The survey found the car and pub were most popular places to say ‘I love you’ (Image: Getty)
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Men feel most comfortable saying 'I love you' on holiday, in the car – and in the pub.
A study of 2,000 men found more than a quarter are most at ease expressing their feelings to friends and family when they are on holiday while another 22 per cent prefer to do it in the car.
But more than one in 10 named the pub as their preferred place to say ‘I love you’.
For 12 per cent, not having to look someone in the eye is the key to being relaxed when they express their feelings.
Not needing to stand face-to-face (12 per cent), or even having a little Dutch courage (16 per cent), were also among the ways they feel more comfortable, according to the research commissioned by experience provider Red Letter Days.
However, despite hearing the phrase ‘I love you’ an average of 12 times a month, 37 per cent agree the words are said more to them than spoken aloud by them.
And more than half (57 per cent) admit they should say ‘I love you’ to their nearest and dearest more often.
But when it comes to admitting their own feelings to the men in their life, just 18 per cent feel comfortable vocalising their love to dads and father figures out loud – compared to 39 per cent who speak the words to their mums.
More than one in 10 men named the pub as their preferred place to say ‘I love you’.
Red Letter Days CEO, Dan Mountain, said: “Our research shows that despite wanting to share their true feelings with loved ones, men sometimes find it difficult, especially when it comes to letting their dads and father figures know how they truly feel.
"With Father’s Day on the horizon, we want to make this as easy as possible, via our list of experiences tailored to the settings men have admitted they feel more comfortable sharing their emotions in.
"By partnering with the Lions Barber Collective, we can also help towards funding vital training for their network to help enable men to make difficult conversations as easy as possible after Father’s Day and beyond.”
The study also found more than half of the men polled (55 per cent) can’t remember the last time they said ‘I love you’ to someone that wasn’t their partner or child.
And almost a quarter (23 per cent) admit they aren’t comfortable saying the phrase ‘I love you’ to their loved ones at all.
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A sixth (16 per cent) of 18-24 year old men even admitted they’ve never spoken those words to their nearest and dearest.
But more than one in 10 (13 per cent) would like more heart-to-hearts with their loved ones and 20 per cent wish they said I love you more.
It also emerged that, instead, one in four (26 per cent) of those polled via OnePoll prefer to buy gifts as tokens of their appreciation for their loved ones.
Food and drink seem to be the preferred way for men to reveal their heart, with a meal out (59 per cent), a box of chocolates (59 per cent), or a pint in the pub (27 per cent) coming out top.
Another 16 per cent show affection via acts of service, such as fixing things around the house.
In light of these findings, Red Letter Days has launched a campaign to challenge men to open up and say those magic words to their dads and father figures this Father’s Day.
The thoughtful and meaningful experiences in the curated ‘I Love You, Dad’ list, available on the Red Letter Days website, have been matched to the places men find it most comfortable opening up in, to provide the perfect setting to say those three little words.
As part of the campaign, Red Letter Days will also be supporting the Lions Barber Collective, a charity which aims to provide non-judgmental safe spaces where people can feel comfortable to speak about their mental health.
Tom Chapman, Founder and CEO of Lions Barber Collective, said: ‘Men are far better at talking while doing, especially when it comes to our emotions.
“As a father of two young boys and someone who has a close relationship with my own dad, I love what Red Letter Days do, creating memories and connections while providing a great opportunity to let someone you know that you love them.”