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by Kim Lance, associate publisher of Online Dating Magazine

What Did Your Valentine's Day Gifts Say About You?

With the large number of gifts, candy, and flowers that exchanged hands on Tuesday for Valentine’s Day, I’ve been inspired to theme this edition of Connect around what your gifts are communicating about you. Whether you know it or not, you are communicating messages to your partner or date with every gift you give (or don’t give for that matter). Gifts have traditionally been a way for couples to express appreciation and love and the right gift at the right time can help a couple form a deeper connection.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, lets take a look at the most common gifts exchanged during this lover’s holiday. A majority of households, 65%, gave a greeting card as a token of love for their Valentine. In fact, Valentine’s Day is the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion, with 180 million Valentine’s Day cards exchanged annually. The second most popular way to celebrate is by taking your sweetheart out for a “date night”, with 44% participating this way. Other popular gifts given on Valentine’s Day include candy (38%), flowers (32%), gift cards (29%), plush gifts (21%), perfume/cologne (12%), and jewelry (11%). Obviously, many of the respondents in this survey gave multiple gifts, as these percentages add up to more than 100%, with a mysterious 17% giving a gift from under the “other” category.


Of course, not every couple uses gifts as an expression of their love, but, because many do, it is important to learn what kind of messages you are sending when you pick out that perfect present. Let’s examine the top three most popular gifts to give on Valentine’s Day and what they may be saying about you and your relationship. As going out on a date isn’t exactly a “gift” we will eliminate it from the list and instead focus on greeting cards, candy, and flowers.

Greeting Cards on Valentine’s Day
Exchanging cards with your date on Valentine’s Day is a tradition going back for centuries, which explains why it is the most popular way for couples to celebrate the holiday. The card’s theme and personal message can convey a strong message to its recipient, and it is important to understand the strength of that message before just picking out your average “Have a Happy Valentine’s Day” card.

When choosing a card, it is important to keep in mind that, although cards are the standard gift and a relatively inexpensive way to celebrate the holiday, your significant other will be able to recognize the time and thought you have put into your card selection. If you run to the store at the last minute, pick up the first generic card you see, and lick the envelope as you are walking up to your date’s front porch, you’re date will know you did not put a lot of thought into the card. On the other hand, a card with a message that is related to your relationship with a thoughtful handwritten note can have a much stronger impression on your loved one. If humor is a big part of your relationship, pick a card that your partner will crack a smile over, or, if you are crafty, give your partner a hand-made card.

The point is, if you are going to celebrate Valentine’s Day (or any other romantic holiday, anniversary, etc.) then try to make it as personal and heartfelt as you can. The more individuality and thought you put into your card selection, the more impressed your partner will be. If your partner feels you did not put any time into your selection, it may make them rethink how important they are in your eyes. Remember, you are picking a card to speak for you, make sure you really think out what you want to say.

Candy for Your Sweetie
Ninety-nine percent of the time you can’t go wrong when giving candy (particularly chocolate) as a Valentine’s Day gift. Usually both men and women love sweets, although men don’t seem to view chocolate as an essential food group for some reason. It is hard to go wrong with chocolate, but remember, presentation is everything.

As is the rule with cards, the more individualized and personal you can make your sweet treat the better. Is there a bakery that makes heart shaped cookies nearby? Maybe you can combine the idea of flowers and candy by giving your date a chocolate rose? Accompany your candy gift by writing in a note or telling your partner that they are the sweetest person on earth and deserve something sweet for their very own.

Even though any gift of chocolate will inevitably make your partner’s mouth water, going that extra mile by putting some additional thought into your candy gift can effectively express to your partner how important they are to you, not to mention how “sweet” you think they are.

Flowers Can Help Make a Relationship Rosy
It’s no surprise that flowers are high up on the list of gifts for Valentine’s Day. You can’t help but be aware of all the bouquets of red roses in the floral section of your grocery store or the delivery trucks visiting homes and offices all day February 14th. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to make your partner’s day a little “rosier” with some flowers.

Flowers can perhaps express more to your partner about your thoughts on the relationship than any other gift. Even a simple thing as the color of the roses in your bouquet can send a message to your date. Make sure you know the impact that a red rose can have over a yellow rose before presenting your bouquet to your significant other.

Again, I must stress that the more time you put into your gift, the greater the impact you will have on your partner. Picking up an $8.00 floral arrangement on your way out of the grocery store sends a very different message than a bouquet of 12 red roses and one unique colored rose followed with the message: “You stand out as one of a kind in my heart, just as this single individual rose stands out from the others”. Which message do you want to send? Remember, the person you are giving the gift to will know how much thought you put into it. Impress him or her!

Gift Giving is Communication Without Words
Communication is not only about your words, but also largely about your actions. One of those important actions is gift giving. A last-minute afterthought of a gift can have the power to cause alienation or separation of your partner from you and make your partner question the value you put into the relationship, yet, a thoughtful, appropriate gift could be another link in the chain that is connecting both of you together in a happy relationship.

Plus, don’t wait for a holiday like Valentine’s Day for an excuse to give a gift. If you are feeling extra warm and fuzzy towards your partner on a day, surprise them with a box of chocolates or a bouquet picked from your garden. Giving gifts is a way of continually showing intimacy and appreciation for your partner, no matter what the occasion.

For more gift ideas, take a look at

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