It really isn't that difficult to shop for women. Most of them love flowers, chocolate and perfume. You really can't go wrong by buying one of those for your wife or girlfriend. But is it what she really wants?

If you listen closely and pay good attention to what she is saying, you can discover what gift would make her overjoyed. However, don't expect her to drop hints on command. You must be listening for the clues at all times. She may indicate something she desires in May but you need to buy her something for her birthday in October.

Listen and watch for the clues and if necessary, write them down so when it comes gift buying time, you will know exactly what to purchase. Notice what she pampers herself with: tickets to the opera, coffee table books, new CDs, trips to the spa, etc.

Have you ever noticed how she admires a piece of clothing or jewelry in a store’s window display or on someone else? Does she look at magazines and show you an advertisement and say "wouldn't this look great in our dining room" or "I would like to have something like this one day." How about the time you went over to another couple's house and she really admired something there. A word of caution - just because she liked your neighbor’s bread machine doesn’t mean she would like one for an anniversary or special occasion. If you want to buy her a bread machine and surprise her with it one Sunday morning with a fresh loaf of bread baking in it, that would be fine. But don’t give appliances or other impersonal gifts for special occasions!

Hopefully, the next time she opens one of your gifts she won't say "you shouldn't have" -- and really mean it.

Michael Webb is author of The RoMANtic's Guide: Hundreds of Creative Tips for a Lifetime of Love. You can order at or for more of Michael's FREE tips, visit

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