Brits Spend Up To SIX Times More Than Partners Expect On Gifts

The reason why might surprise you

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Sometimes I secretly dread my boyfs upcoming birthday as it is ALWAYS an expensive do, knowing full well a few months ago he spent a fortune on me for my day of birth, I feel like I have to match it. But why do we spend so much on our significant other? Guilt? Love? Appreciation? Apparently it has a lot to do with the amount of time we have been with our lovers. 

Men are spending up to 56% more on presents 

·         The majority of Brits look to match the estimated price of a previous gift 

·         Gift spend increases by 13% for each year of the relationship 

In March 2018 – With studies on modern relationships showing distinct changes in the markers for commitment, the latest research shows that the longevity of our relationships and our gift-giving habits can be psychologically linked. 


The research, conducted by voucher discount site MyVoucherCodes, looked to discover how much money Brits are typically spending on gifts for their partners and to compare it to expectations on gift cost depending on relationship length. 


The survey found that there is a clear ‘relationship length to spend’ ratio, with Brits revealing they would spend more on a present for their partner the longer they have been together, roughly increasing 13% on year. 


Time together 

Average spend  

Less than 1 year  


1-2 years  


3-4 years  


5-6 years  


7-8 years  


8+ years  



With 51% of Brits admitting to matching the estimated price of a previous gift, there is a clear psychological ‘one-upmanship’ that might mean many are spending more on expensive gifts than is expected or anticipated. 


On average, the most a Brit will ever spend on a present is £532.38, and around £100 (£98.91) on a ‘smaller gift’. Yet no one, not even those in the longest relationships, expect to receive a present costing more than £85. Psychologically, it seems that we’re programmed to give more than we receive. 


Men spend the most on their significant other for special occasions – as much as £230 more than the opposite sex in some cases – perhaps adding to the notion that our culture is causing the development of asymmetrical relationships. 


They are also recorded as being the most generous spontaneous gift-givers, with the highest amount being spent on a surprise present coming in at £539 – compared to £327 for women. In fact, over one in 10 male Brits (13%) said that their most expensive gift ever was a spontaneous one. 


Chris Reilly, Managing Director of MyVoucherCodes commented: “It’s very interesting to dive into the psychology of the modern relationship through the window of gift-giving – it reveals that, as a nation, we seem to be overgenerous when buying for our other halves. 


“But more importantly, as relationship researchers claim that the ‘traditional’ steps a couple go through these days are less defined, the ability to take a look at spending habits over time could become a useful factor in decoding couple behaviours.” 


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