Nothing says “I forgot about Valentine’s Day” better than boxed chocolates and a grocery store flower bouquet.

Wouldn’t you rather give your special someone something, well…special? Use what you know about his or her personality to help you come up with a thoughtful, personalized gift for Valentine’s Day.

Gifts don’t always have to be something that can be wrapped or opened. Remember that planning an experience that is especially planned for your partner can be a gift too. The important thing is that whatever you do/plan/buy, you put some thought into it and try to really focus on what the other person would like.

Shopping for a Yellow? Think FUN. What is her definition of fun? What does he choose to do on a day off? Once you begin to define fun for a specific person (rather than thinking about what YOU consider fun) choosing the right gift gets a little easier. It doesn’t matter if it’s a game, joke book, a craft cocktail kit…the important thing is to think of something unique and special to your partner. Yellows also often enjoy attention. Consider having a bouquet of balloons or a gift basket delivered at work. A fun gift is even more fun when more people get to see it!

Is your Valentine a Blue? Blues are known for striving for perfection…what can you do to support that ongoing quest? What does “perfect” look like for him? Is there something you can DO to show that you understand that need? This can be an especially thoughtful gift if you are an opposite personality and this kind of behavior is not “natural” to you. Consider deep cleaning a room, cleaning up a mess or finishing a project that you know has been annoying your partner, or buying gift certificates for things you know they appreciate like a car wash, yard service, or house cleaning. Also remember that most Blues also value quiet and privacy. Consider ordering dinner in and setting a fancy table at home. If you do decide to go out, be sure to choose a quiet spot where you can make a reservation. Your Blue partner will be happier not having to wait among a large crowd.

Are you shopping for a Red? Because they put such an emphasis on efficiency, many Reds will buy whatever is they want or need themselves, which only adds to your challenge. Reds tend to be practical, so keep this in mind as you shop. Buying someone something they need isn’t always a bad thing. Just remember to keep your focus on the other person. What does he love to do? What would help her feel more productive? Reds are also high energy and like being active. Is there a specific hobby or activity that your partner enjoys? Reds are the most likely to want to go “do” something other than sit in a restaurant and talk. Consider activities like rock climbing (indoor depending on where you live), archery, or laser tag.

Is your sweetheart a Green? Think COMFORT. What does he know and love? Does she have a favorite place that she “always” wants to go? Going to a familiar place might seem boring or uncreative to some people, but if you know your partner loves going to a certain place and ordering a certain thing, why not make that part of your celebration? Some Greens really appreciate other “comfortable” gifts like cozy slippers, a new pillow, or a soft blanket. For some, “comfort” means a familiar smell like a bottle of her perfume or his cologne. A word of “caution” to those of you with a Green…sometimes there is an expectation that comes with Valentine’s Day that creates a pressure that can keep them from enjoying it all. I have learned this lesson from experience, having been married to a Green for over 20 years. He would rather keep February 14th “normal” instead of trying to muster up the energy to celebrate what he considers a made-up holiday. It took me a while to embrace this thinking, but I have come to realize that there is something really great about the freedom to celebrate each other on a different day. If fact, this year we are going to a concert the weekend before (his choice) and to a weekend getaway (that I planned) the week after.

I have nothing against chocolate, or flowers for that matter. But I encourage you to think of a more personal way to say “I love you” this Valentine’s Day. No matter where you shop or how you celebrate, I hope you succeed in making your loved one feel especially loved!

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