02/07/2012 11:49 am ET | Updated Apr 08, 2012

Don't Buy Me a Valentine Gift, Please

When answering the age-old question, "What do women want?" our new survey gave surprising results: It turns out that you can't buy love on Valentine's Day. This is certainly good news for relationships in a bad economy.

The online survey conducted by my firm, Laurie Puhn Communications, comes out of an effort to help couples communicate better. As a couples mediator and author of Fight Less, Love More: 5 Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In, I find that couples can avoid many arguments by replacing unstated assumptions with the tried-and-true approach of saying what they mean and meaning what they say.

Our results show that what most women (ages 30-49) want for Valentine's Day this year is rest and relaxation -- a one day pass to put their feet up -- while their man does the chores and/or childcare. Let's call it "Queen for a Day."

According to our survey, which included 200 volunteer respondents:

• 72 percent of women want a day off from housework and/or childcare
• 14 percent of women want a special plan for dinner
• 9 percent of women want a gift
• 5 percent of women want sex

Though the above-mentioned results were most surprising, that's not all we learned. Women over 50 or under 30, and men as a group, also reject the standard store-bought gift. A majority of respondents in those groups preferred a special plan for dinner.

What does this all mean for us for Valentine's Day 2012?

For Men: Don't struggle to find that special restaurant or unique gift for your valentine. Instead, ask your honey if she would like the priceless gift of "Queen for a Day" during which you will do the household chores and/or child care and she can enjoy some rest and relaxation. Likewise, if you're heavily involved with kids and housework, ask for a present of one day off for yourself.

For Women: Say what you mean and mean what you say. If the gift of "Queen for a Day" appeals to you, ask your mate for it! If you'd prefer a dinner date, ask your mate to surprise you with a plan, whether it's a home-cooked meal or a restaurant.

If you don't ask, you don't get. Don't you think?

For more by Laurie Puhn, click here.

For more on relationships, click here.