A romantic gift is almost never the actual gift itself. What's more important is that the gift brings you and your wife or girlfriend closer together. The feeling may last a moment or a day, but your gift needs to create a bond that reminds you and your sweetheart why you love each other. Before deciding on a romantic gift, imagine how she will respond and how well the gift says, "I love you, and you're in my thoughts."
According to a 1989 study in the "Journal of Social Psychology," couples who attended an exciting movie were more affectionate and verbal afterward than couples who watched a documentary -- the authors speculate that any exciting experience creates the same increased feelings of satisfaction in a relationship. Create your own excitement by taking your sweetheart to a new and glamorous restaurant, experiencing thrilling rides together at the local county fair or offering her a lesson on the ski slopes, at a climbing gym or on a local lake for waterskiing.
When you give your love what she wants, your thoughtfulness turns any gift into a romantic one, because you've shown that you're paying attention to her. If you know that she wants a fancy purse, kitten, diamond earrings or lemon tree bursting with fruit, surprise her with the item -- the surprise itself becomes part of the gift too. If she has always wanted a trip to Paris but it is beyond your budget, create a Parisian evening at home with French food and wine, French music and a gift of French perfume.
A gift from your heart can take the simple form of a handwritten note on a card saying something like, "You make my life worth living," a framed photo of the two of you or the completion of a handyman project she has been wanting you to finish. For some women, a gift of your time accompanying her on a shopping trip to find just the right sweater or scarf would be the most romantic thing she could imagine. For other women, going dancing provides romantic moments, especially if you see yourself as completely uncoordinated.
Gifts that evoke the senses also create strong feelings that can translate into romance. Take your wife or girlfriend to a concert for a performance of love songs or evocative orchestral music, or attend a play together with strong emotional performances. For clearly sensual gifts, give her perfume, a cashmere sweater that cries out for hugging, a silky negligee or massage oil and a scented candle.