Valentine's Day is the holiday that plays a big role in dating and relationships. Whether you have just started dating or have been dating someone for months, this holiday has the ability to either speed up or slow down the relationship.

Women are typically more excited about Valentine's Day because, well let's face it, they have it easy. They are the receivers.

Men don't always look forward to Valentine's Day because they are considered the givers, and that puts pressure on them to plan and execute the perfect amount of celebration for the current stage of the relationship.

All women are different in what they want or expect, but one thing is true: Too little or too much and you may have an unhappy Valentine. This is why men use this holiday to either end a relationship or take it to the next level.

Though it may seem at times that women are tricky or impossible to shop for, remember it is essentially the thought that counts.

A big must on Valentine's Day is to share a romantic, candle-lit dinner together. If you choose to take her to a restaurant, be sure to make reservations. If you choose to plan a romantic dinner at home, don't forget to set the mood with candles and music.

What you must get her, no matter the stage of your relationship, are the traditional Valentine's Day gifts. Most women desire the basics: a fancy Valentine card, red roses and/or a box of chocolates. Remember, it's not Christmas or her birthday, so stick with the Valentine's love theme.

The following are gift ideas that should be given, in addition to the above-mentioned traditional Valentine's Day gifts, if you are in a more serious relationship and want to give a little more.

If you've been dating for a while or are in a relationship:

Surprise her with a day of pampering at the spa — a manicure, pedicure and massage. Every woman appreciates the special treatment.

If you're in a relationship:

Diamonds and jewelry. If you're looking to splurge on a gift to spoil her and let her know how you really feel, buy her a pair of earrings or necklace. This is a welcomed gift if you are already in a relationship, but please note that it is not an appropriate gift if you just started dating.

Appropriate only if you have an intimate relationship:

Lingerie. A little lace is beautiful and sexy but is really more of a gift for you than for her, so be sure that this is a bonus gift and not the main item.

A getaway. There is nothing better for your relationship than a romantic getaway. Take her to the beach or the wine country for a romantic, relaxing weekend.

And be sure not to forget the flowers, chocolates and Valentine's card.

KIMBERLY ARICO is a professional matchmaker in Newport Beach.