It's The Thought That Counts

By Chandra Orr

November 16, 2007 5 min read


The way you get it matters more than what you get

By Chandra Orr

Copley News Service

When it comes to creating romance, it's all about the little things.

Gifts are great, but what women really want is to know you're paying attention and to know they are appreciated.

"Women are tremendous multitaskers," said relationship expert Logan Levkoff, columnist for and "They can work in an office, run a home and be a parent, all in the same minute. While we love doing it, it can be exhausting and we rarely take time for ourselves.

"On Valentine's Day, women are really looking for a break - for our partners to show how much they appreciate us."

Whether you're planning traditional flowers and chocolates or a lavish night on the town, you definitely want to sweat the small stuff.

Take some cues from your sweetheart, plan ahead, make it personal and, above all else, take time to let her know how much she means.

"A woman wants a genuine and thoughtful expression of love from her man, one that goes beyond the perfunctory Hallmark card and roses, and somehow embodies the uniqueness of the romantic connection you two share," said relationship coach Barbara Purcell, founder of Urban Rapture, a New York-based wellness center. "Getting Godiva for your goddess or jewelry for your gem is always a lovely gift, but regardless of your budget, create a priceless experience that celebrates your love for each other."

"The guy has to show that he did more than go to the grocery store and pick out roses," said relationship coach Amy Schoen, author of "Get It Right This Time - How to Find and Keep Your Ideal Romantic Relationship" (Heartmind Connection, $13).

Go out of your way. Spend some time shopping for that special something. Don't just dial up a flower delivery or have your sister or secretary find a gift. Be creative.

"Do something original. Cater to the unique desires of your loved one," said romance coach Paul A. Falzone, chief executive officer of the personal introduction services The Right One and Together Dating. "Whatever you can do to be creative and personalize the day, do it."

Is her favorite singer on tour? Or maybe she's mentioned wanting to get a massage? A pair of tickets or a spa day pass lets her know you listened and thought enough of her to make the effort.

"If a guy shops for even a special small book his honey would like, that shows he's invested. It proves he cares," said Dr. Gilda Carle, author of "Suddenly Single," a weekly advice column on Dating and Personals page.

Is your sweetheart technologically challenged? Arrange to have her new photo software installed on her computer. Go out of your way to cook her favorite spicy Indian dish.

"Valentine's Day is a time when it's not about you at all. It should completely revolve around your sweetheart," Falzone said.

This is the one day when it's important to put your needs aside and cater to your partner completely.

Does she love romantic comedies? Don't just buy her the DVD. You may not want to sit through the next Hugh Grant flick, but you'll be golden if you make a date and take her to the movies.

Regardless of the gift, make sure you present a personal note - it's OK to get a card, but make sure to include a personal sentiment.

"Tell us how much you appreciate us and all the work that we do," Levkoff said. "It is often expected that women do it all - and many times we are happy to do it - but it is always nice to be recognized."

But don't just say it - show it by going the extra mile.

"The doing is secondary to showing," Carle said.

Women want to feel special and cared for - and nothing says, "I care," like covering all the details.

"Actions speak louder than words," Falzone said. "Find a way to show her you care, you're interested, you're there."

Whether you take her to her favorite restaurant or indulge her with tickets to a show, make sure you have all the bases covered. Make reservations, call the baby sitter ahead of time or grab dinner for the kids on your way home from work.

"What it all boils down to is being bold," said Falzone. "Express yourself, show your feelings and go out on a limb for that special person in your life."

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