Women beat men at Valentine's Day gift giving, at least on Google

Feb. 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM ET

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Ah, Valentine's Day! It's the most romantic event ever concocted by the greeting card industry. While the cliché would have it that it's a time when droves of husbands and boyfriends descend on jewelry, candy, and flower shops, Google has a different take: Searches for "gifts for boyfriend" outpaced "gifts for girlfriend" by over 240 percent in the last 30 days. Similarly, searches for "gifts for husband" were made 39 percent as often as "gifts for wife."

What's afoot here? Are the ladies really doing more of the work of keeping love alive? Or is there simply an asymmetry in the sexes' shopping approaches? One would think that most of the fellas would take advantage of the Internet and research the ideal trinkets for the objects of their affections, but the evidence suggests otherwise.

That said, love is certainly in the air. Searches for "how to break up" and "divorce" have fallen by 15 percent and 41 percent, respectively, going from 2012 to 2013, says Google. Additionally, searches for "how to propose" jumped up by 66 percent in the last 30 days — California, New York, and Texas saw the highest increases in those searches — and that's been accompanied by a 13 percent increase in queries for "jewelry."

In other Valentine's Day news, "heart shaped cake" searches are up 4,900 percent in the last week. So if you can't find love this Thursday, at least you may get a slice of leftover cake.

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