My first instinct is to say that for some people their actions and their spoken words are the way they show affection more than through material things.
Two classic, highly stereotypical examples are
The man who works all day to clean, wax, and detail his wife's car - only to have her think that he wasted the day on something that didn't matter when his intention was to show how much she means to him by taking good care of her car.
The woman who spends two hours picking out just the right card for her husband only to have him read it once, spend less that five seconds looking it, and toss it off to the side. Yet he goes crazy over a ballcap for his favorite sports team she spent less than five minutes deciding over.
In my own life - my grandmother used to proudly say that she never had to ask for a knife to be sharpened in her kitchen. Her husband knew that sharp knives made her days in the kitchen easier and showed her he loved her by doing so.
My grandmother - in contrast, would iron my grandfather's socks - wanting him to look his very best for work. Finally, one day he told her that nobody ever saw his socks at work - so he woud like her to save the extra effort.
And the second thing that comes to mind is that our loved ones, no matter how much time they spend with us - aren't mind readers and sometimes don't value the same things. So if there is something your lover can do that makes you feel very special - be sure to let them in on the secret.
And the last thing that comes to mind is that even the most well-intentioned people goober it somtimes. And sometimes that's because they're being pulled by another aspect in their life. Which isn't an excuse - but an observation.
Did you show compassion today?