. More Valentines are sent to Mums than Dads with 9% of those living in London sending a card to their mum.

Those aged 45-54 are most likely to send a Valentine to their child (10%) with Mums twice as likely as Dads to send a card.

Cards from siblings are generally more uncommon – on average only one-in-100 will send a card to a brother or sister on Valentine’s Day. Bucking the trend slightly, 10% of respondents living in Northern Ireland say they have sent a card to siblings in the past.

Nicola Miller, Head of Cards at Clintons, said: “Valentine’s Day has always been about showing your affection towards loved ones. It’s evolved over the years and for many, it’s another occasion to celebrate those closest to you whether that be Mums, Dads or siblings. Valentine’s from parents to children are also on the rise and we’ve begun to offer cards for sons, daughters and grandchildren.”

In terms of the language we use when talking to partners, the same study found that in the past 12 months, ‘love’ (28%) and ‘darling’ (26%) top the list of most popular pet names. Relative newcomers like ‘bae’ and ‘darl’ come at the bottom of the list, favoured by less than 1% of UK adults.

Pet name

Most favoured by

1 Love (28%) 65+ (35%) Yorkshire (42%)
2 Darling (26%) 65+ (29%) Northern Ireland (33%)
3 Babe (20%) 18-24 (37%) Wales (28%)
4 Dear (15%) 65+ (23%) Scotland (22%)
5 Sexy (10%) 35-44 (15%) North East (18%)
6 Baby (9%) 18-24 (13%) London (15%)
7 Hun (9%) 18-24 (13%) Wales (13%)
8 Honey (7%) 35-44 (12%) London (11%)
9 Darl (1%) 65+ (2%) North East (5%)
10 Bae (1%) 18-24 (7%) London (3%)

We are also a nation in love with our pets. Across the UK, 4% of 18-24 year olds have presented a card to a pet. Dogs top the list of those animals most likely to receive a special mention on the day.