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A True Valentines Day Story
Laurie Weiss, Ph.D.

As Valentines Day approached, Allison found herself on pins and needles. Would Steve remember this time? In their 15 years together he had never managed to get her the chocolate she loved ON Valentines Day. It usually showed up within a few days after Valentines Day, but she really wanted it as a Valentines Day gift. She had been hinting for weeks. "I love chocolate on Valentines Day." She had found so many opportunities to remind him when Valentines Day was coming, that he couldn###t get it wrong again this year.

Valentines Day came and for the 15th year a row nothing happened. Allison was devastated. However on the day after Valentines Day, Steve presented her with a huge box of Valentines candy. At her next coaching session Allison recounted the sad tale. "Why can###t he get it right? He does know I like candy and he does get it for me. Why can###t he get it for me on Valentines Day?"

After speculating together for a few minutes, Allison decided that Steve###s heart really was in the right place but something was wrong with their communication. She decided that hinting was not working and she needed a new strategy. One evening after dinner she asked if she could talk with him. She explained how disappointed she was that she did not get her chocolates on Valentines Day. He was amazed. He explained that he knew she loved chocolate and that the day after Valentines Day all the chocolate was marked down to half price. He could buy her twice as much for the same amount of money if he only waited 24 hours. He had no idea that receiving a gift on Valentines Day was what Allison really wanted most.

She explained that for the 15 years they had known each other, she had been waiting for him to make her Valentines Day romantic by giving her a gift on that day. She had told stories about how romantic it would be to get a Valentines Day gift. She had been dropping hints about gifts she wanted to receive and she had been giving him cards, but nothing had happened. He looked blank. "I never knew you wanted anything until you started telling me about chocolate. As soon as I realized what you wanted I got it for you." By this time she was in tears. "I can###t believe our communication is so messed up."

Steve told her, "I can###t read your mind, just tell me what you want and I###ll be glad to do it for you. I just want to be happy. I never knew what I was doing wrong. I guess I just can###t hear hints." Allison pleaded, "Next year will you give me chocolate on Valentines Day? And I mean ON Valentines Day!" Steve methodically made a note in this calendar Allison did not ask what it was.

The next year, ON Valentines Day, Allison received a large box of chocolates, a romantic card and a dozen roses. She was ecstatic.

The moral of this story is that mind-reading is an inexact art. Next time mind-reading is not working for you, try having a conversation in which you state clearly what you want, and be sure that your partner understands you. You may be pleasantly surprised at the result.

(Names have been changed to protect privacy.)

FREE GIFT: Valentines Day Special ends February 28: You can request your own copy of Laurie Weiss’ new ebooklet "124 TIPS FOR HAVING A GREAT RELATIONSHIP" (click here) Laurie Weiss, Ph.D., Master Certified Coach, and her life partner, Jonathan B. Weiss, Ph.D., have been married to each other since 1960 and business partners since 1972. They are internationally known coaches, marriage counselors, psychotherapists, speakers and authors. They specialize in helping clients create dynamic, effective personal and working relationships. Individual and/or couples coaching can be arranged with either of them. Call 303-794-5379. For a complete list of available resources visit www.empowermentsystems.com.