The perfect gift for your valentine

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (HEARTLAND WEEKEND) - Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, love is in the air, and maybe you feel a little stressed about finding that special gift for your special someone.

Dr. Gary Lewandowski, a relationship researcher from Monmouth University, says the perfect gift may not be flowers and chocolates.

“Better than buying them anything is to have experiences together to get out there and do something, particularly during this time. You know, we’re coming out of COVID. You’ve been kind of cooped up together like, get out of your house. Have an experience together,” says Dr. Lewandowski.

“What we know from the research is you don’t want to just have any experience. You want to have an experience that meets four criteria. And those criteria spell out the word NICE.  Novel, interesting, challenging, and exciting. And we know some from some of the research that I’ve done that those nice activities, those are particularly important because they’re interesting. They’re fun. They’re exciting. They help us become better people.”

Lewandowski says, “When you engage in these NICE activities, it promotes self-expansion with your partner? We know that that’s really important for relationship quality. It promotes satisfaction. It promotes commitment. It helps you feel more in love.”

Lewandowski says if you must buy something, get your partner a card, but include a handwritten note that gives it that personal touch.

In addition to his research at Monmouth University, Lewandowski is the author of Stronger Than You Think, Ten Blind Spots That Undermine Your Relationship.

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