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With spring finally in full swing, and gardens around the nation starting to bloom, our latest dating survey surveyed 1300 EliteSingles members to find out the facts about flowers and love. We’ve discovered the top 10 most romantic flowers of all – and the secret symbolic meanings behind these beautiful blooms.
Celebrating the botanical side of romance
Flowers and love are a perennial paring. We give flowers to show both intimate and platonic love, and in both happiness and sympathy. Flowers are a big part of grand celebrations of love like weddings, and the flower/love motif is ever present in literature and art: think Robert Jordan writing ‘’You have made a place in my heart where I thought there was no room for anything else. You have made flowers grow where I cultivated dust and stones’’1 or Pablo Neruda vowing ‘’I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry trees.’’2
Given this entwined history, we decided to take a closer look at the botanical side of love, surveying 1300 EliteSingles members to discover who wants to get flowers, what kind of blooms you should give, and revealing the 10 most romantic flowers of all.
The 10 most romantic flowers revealed!
Like chocolate or love letters, flowers are one of those gifts that seem inherently romantic – but what are the most romantic flowers of the lot? The survey asked participants to pick their favorite flowers to give to or receive from a romantic partner, creating a definitive top 10 list: perfect for romantics, gardeners, and for those who simply love flowers:
The top 10 most romantic flowers of all time
- Red roses
- Roses of other colors (eg pink or yellow)
Interestingly, men and women are slightly divided on the subject of the most romantic flowers of all. Men liked the classic approach, picking the red rose as their #1 love flower. For women, however, red roses are only #2 on the romance scale. Instead, the most romantic bloom according to women is a rose of any color – except red!
And the least romantic flowers of all? It turns out chrysanthemums are at the bottom of the heap, with just 5% of the men and women surveyed wanting them in their bouquet.
Love flowers? You aren’t alone
So, who wants to get these flowers? 95% of women in our survey would like to receive flowers from a romantic partner. As revelations go, that’s hardly earth-shattering stuff. What might be more surprising is that they’re not alone in this wish: contrary to certain male stereotypes, guys are flower fans too! In fact, nearly 1-in-3 men (32%) say that they enjoy receiving bunches of flowers from their love.
It’s millennial men who are the most likely to yearn for a bunch of blooms. A huge 42% of men under 30 indicated that they’d like flowers as a gift, along with 39% of men aged 30-40, 34% of those aged 40-50, and just 30% of those aged 50+.
More men than you might think want to receive flowers, but are women keeping up with this demand? The survey revealed that really, they could do a bit better – just 6% of women regularly give their partner flowers, compared with 49% of men. Additionally, while 3% of men do admit to never sending their partner a floral present, that statistic is far eclipsed by the whopping 50% of women who say the same!
Discovering the love language of flowers
You’ve decided to up your game and say I love you with a bunch of flowers. You’ve picked out the most romantic ones too. Do you need to consider anything else? Well, yes, according to the survey. 48% of men and 36% of women agree that it’s important to pay attention to the symbolic meanings of your flowers.
The Victorians would be proud. Floriography, or the love language of flowers, has been practiced throughout history, but it was during the mid 19th Century that it really became widespread. Men and women would declare hidden, often forbidden feelings by way of a bunch of flowers – the symbolic meaning of the blooms spelling out what couldn’t be said out loud.3
It seems quaint, but as the survey shows, it’s not necessarily outdated. Indeed, it would seem that for nearly half of men and for around 2-in-5 women, this Victorian craze still carries resonance. So, what does the love language of flowers have to say about the top 10 flowers above? We’ve delved deep into the flower almanacs to decode the secret meanings behind the most romantic flowers:
When‘s the best time to give someone flowers?
Whether you believe in floriography or not, there are certain occasions that simply demand flowers, right? Wrong. In fact, according to the survey, there’s no one time when you should give someone a bunch. Instead – charmingly – it seems that the best time to give flowers isn’t you when you need to apologize, nor even for Valentine’s Day: 87% of men and 90% or women agree that any time is the right time to show someone you’re thinking of them by sending a beautiful bouquet.
If you’ve just met the person, however, you may want to hold off. Just 6% of those surveyed think it’s appropriate to give someone flowers for the first time while asking them out. 21% believe that the right time is during the first date, and 52% think that it’s only appropriate after the first date or dates. A final 21% are even more reluctant, believing that you should only give someone flowers once you are dating exclusively.
Planting the seeds of love: gardeners are extra attractive
The survey also revealed that it’s important to think about how you present your love flowers. If you’re giving flowers to a woman, the traditional bunch is best: 79% of women surveyed would rather receive a bunch of flowers than a potted plant, even if the latter lasts longer. For men, however, the divide is not so clear cut: 50.1% of men would like a pot plant instead of a bunch of flowers, while 49.9% would opt for the bouquet of blooms.
It’s also important to think about where you get your flowers from. In what’s sure to be good news for gardeners, it turns out that homegrown stems are the most romantic flowers of all. In fact, 69% of people think that the best bunch of flowers is one that is handpicked and/or homegrown – just 31% would rather have an expensive bunch from the florist.
*Data sourced anonymously
EliteSingles editorial May 2017
If you have questions about this survey, or if you want to know more about romantic flowers, then let us know! You can comment below or get in touch by email: [email protected]
All statistics from EliteSingles’ ‘Flowers and Dating’ study, 2017. Sample size: 1300 men and women, aged 18-65.
1 Robert Jordan excerpt The Shadow Rising (Wheel of Time Book 4), TOR Publishing, 1992
2 Pablo Neruda excerpt from Every Day You Play, Poem XIV from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, 1924
3 Geraldine Adamich Laufer. Tussie-Mussies: the Victorian Art of Expressing Yourself in the Language of Flowers. Workman Publishing, 1993.
Flower meanings from http://thelanguageofflowers.com/, http://www.flowermeaning.com/ and http://www.almanac.com/content/flower-meanings-language-flowers