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What your partner really wants for Valentine’s Day

Couple snuggling by fireplace

Couple snuggling by fireplace

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Updated: March 14, 2013 6:09AM

What do people really want for Valentine’s Day?

The results from a new study led by Money Talks News might surprise you. Researchers surveyed more than 1,500 men and women in all age groups, and discovered standbys such as candy and flowers actually rank low on a gift wish list. Nor does your partner have Tiffany & Co. on the brain — only 16.9 percent of women desired jewelry for Valentine’s Day.

So what is number one on the wish list? Quality time! The majority of men and women said that they wanted nothing more than a romantic date with their partner for Valentine’s Day.

Want to have a wonderful holiday? Consider these options:

Surprise your mate. Most people tend to expect Valentine’s Day to begin in the evening, whether it’s an Italian dinner or a night out dancing. However, you can bring a little novelty and spontaneity into your romance game by surprising your partner with daytime romance. Get up early so that you can have a cozy breakfast together, or surprise her by showing up at her office for a leisurely lunch (Not only will you surprise her, but you will also enjoy more intimacy and space since you won’t be packed in with the rest of the Valentine’s Day dinner crowd).

Make it a technology-free day. Put away the iPads and the smartphones. Skip logging onto your Facebook page. You will have more time and energy to channel to your mate, and it will inspire you to keep this habit throughout the year, such as by maintaining 20 minutes of tech-free time each night when you are together.

List your love. List of 10 things that you love about your partner, along with a list of 10 things that they do to make you feel loved. It doesn’t cost a dime but will be one of the most priceless gifts your partner ever receives.

Spend time in nature. Even if it’s just a short walk around the block or to neighborhood coffee joint, getting outside gives you energy and fresh air. Find your inner kid and hit a snowy hill for sledding, then snuggle under plenty of blankets sipping hot cocoa on the living room floor.

Keep Valentine’s Day in your heart year-long. You can do so by choosing forgiveness and open-heartedness when interacting with your mate every day. Instead of zeroing in on everything your partner does “wrong,” look for all the things he does that are right, whether it’s something as small as bringing you coffee in the morning, or something as big as all those combined years of commitment, love, and companionship. When you practice gratitude and always seek the positive in your partner, the effects of your open, loving spirit will ripple throughout your relationship and beyond. And, if you are single, you can apply this mindset to your life as well. Let go of old relationship baggage. Forgive past wrongs and release old hurts, and instead move forward with a receptive heart.

Whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a longtime partner, a new love, or a host of friends, if you channel positive energy and generosity outward, you will repaid tenfold.

Here’s to a day of kisses — the chocolate and literal variety. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dr. Berman is the host of “In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman.” which airs at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

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