“What do women want?” It's the age old question. But in an effort to help couples communicate better, I found some surprising answers. The answers came from our new survey It turns out that you can’t buy love on Valentine’s Day. This is certainly good news for relationships in a bad economy.

The online survey conducted by my firm, Laurie Puhn Communications, came out of an effort to help couples communicate better.

As a couples mediator and author of "Fight Less, Love More: 5 Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In," I find that couples can avoid many arguments by replacing unstated assumptions with the tried-and-true approach of saying what they mean and meaning what they say.

Our results show that what most women (ages 30-49) want for Valentine’s Day this year is rest and relaxation – a one day pass to put their feet up – while their man does the chores and/or childcare. Let’s call it “Queen for a Day.”

According to our survey:

• 72% of women want a day off from housework and/or childcare
• 14% of women want a special plan for dinner
• 9% of women want a gift
• 5% of women want sex

Though the above-mentioned results were most surprising, that’s not all we learned.

Women over 50 or under 30, and men as a group, also reject the standard store-bought gift. A majority of respondents in those groups preferred a special plan for dinner.

What does this all mean for us for Valentine’s Day 2012? Rather than receiving a store-bought gift, your mate would most likely prefer a little attention, appreciation and recognition for all he/she does for the family.

For Men: Don't struggle to find that special restaurant or unique gift for your Valentine. Instead ask your honey if she would like the priceless gift of "Queen for a Day" during which you will do the household chores and/or child care and she can enjoy some rest and relaxation.

Likewise, if you’re heavily involved with kids and housework, ask for a present of one day off for yourself.

For Women: Say what you mean and mean what you say. If the Valentine's gift of "Queen for a Day" appeals to you, ask your mate for it! If you’d prefer a dinner date, ask your mate to make the reservation and surprise you.

For both sexes: If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Don’t you think?

Laurie Puhn is a Harvard-educated lawyer, couples mediator, and bestselling author of "Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship Without Blowing Up or Giving In," who frequently appears on Fox News Channel, CNN, "Good Morning America," and CBS News' "The Early Show" to offer relationship advice. Visit her at www.fightlesslovemore.com