Halle Berry & Gabriel Aubry's Valentine's Plans

"I don't think it's about gifts," Aubry tells PEOPLE. "You have to be there"

Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Halle Berry’s beau Gabriel Aubry says the day isn’t about presents but presence.

“I don’t think it’s about gifts,” the model and restaurateur, 31, told PEOPLE Wednesday night. “It’s more about presence. You have to be there. You can’t really spend Valentine’s Day apart. I can’t be in New York if she’s in L.A. It doesn’t work. So I try to be there most of the time and that’s more precious to me.”

However, Berry, 40, wasn’t there at VH1 and Wilhelmina Models’ screening and launch party for The Agency, a new VH1 series (premiering Feb. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT) about the inner workings of a modeling agency, at the Bryant Park Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Berry was in L.A., and Aubry plans to fly out on Friday.

“I’m going to be with my girl,” he said, smiling.

According to Aubry, maintaining a bi-coastal relationship isn’t that difficult: “We travel all of the time,” he said. “We’re together more than people think. She comes to New York and I go to L.A. a lot. I’m getting used to L.A. I like L.A. and I have a lot of friends there. I like L.A. because we get to stay home and be cozy all of the time.”

The couple has been together more than a year. Is marriage on the horizon?

“We don’t even talk about it,” Aubry said.

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