The Best Gift You Can Give on Valentines Day

The best gift you can give on Valentines Day  (or at least one of the best gifts)

If Valentines Day is about showing love, flowers, candy, and diamonds are always a big hit. For the guy, the equivalent, silk boxers, fine bottle of wine, or a romantic dinner are always winners. This Valentines Day think about giving the gift of “true listening.” 

I was recently reminded of this activity last weekend when we were skiing with some friends. One man told the story that he remembered 5 years earlier we took the wrong route to North Lake Tahoe (via South Lake Tahoe) because we were so immersed in this game of listening. The fact that for another 50 miles we continued this game (did we have a choice on a dark winter night) made such an impression, that he and his wife played the game each Valentines Day.


The game can be played anywhere; at home, over dinner, on a walk, or in a car. It is, however, best played where you will have no interruptions and a glass of wine doesn’t hurt. I promise you that what you hear will be very different than any other conversation you have had. It may be the most important conversation you have all year – because you are taking the time to truly listen and to truly speak.

The game has two rules:

Rule 1: One person talks about anything they want and has to continue to talk, uninterrupted for 20 minutes. They can pause for 5 seconds, but then must resume.

Rule 2: The other person has to listen without interruption, without questions. Listen, listen, and listen. Your body language has to show you are listening, no pretending.

After one person talks and the other listens for 20 minutes, switch.

After you have each had a turn you can discuss how you felt listening and talking without interruption.

What better gift to give your loved one than 20 minutes of undivided, truly undivided attention.


Suzanne Saxe-Roux