The Parenting Messages In Your Partner's Valentine Gifts

27/01/2012 17:21 | Updated 22 May 2015
Valentine's Day cardPA

Chocolates, jewellery, flowers – what does your loved one get you (if anything) as a Valentine's presie?

Behaviour expert Judi James, author of The You Code says there are some fascinating messages behind the kind of romantic gift your other half chooses.

Here we look at just what the 14 most classic loving gestures tell you about your partner... and what they might be like as a parent too!

Music CD

Judi says: "If they picked all the tracks themselves they're clever and empathetic. If they bought one of the romantic compilations they mean well but are a bit of a novice in the game of expressing their love.

"As a parent they're probably not into the soppy stuff during the day but quietly blubbing when they see your children sweetly asleep in their pyjamas at night."


Judi says: "A gift that really does get inside your mind, only in a gentle and possibly intelligent way. This gift is all about thought and time implying mental and emotional empathy.

"It might also be a hint that you're always talking about the kids, or having them, though."

Novelty love token

Judi says: "This kind of gift suggest a fresh approach to the relationship, implying a fear of boredom or stagnation as time goes on. It shows the giver is always keen on change and innovation which could, as a parent, mean anything from the fact that they want another child to getting the whole family into a new hobby."

Spa or experience day

Judi says: "These gifts are a reward, meaning your hard work during the year has been noticed after all. They're the expensive equivalent of being told to put your feet up for a bit.

"As a parent it suggests they know you probably do more than your fair share when it comes to looking after the kids – and feel a little guilty about it."

Perfume or After-shave

Judi says: "If they buy what you normally use they're eager to please and as a parent they may be anxious and a bit of a worrier - the sort often found with their nose in a parenting manual.

"If they picked a new scent they may err towards the lecturing sort of parenting partner."


"Practical, logical and thorough, what they lack in romantic sentiment they try to make up for in hands-on help.

"As a parent they are likely to be ambitious and competitive, spending hours on line researching schools for example."


"Fun, funny and kind though they are likely to make an equally indulgent parent, meaning you'll spend your life ensuring they're not busy undoing all your hard work to bring the kids up on healthy foods!"

Romantic meal out

"Sexy, romantic and keen to make you feel special by re-booting the days when you were dating. They're keen to give and receive some undivided attention without kids getting in the way.

"As a parent he or she is loving and indulgent but also thoughtful about keeping the 'you' time going."

Romantic meal in

"Lovely but a bit corny. As a parent they'll be touchingly nostalgic and thorough, there for all the life events, big or small and filming them for posterity - or to bore the neighbours.

"Well-meaning, but might need some firm direction now and again."

Holiday away

Judi says: "This is really big-statement stuff, truly sweeping you off your feet. A spontaneous and exciting partner.

"As a parent he or she is equally impulsive and dramatic, with a 'life's too short' approach to parenting that will more than make up in fun what it might lack in a practical approach."


"Supportive and flattering in intent, they might also be slightly lacking in the tact department at times.

"As a parent they are a bit of an idealist but in a good way with no heavy pressure on the kids to excel in anything."


"They're romantic, loyal and keen to be seen as the most important adult person in your life. A sweet, old-fashioned, alpha male or female.

"Maybe a bit hands-off as a parent, especially with the more squeamish tasks like changing nappies."


Judi says: "A statement sort of partner who loves to sweep you off your feet now and again – unless they're bought at a garage forecourt of course.

"As a parent they're probably too busy to play a lot of the time, but they're also up for sudden big, showy displays of affection to the kids."

Cuddly Toy

Judi says: "They're keen to re-boot your cute, pseudo-infantile side. Smart and sweetly strategic, knowing how a cuddly toy for you, rather than the kids, is a gentle reminder that in their eyes the parenting role is only one of your facets.

"A laid-back and confident mum or dad."

Phew! What a minefield! Do you agree with these or is it simply safer to give each other a kiss?


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