Follow-up letter from a woman who felt hurt her boyfriend didn't give her a gift for Valentine's Day. I asked her to tell me about the good traits he has, and this is her reply:   

To be fair to him, we have also been together for two of my birthdays, and he has always showered me with gifts then. And it's not as if he ignored Valentine's Day completely. We stayed in a hotel (at my suggestion) and split the cost. We had a nice time, but I was so disappointed he hadn't gotten me anything that I spent a lot of the time fighting back tears. He is very affectionate, both physically and verbally. He is all about saying how he feels, whereas I am all about showing how I feel (although I also tell him I love him, a lot). What do I like about him?  We have so much fun together.  I feel comfortable around him.  He makes me laugh.  I love how affectionate he is.  But sometimes it seems like he only thinks about me when we're together.  He tells me he does, but nothing he does shows this.  I also think maybe I've given the vibe that he doesn't need to do anything for me, and I'll still be around?  Even though he always tells me that he loves me, I really need him to show me that he cares. Can I approach this with him?  I don't know how to say "I really wanted something for Valentine's Day" without sounding shallow and materialistic. 

------------------------Miss Emily's advice----------------------

I perfectly understand how you feel. You told me many wonderful things about him, and that holds a lot of sway -- believe me. I get many letters from women who wish they got the attention you receive -- but this is about you, and you feel hurt. I think it's true some women give off messages that they are so very capable of handing their lives -- controlling their environment -- that often times certain emotional needs are neglected. "She's handling it, why should I get involved?" It's almost like a punishment for being self-sufficient. But a mind reader he is not, and you need to let him know how you feel. It serves no purpose to have that chemical, hurt feeling drain into the pit of your stomach if you can address the problem head on -- because, believe me, he's oblivious to it or, at the most, confused. Tell him how you feel, but don't do it in an accusing tone. If he doesn't get it, he either thinks Valentine's Day is silly -- shines too bright light on something he feels but doesn't need the Hallmark corporation to draw attention to it, or he's showing an insensitive side. But give him a chance to understand how you view it because, from what you have told me, he's got some good qualities going for him. Give the art of communication a chance. And remember, most guys see in black/white, win/lose. The gray areas sometimes confound them.