As a relationship and dating expert I have advised men and women to recognize the difference between romance, validation, and appreciation. The items you can buy to show love might seem romantic to some, but the stereotype of a valentine’s day might be too surface level to a woman looking for signs a man appreciates her being part of his life.


As a psychologist I come from a behavioral background. I see actions speaking much louder than words. A woman wants to feel loved consistently, and to be shown that they are a priority to their partners. Roses smell nice, but they don’t cover up for being a stinky partner most of the time. If a partner feels that they have the resources to give gifts to show thoughtfulness, they might also be using money to substitute for being more connected to their partner.


A partner that understands the type of ways their woman wants to be appreciated will never go wrong. Taking the time to communicate daily, share compliments, and to maintain intimacy within a relationship will keep the union stronger than a box of chocolates can accomplish. When I am in a relationship or advising others, I recommend using purchases sparingly to show love, because it sets a bad precedent. Taking care of the details regularly is one key to my approach to life, the Ethan Gregory Approach.


A partner must use familiarity with their partner to extract what her needs are, then meet them as often as possible. The details are where a partner earns their respect. Appreciating the uniqueness of our partners makes women feel that they are the only one getting that kind of treatment, and only intimacy and “real” quality time can create that bond. Random gifts to show appreciation are wonderful, but just as gentle reminders, not as substitute for the hard work of maintaining a great relationship.


In my opinion, a partner shows love through being present emotionally, through actions that anticipate needs, and allowing their woman to shine by supporting her however she needs. Not all partners are practiced at the art of appreciation. A woman must use that psychology of rewarding the good behaviors, and creating a consequence for the ones we want to eliminate.


Open communication early on about what makes her feel appreciated will go a long way in helping a partner do better. If we do not state our needs, we cannot expect our partners to change. Setting rules for gifting might help create a level playing field and eliminate grand gestures.


Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist and I’m Sorry, You are Not a Disney Princess


This article was for Women’s Health

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