Even if you don’t buy a heart-shaped gold ring this Valentine’s Day, show your woman you have a heart. A sweet gesture gets a thumbs up over expensive gifts any day, advises NEETI SARKAR

Valentine’s Day is finally upon us again — the day when love saturates the air and when people do the goofiest of stuff for that crazy little thing called love. The market is awash with Valentine’s Day offers. Restaurants are hosting candlelight dinners, spas are pedalling couple massage/beauty treatment coupons, jewellery stores have come up with love bands, and with love, there’s discounts in the air.

But apparently, love doesn’t need to come gift wrapped this Valentine’s Day! A new research has found that nine in 10 women (87 per cent) prefer a romantic gesture to an expensive gift on February 14, the Daily Mail reported. The British Heart Foundation research comes as it launches its annual Love Notes fundraising campaign.

So has love really outgrown expensive gifts finally? According to city-based publicist Samarpita Sammadar, “The perfect mix of both would perhaps be asking for too much so I’d cast my vote in favour of a romantic gesture. I can anyway buy the stuff I want for myself. I’d love to come home to a romantic meal cooked by my man. Also I wouldn’t mind if he wrote me a sonnet.”Her significant other, Adithya Mallya seems to know his girlfriend rather well. He says: “I think it is true that women prefer a romantic gesture to an expensive gift although they would never say it out loud. But an expensive gift doesn’t hurt either! Doing household chores always brings a smile to her face.”

For Suma Noronha who’s been married for four years now, “a romantic gesture would be the best gift from my husband, Naveen. I would love breakfast in bed, even better if he cooks. And if he is doing this, I would want him to sit down next to me, play his guitar and serenade me with a romantic song. It might be too much to ask for, nonetheless, I would love it.”

Software professional and restaurateur Darshan Jadav says, “Tons of TLC would win my wife Tina’s heart on any given day!” A meticulous planner, Darshan says: “The day is going to begin with sweet nothings and a lazy breakfast before we start work. If we aren’t in the same place, I’m sure romantic texts of our best moments together will be exchanged through the day. Though we might end up working late, the evening will feature a candlelit room and some wine!” Those who don’t mind giving or receiving gifts feel that store-bought gifts aren’t always the best. People would rather customise and personalise a gift for their better half.

Being in a long-distance relationship isn’t easy, being in one on Valentine’s Day makes it even less easy! Parnika Reys Gamat, who works for Enchanting Travels, says: “Though Rohit isn’t in Bangalore, I’m definitely part of that 87 per cent of women. A good massage, a long drive, even giving up smoking for a day would be a gesture I’d appreciate as much as I would a diamond necklace!”

Srishti Gupta, a media professional whose husband works in the Middle East, says, “Maybe all I want is a longer Skype conversation. But he always sends me gifts to make up for not being around.”

While a lot of men think V-Day is about romance and making the woman feel special, Rohan Naidu, a software professional says: “I believe a romantic gesture would make her happiest, but truth is a pair of diamond studs wouldn’t make her unhappy now, would it? And since Valentine’s Day comes only once a year, I don’t think many men think it’s a daunting ritual to buy their woman expensive jewellery.”

Advertising professional Mohit Kumar recalls last year, February 14, and laughs: “I used to believe that women loved thoughtful gestures on days like this until last year when I almost burned down my girlfriend’s kitchen making her dinner. Obviously, my good intention received no commendation. I’ve learnt my lesson.”

From the way things appear, men seem to know what women want, at least on Valentine’s Day! We sure hope the womenfolk have done their research too.