There is plenty of love, and gifts, in the air for Valentine's Day, but how much of it is forced?

Rocky89, ThinkStock

We had a conversation with dozens of New Jersey residents, many of whom said they're not fans of the Feb. 14 ritual, and they're just going through the motions so they don't have to sleep on the couch. Others, without a valentine this year, have a different reason to dread V-Day.

"The only thing Valentine's Day got right was the gifts," said Christine Foley, living the single life in Jersey City. "Chocolate to keep you fat so you're not desirable to anyone else, and flowers because, like love, they start out beautiful, but eventually rot and inevitably die."

Dan Galvan, a Neptune resident who is engaged to be married in October, said he "dislikes" Valentine's Day, but still participates.

"If you don't do anything, you end up looking like the jerk," he said, "even if we've already come to the agreement that we're not going to do anything on Valentine's Day anyway."

He said it's always up to the guy to go "all-out" and top himself each year, but females are expected to do nothing.

Even though she's on the good side of the deal, Brick resident Nicole Redwood agreed the holiday is only based on a sense of obligation.

"You're expected to go out and buy cards and flowers and gifts, and exhaust all of your energy to show it for one commercialized day," she said.

Devin Brodie of Neptune hopes she has enough gifts to impress her girlfriend on Valentine's Day. (Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ)

Neptune resident Devin Brodie was spotted cramming giant stuffed bears into her tiny car as part of her plan to "hopefully" impress her girlfriend on the big day.

"It's more of a hassle than anything else," she said. "I think I probably have like, two more stores to go to, and then I'll finally be finished."

A Rutgers-Eagleton poll found 22 percent of New Jersey men dread Valentine's Day, versus 10 percent of women. Forty-four percent of New Jerseyans said they are excited for the holiday. The other 56 percent said they're indifferent or "feel more dread than excitement."

Jeffrey Echandia, owner of Rose of Sharon Florist in Tinton Falls, said he deals with plenty of male customers this time of year who would rather be anywhere else.

"They're just not the happiest having to do this," Echandia said.

The store has even had a couple orders for black roses; some customers are hoping to end their relationship on possibly the worst day to do so.