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13th Feb 2024

Valentine’s in a vibecession means small gestures and time spent with friends

Fiona Frawley

valentine's dublin vibecession

The word on the street is that big blowout meals are out, and small, meaningful gestures are in.

The vibe for Valentine’s Day is often a reflection on the country’s economic state and the general mood of the nation. At the moment in Ireland, the cost-of-living crisis continues to weigh heavy on the mood of many, with more than 60% of families revealing that wages just about cover monthly expenses, with little left over for long stem roses or six-course dinners.


The situation is so prevalent that the term “vibecession” has been coined following annual Pulse of the Nation research from Amárach – this essentially means that even though top-line economic headlines appear to read positively, the mood of the everyman is gloomy, with many finding it hard to stay hopeful about their financial prospects.

With this considered, it makes sense that many people we spoke to on the streets of Dublin yesterday didn’t have big, lavish Valentines’s plans. Financial woes aside though, the loverboys are still out in full force, with couples opting to make cards and pick up gifts as small and meaningful as their bae’s favourite chocolate bar or a charity shop vinyl with romantic undertones. Big spending may be out, but so too is cynicism. We found less and less people brazenly discarding Valentine’s Day as cringe, a load of shite or a corporate moneymaking scheme – instead, Dubliners seemed to be relishing the chance to be vulnerable and sweet with the ones they love.

For lovers

Like it or lump it, Valentine’s is what you make it. Obviously, the option is there to shout from the mountaintops how stupid you think it is – it has been since the 90s when slouching down the back of the school bus and calling your classmates losers was the coolest thing you could do. Luckily though, times have moved on, and Dubliners are repurposing the day and using it as a chance to get cosy and read horoscopes with their friends, to pick a fillum they think their partner will love to watch over a popcorn/Malteasers combo, to buy themselves flowers and chocolates at 7pm once the yellow discount stickers are busted out.

Sometimes the path of less resistance is the one that’ll make you feel warm and fuzzy inside – you don’t need to fork out €90 on dinner or do a soppy IG post if that’s not what makes you feel good, you can just celebrate things in your own small way. Or not. Honestly, no one really minds. Just love yourself, and that’ll naturally make way for loving those around you. Revolut your partner a fiver with a heart emoji so they can buy their favourite pastry on their way to work. Drink wine and watch chick flicks with your pals. Take your mam out for a pint. There are plenty of cost-effective, cliché-free ways to enjoy this day – god speed, lovers.

Header image via Getty/flickr/gunnar-bye


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