Single Men Spend More Time Holiday Shopping Than Single Women Give Them Credit For

New Dating Survey Reveals Men are More Likely to Be Extreme Shoppers

Dec 19, 2012, 10:00 ET from It's Just Lunch

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Both women and men are inaccurate in terms of their perception of the other gender's holiday shopping habits, according to a new survey of 1200 singles by dating service It's Just Lunch.  The survey results indicate that women give men far less credit than they deserve. Though 82% of men report shopping anywhere from two to five hours or more to find the perfect gift for the person they are dating, 57% of women believe the last person they dated during the holidays only shopped for an hour or less.

When singles were asked "How much time do you spend holiday shopping for someone you're dating?" the majority of men and women gave similar answers. The most popular choice was "2 or 3 hours," cited by 43% of men, and 46% of women. The second choice for both genders was "more than three hours, but less than five hours." This alternative was picked by 25% of women and 24% of men.  The least enthusiastic shoppers, who spend an hour or less, were in third place, an option selected by more women (20%) than men (18%).  The biggest surprise was the difference between the genders among the most extreme shoppers, who spend five hours or more shopping for a holiday gift for their date. 15% of men selected this category compared to only 10% of women.

Both genders underestimated how much time the last person they dated during the holidays spent shopping for them but females had a significantly less optimistic picture than males. 57% of women selected "1 hour or less," compared to 39% of men. Only 34% of women picked "2 or 3 hours." Men picked this answer 40% of the time—and were accurate, since 43% of women said that was how much time they spent.  Both genders underestimated the 3-5 hour category: Only 6% of women thought the men they dated shopped for this long, and 15% of men selected this option.

The most inaccurate thinking came in the extreme shopping category. Only 3% of women believed their dates spent 5 or more hours shopping for them (compared to the 15% of men who reported shopping for this long).  "It's human nature to believe that you spend more time trying to make your partner happy than they spend trying to make you happy," says Irene LaCota, spokesperson for It's Just Lunch. "But men are working harder than women are acknowledging. Maybe it's time we stopped thinking they are stuck in the 1950s."

Women were only slightly more successful with the gifts they gave than men were. When asked, "The last time you received holiday gifts from someone you were dating, how would you grade them?"  31% of men and 29% of men said "A—Awesome. They really knew how to please me." The most popular answer, "B—Very nice, but I wasn't overwhelmed," was selected by 40% of men and 37% of women.  More women gave men a C grade than the other way around. 29% picked the option "They were fine, but ordinary" compared to 23% of men.

But LaCota says singles shouldn't measure their relationship by the gifts they get. "Gift giving is a talent and some people are naturally better at it than others, just like singing or drawing" she says. "So a poorly selected gift doesn't mean anything. The real gift is love."

The It's Just Lunch Holiday Survey also yielded other interesting insights, including:

  • Despite the green movement, 65% of singles still would prefer "a traditionally wrapped gift with all the trimmings" to "a gift in something reusable, like a gift bag."
  • 61% of those who have been dating 60 days or less would find it more uncomfortable to receive "a gift that seems too expensive for this stage of the relationship" compared to one that seems "too cheap."
  • 30% are spending less on gifts this year, due to the economy.

SOURCE It's Just Lunch