What Women (and Men) Want for Valentine’s Day

What Women Want
What Women Want

What Women Want: A Foolproof Guide to Valentine’s Day Gift-Giving

Among the laundry list of things most men don’t understand about women is the utterly confounding Valentine’s Day gift. The importance women bestow on the perfect Valentine’s gift is a mystery tantamount to men’s inability to understand women’s obsessions with five-inch heels, puppies and going to the bathroom in groups. But whether or not you understand it, Valentine’s Day gift-giving is a fact of life, and an important one at that.

Women consider gift-giving nothing short of an art form and when you add in the fact that it’s a day dedicated to displays of affection and love, most men give up before they even try and opt out for the standard flowers and chocolate. And while every woman loves her 70 percent cocoa Godiva and two-dozen red roses, the majority of women prefer something a little extra. The secret formula goes a little something like this:

25% unique (to show her you “get” her) + 25% sweet (to show you have a romantic side) + 25% thoughtful (to show her you value her) and lastly, but definitely no less important + 25% presentable (newspaper wrappings and shoeboxes need not apply).

With this formula in mind, here are five more tips to help you get started:

1. Listen.
The most important piece of advice anyone can give when it comes to choosing the right gift is to listen to your lady. Though most women won’t come right out and say what they want, choosing, instead, to constantly drop hints about their likes and dislikes. If you stay tuned in to the little things, you’ll likely be inspired or at least get some direction to help you get started. Catch her fawning over a fancy clutch in the latest issue of Vogue? Peek over her shoulder, take note of which one she likes, and if it’s within your budget buy her the exact one and if not, buy her a similar, more reasonably-priced version. This will score you MAJOR brownie points. Not only did you buy her something of the clothing/accessory variety (a path men rarely venture down), but you paid attention to which one she liked. This speaks volumes—trust me. 

2. Think outside the box.
Chocolates or flowers aren’t bad as accompanying gifts, but one lonely box of even the most expensive chocolates isn’t a winner in most women’s book and a bouquet similar to those she receives for her birthday and your anniversary will likely not make her Valentine’s Day totally complete.  Do something a little different with chocolates, i.e. making homemade bon-bons with her favorite Scharffenberger chocolate or hand-picking her individual favorites to make a “personalized” box of chocolates. It’s all about creativity!

3. Presentation is key.
Even the least materialistic woman in your life will view your gift as a greater representation of your feelings towards her. And the simplest of gifts can truly look like a million bucks if presented and wrapped properly. This doesn’t mean you should saunter over to the gift wrapping counter of your local department store; rather, take a shot at wrapping the gift yourself. Even if the sides of the wrapping paper come up short and there is a full roll of tape patched all over the box, it will show more thought and consideration than a gift wrapped by the clerk at the gift-wrapping station. The real kicker? A hand-written card.

4. The devil’s in the details.
Chances are her most cherished gift from you isn’t necessarily the most fancy, extravagant or expensive, but the gift that had the most thought behind it. Over-the-top luxury gifts that show no thought are, for most women, no more appreciated than a simple gift that is straight from the heart. Sounds cliché and seems like common knowledge, but often times men get so caught up in the hype that they think they need to overcompensate and go for the overdone $300 necklace. In reality, however, a well thought-out, meaningful gift will melt her heart faster than any run-of-the-mill heart-shaped necklace.

5. When in doubt…
If you’re strapped for time and/or ideas, pick from one of the following tried and true options that are consistent crowd-pleasers and come straight from the horse’s mouth:

  • Chore stubs/coupons, i.e. you buy the groceries for a week; you walk the dog in the mornings, etc.
  • Tickets to a concert or other event you can enjoy together
  • Accompany her on a shopping “spree” (no need to drop $5K in a day, just treat her to a few items and offer to go along with her—no sulking, heavy sighs or pit-stops at the men’s lounge allowed)
  • Surprise weekend getaway 
  • Buy her membership to a wine, or fruit-of-the-month club (this is the gift that keeps on giving)
  • Engraved piece of jewelry/watch (it takes standard jewelry to the next level)
  • A photo album of pictures of you as a couple
  • Perfume (she’ll think of you whenever she puts it on – just make sure it’s her fave.)
  • A surprise gift a few days before Valentine’s Day
  • Do something you hate but she loves…there’s no better day to be selfless

Adapted from Allison Johnston’s great article.


What Men Want for Valentine’s Day

Eighty-Five Percent of Men Want Gifts This Valentine’s Day

When it comes to gift preferences, men like gifts that represent personal recognition or admiration from their partner, while women want gifts that represent a public display of affection and one that
reinforces the couple’s identity. Men look forward to receiving:

  • Jewelry with personal engravings
  • Items related to a favorite hobby or pastime
  • Music
  • Movies
  • Video Games
  • Electronics

Women, on the other hand, hope to receive flowers that are delivered to their work or another public place, as well as items that can be showcased to family and friends such as new clothes, jewelry, or special photographs of them with their significant other. 

“What we’re revealing is that Valentine’s Day is a two-way street — a time and opportunity for lovers to express and receive special sentiments,” said Dr. James Houran, chief psychologist at TRUE. “But men and women crave different sentiments from their partners. ”

New Research From TRUE(TM) and ‘Psychology Today’