Dining

Valentine's Day Dating Habits, According to OpenTable

Suddenly mentioning our exes after one too many cocktails doesn't feel so bad
America's Valentine's Day Dining Habits
Photo: Tasting Table

Believe it or not, February 14 just happens to be the country's second-busiest restaurant day of the year after Mother's Day. And according to the National Retail Federation, during the weeks leading up to the year's most romantic holiday, Americans are expected to spend $18.2 billion on bouquets of roses, chalky candy hearts and, of course, elegant dinners at lavish steakhouses and fine dining restaurants. Thanks to OpenTable's new Valentine's Day survey, we get the scoop on the most romantic date night of the year's more notable dining trends.

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 Love (Allegedly) Don't Cost a Thing

Seventy-one percent of Americans said they planned to throw their budgets to the wind when it came to Valentine's Day dinner. Couples also admitted they use the day as an excuse to splurge on the finer things in life (hello, filet mignon!), with male diners more willing (55 percent) to shell out for those caviar-topped oysters than their female companions (34 percent).

 Crazy, (Very) Stupid Love

While half of us think it's just fine to go out on Valentine's Day after dating for less than a month, one in five people questioned found it acceptable to schedule a first date for this uber-romantic holiday. Tinder may be all the rage these days, but we think we'll hold off on admitting the truth when the waiter inevitably asks, "So how long have you two been together?"

 Cheaters Gonna Cheat

Come Valentine's day, 87 percent of restaurant-goers think it's OK to cheat on their healthy-eating resolutions, especially if they're already in a relationship. It looks like those "single-serve" Ben & Jerry's pints aren't just for us single folks anymore.

 The Biggest V-Day Faux Pas?

While bringing up an ex was an obvious mood killer for 68 percent of respondents, busting out your phone at dinner was deemed the biggest deal breaker, with 78 percent vowing to kick screen addicts to the curb. That is, until we're showing off our love on Instagram with a poorly lit selfie, in which case one-third of diners were more lenient. Otherwise, the second-gravest faux pas was being rude to waitstaff, which irked 76 percent of Americans.

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(Oh, and if you were part of the large group who helped make "Olive Garden" the third most-searched term last year on Valentine's Day, then we can help you out with that.)

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