I know it's a mistake to shower a girl with attention, especially at sensitive early moments in the dating process.

First, I want to define "special":

Any event or act that takes a certain amount of thought or effort that is sincere and spontaneous.

Spontaneity is key. Nothiing is special if it happens all the time. Sincerity is under rated here. I think a lot of guys think they can get away with doing special to gain an upper hand or with a certain agenda. Come on, we see it on Lifetime movies all the time: the bastard husband comes off as sweet, doing special things while having a hidden agenda.

Here are things I'd consider special while dating:

  • Giving flowers, jewelry or any "romantic gift"
  • Making dinner for a girl
  • Event date: ticketed event like a show
  • Surprise party for the girl
  • Spontaneous trip-often within driving distance, so you can just take them by the hand, throw bags in the car and go
  • Bringing her to "landmark" spots like first restaurant you ever went out to dinner
  • Creating: art, custom gifts, writing songs, poetry, letters

I think the "special" things should not be used to cheer up a girlfriend. When she's very low (lost a loved one, depressed, etc), she needs general support and to be brought along slowly. You can't expect to grab tickets to a Broadway show and lug her to NYC and expect to pull her out of an emotional valley that fast.

Also, special things should not be used to fix a problem I brought on. For example, if a girl is mad at me because I forgot to do something she asked, or just because I've done something idiotic, slow and steady wins the race again. How contrived does it look if I show up with a diamond necklace after I've done something bad. It takes away from the very meaning of the act: would I have not done something nice for her if she wasn't mad at me?

So, my theory is that spontaneously doing it is the best. Surprise her. Doing something special when things are good can make things even better!

The more I think about it, I would like to emulate the pacing of the Lifetime movie villain. He shows up in the woman's life, and just seems to time the diamond necklace, spontaneous trip, and other special things so perfectly.

So, what is the right timing for special things? There is definitely a breaking point where it gets to be overkill: flowers every week for example. Do you agree that it should be done spontaneously? How often do you llike it to happen? Do you notice when something special hasn't happened for a few months while dating? What's your favorite special thing your significant other ever did for you? Do you expect special things when you're upset, or do you agree that a slow and steady approach to cheering you up is the best?

What Do You Think?