Okay, so you’ve figured out that you’re going to give your partner a thoughtful, romantic gift during an intimate dinner (vs. as part of a flash mob), but now you have to figure out just what you should get your partner. Fortunately, you’re in luck, because we asked men and women what they thought were the perfect gifts for Valentine’s Day. Let’s begin with women……
We asked survey respondents to respond to the following question:
What is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for a woman to receive? (please fill in anything you think a woman would most like)
Here are the top gifts listed for women (I wish we could say the results are shocking. We can’t.)
The #1 most preferred gift women want for Valentine’s Day
That’s right. Jewelry. Turns out all those ads on TV may be on to something. 30% of the women in our sample listed some sort of jewelry as the best gift for a woman to receive on Valentine’s Day (and 37% of men agreed – looks like the message is coming in loud and clear).
The #2 most preferred gift women want for Valentine’s Day
Flowers were listed by 18% of the women who took our survey (with 27% of men thinking flowers the best way to go for women). But there are a lot of different flowers out there, so which ones are best? In a separate question, we asked individuals to rank-order 10 different types of flowers, in order of most preferred to least preferred for Valentine’s Day. Here are 4 of the 10 flower types we provided (in no particular order). Can you order them from most to least preferred? Your options are carnations, something exotic, red roses, and daisies.
And survey says!:
Not surprisingly, red roses reigned supreme – receiving the highest spot out of the 10 options provided (the four above, plus white roses, yellow roses, mixed roses, lilies, tulips, mixed bouquet). The lowest ranked type of flower was daisies. Maybe because they’re pretty much a weed. Just sayin’. Or as ScienceOfRelationship.com’s Dr. Schoenfeld informed me, “every woman knows that daisies are synonymous with friendship.”
Admittedly, I assumed that something exotic would finish higher on the list (it finished in 6th place overall), but my perception may be driven by the fact that my wife is particularly fond of the very-hard-to-find ranunculus.
The problem with less common varieties of flowers is that, at least according to our sample, they are polarizing, with people either loving them or hating them: About 25% of the women in our sample rated ‘something exotic’ as their 1st or 2nd choice, but 25% ranked them in one of the bottom two slots. How’s that for mixed messages? The key here is that if you know your Valentine has a favorite exotic flower, then roll with it. If you’re not sure, don’t step too far outside the box.
Although carnations finished in 8th place overall, don’t rule them out altogether. In fact, 57% of female respondents ranked carnations as one of their top 5 flowers for Valentine’s Day, making them a fairly safe bet if you’re either (a) not willing to spend an exorbitant marked-up price on red roses, or (b) your local florist is all out of your top choice.
But wait, we’re not quite done with flowers. Given the popularity of roses, we thought it would be interesting to see which types of roses were most vs. least preferred. Here are the four types we asked about, again in no particular order:
And here’s how they stacked up relative to one another based on our survey results:
As noted above, red roses are the traditional favorite, and this is one tradition that isn’t going anywhere. But after that, the order of preference was mixed roses, then white roses, followed by yellow roses. As a native Texan, I am offended that our state flower didn’t fair better. Maybe we should secede. (Editor’s note: If just considering respondents from TX, yellow roses were the 3rd most preferred type of rose, and the fifth most preferred flower overall. State pride at its best).
The #3 most preferred gift women want for Valentine’s Day
If all else fails, and you’re on a budget, you can’t go wrong buying the woman in your life a thoughtful, heartfelt card. 15% of our respondents indicated that a card or other thoughtful gift (e.g., “something he has been wanting”) is perfect for Valentine’s Day. In fact, many of our respondents noted that a handmade card is especially nice to receive. Basically, if you give your partner anything that shows you put thought into your gift and that you value your relationship, then your Valentine’s Day is going to be off to an excellent start (assuming your sentiments are reciprocated, of course).
What didn’t make the top? Perhaps not surprisingly, nobody indicated that Valentine’s Day is the right time to break out that ‘joke’ or ‘gag’ gift you’ve had your eye on. Interestingly, both ‘sex’ and ‘sexy clothing’ barely made it on the list of perfect women’s gifts, with only 2% and 1% listing one of these two types of gifts, respectively. Why not? Because, as many know, sexy clothing for her is really a gift for him.
Next up….what are the the perfect gifts for men to receive on Valentine’s Day…
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Dr. Tim Loving – Science of Relationships articles | Website/CV
Dr. Loving’s research addresses the mental and physical health impact of relationship transitions (e.g., falling in love, breaking up) and the role friends and family serve as we adapt to these transitions. He’s a former Associate Editor of Personal Relationships and his research has been funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.