Inside and Out

Knowing someone is an accumulation of shared experiences, an innate knowledge of their mannerisms and quirks. 

Knowing is to be able to anticipate their reaction to things — to know when and how their anger will thaw, what sparks their passion and what that passion looks like, what constitutes an expression of their love. 

It’s recognizing something as monumental that would appear inconsequential to the untrained eye.

Love is knowing when they’re in their element, and feeling a sense of pride at how they shine. 

That being said… this Valentine’s Day put that knowledge to use. 

Nothing thrills like a little insider information.

The message you’re sending: “I know you and feel close to you.”

A new shirt is a “nice” gift. One that you get monogrammed for your loved one (if they like that sort of thing) can be better. But if you’re trying to convey a big smacking, “I love you”: a gift that reflects that you’re paying attention to that person is the way to go.

It could be something you made yourself just for the person. It could be an item that reflects an inside joke or insider knowledge about the person’s preferences. Spending money isn’t the point here; it’s how much you spend emotionally. Your choices might include an item that you observed them needing or wanting months ago, or a scrapbook looking back on a long marriage or celebrating an older parent’s life.

The most valued gifts to a receiver are those the person knows are just for him or her. If I’m choosing between buying Mr G a shirt or compiling an MP3 of his favourite Caribbean songs to show my love, the MP3 sends a much stronger message because I know the songs tap into fond memories. Honestly, he could get his own shirt.

The strongest relationship messages we send cost almost nothing. So use all that insider information you’ve been gathering on your loved one, and do something only THEY would appreciate. Nothing says I Love You more than little things that are absolutely, exquisitely personal.