February 14th is referred to as ‘Valentine’s day’ and set apart in many parts of the world as the day for ‘celebrating love.’ In addition to lovers trying to get to spend some quality time together on that day, it is also a day on which gifts are wildly exchanged. Indeed, for some people in romantic relationships, the way to know whether their significant others really care about them is by looking whether those significant others have sent them any gifts for that day. It is therefore not unheard of people who are madly in love starting to shop for valentine’s day gifts as early as in the December of the preceding year!
Yet deciding on the ideal Valentine day’s gift is not always very easy.
Deciding on the ideal Valentine day’s gift becomes a tricky affair when you take into consideration the fact that these are not supposed to be silent gifts, or neutral gifts as it were; but rather highly ‘communicative gifts,’ from which a lot is to be inferred. In giving the gifts, the gift-giver wants to communicate a certain message to their beloved. And upon receiving the gift, the recipient is sure to infer certain messages – not necessarily those intended by the gift-giver.
Granted, the gift-giver can attach a written or spoken message to the gift, when giving it, in a bid to influence what the recipient infers from it. And provided this message is well presented, it is sure to influence what the recipient consciously infers from the gift. But what such a message doesn’t do is influence the subconscious inference made out of the gift; for such a subconscious inference is typically only made out of the gift itself, rather than the written or spoken messages that come with it. Now as it turns out, it is this subconscious inference, made out of the choice of a gift, which matters more than the conscious inference; made out of the written or spoken message that comes attached to the gift.
In the final analysis, then, the key to deciding on the ideal Valentine’s Day gift lies in thinking carefully about what is that you want to communicate through the gift. What you want to communicate through the gift will in turn tend to be influenced by the stage at which your relationship is. The latter assertion is because while gifts carrying ‘wooing messages’ may be ideal in the earlier stages of the relationship, gifts carrying ‘commitment messages’ would be more ideal in the later stages of the relationship.
In terms of actual gift items, one has a choice between going for sentimental items and going for practical items (which the recipient can use on a day to day basis). The decision as to whether to go for the former or the later is in turn influenced by what you know about the intended recipient: whether they would be more likely to be ‘wowed’ by a sentimental gift item or by a more practical gift item.