Patty Howell, vice president of the California Healthy Marriages Coalition in Los Angeles, says candy and cards are traditional on Valentine's Day but that only works if a partner really wants candy and cards.
"If your partner craves appreciation, quality time, physical touch or acts of service like washing dishes, there is no amount of roses that will do the job; but if your partner's 'Love Language' is gifts, it makes sense to head for the florist shop," Howell says in a statement.
"The key is to know what lights your partner's fire and deliver your love that way. Otherwise, you're just spinning your wheels."
Howell and her husband, Ralph Jones, are co-authors of "World Class Marriage," which along with their workshop of the same name, has helped couples achieve emotional intimacy and lasting friendship. Howell offers the following tips to help couples maximize Valentine's Day:
-- Set goals together. There are two types of goals, those that you are both working towards, or shared goals and those that only one of you pursues, agreed-upon goals.
-- Avoid blame and public criticism.
-- Nurture the honeymoon feelings through activities that allow you to experience joy with your partner, use positive "I-Language" when giving compliments and be generous with your affection.