My name is Becki, and I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. Valentine's day is one of my favorite holidays!
Guys Need a Little Romance Too!
Starting sometime late in December, the aisles of supermarkets and discount stores begin to fill up with the red and pink of Valentine's Day, and a short time after that, the radio commercials begin to play their suggestions of romantic jewelry for your wife or girlfriend.
The clear implication is that the purpose of this holiday is for men to provide gifts to prove to their girlfriends or wives that they love them. Not only is this clearly sexist in its implication that women exist to be catered to, but it suggests that men don't deserve the love and romance of this "Hallmark Holiday."
Women should be sure to involve their boyfriends or husbands in this holiday as much as possible—not by demanding that their significant others do something for them, but by going out of their way to make the day a good one for the men in their lives as well. So this Valentine's Day, ladies should be encouraged to spend the day preparing something special for their husbands or boyfriends instead of commiserating with their single girlfriends.
The guys need some love, too!
What Men Want Most From Their Valentine: Respect
Men want respect from their women more than anything else. When you're planning out your Valentine for your husband or boyfriend, the most important thing that you can do for him is to show him how much you respect him.
Women are looking for love from their husbands: We want them to do what we ask them to do the first time that we ask, and we want them to put us first. Women want to be held, kissed, cherished. We love gifts and gestures. If our man cooks a meal for us, we're grateful that he went out of his way to do something sweet for us. When they do what we ask them to do the first time, we feel filled up and loved.
Men want something different, but they're looking for the same thing. Men view many of these same acts as respect for them. When a woman cooks their dinner to be ready by the time they get home from work, that's similar to him taking the trash out for you the first time that you ask. When you thank him for going to work every day and taking care of your family financially, that's much the same as him enjoying the house that you took the time to clean that day.
Your man probably doesn't want or need the "bling" that the advertisers push on them to purchase for their women. While a beautiful Valentine's gift certainly won't go unnoticed for your man this year, he wants something from you that's much more important than jewelry, and it's something that money can't buy: He wants your respect.
How to Choose a Valentine's Card for Your Husband or Boyfriend
Women don't have any excuse not to purchase a Valentine for their lover in February. The notion that women "deserve" a Valentine but it's okay for their boyfriends and husbands to be left out is insulting both to men and to women.
This year, ladies, make sure that you take the time to pick up a Valentine's card for your other half. No doubt he'll feel the pressure to make the day perfect for you, so take the time to make this day special for him as well.
That starts with your card.
The first thing you should think about is how your partner views romance. Men and women feel romantic in different ways from one another. Your husband or boyfriend might feel romantic when sitting next to you at a football stadium or watching the game on television, while you feel more romantic when you're cuddled on the couch watching a romantic movie.
Knowing how your partner perceives romance will help you to choose the right card and gift for your husband or boyfriend.
Choose a card that is serious (i.e. not humorous) but not sentimental. As a general rule, men dislike sentimentality. Excessive sentimentality obscures the point you're trying to make in your card. Bear in mind, however, that your husband or boyfriend may be an exception and that you should always do what you believe is best for the man in your life. Treat him as an individual, not as a stereotype.
Suggested Messages for Your Valentine's Card this Year
- Tell him what you admire about him. I admire the way that you always persevere even when the odds are against you.
- Tell him you appreciate it when he does (fill in the blank). I appreciate the way that you take my needs into consideration before your own.
- Affirm something he likes about himself. I love watching you play football with your friends. You're such a great player!
How to Write a Valentine's Message for Your Man
The message written in your Valentine's Card is much more important than the appearance of the card itself. Anything that you write inside should be meaningful and personal, written by you for the man you love. Quotes inside of romantic cards are often trite and cliché: You want to write something for your lover that is personal and spoken from the heart.
In general, men process information—and love—differently than women do. As previously stated, men receive love through respect from their wives and girlfriends, and they may sometimes refer to what we think of as "love" as "respect." This powerful balance is an important key to a good relationship, and you should use this to your advantage when writing a message in your Valentine's Day card this year.
Most men will feel your love for them when you give them four important A's: Admire, Appreciate, Affirm, Adore. Use your Valentine's Day card to admire, appreciate and affirm, and you will very likely get a good response from your husband.
How to Plan a Valentine's Dinner He'll Never Forget
Holiday culture instructs that men should take their wives or girlfriends out for dinner on Valentine's Day, often to an expensive restaurant. If not taking her out, men are encouraged to prepare a meal at home for their significant others. On this holiday that is so often directed to the pampering of the women, the females are often left out of the fun of planning something special for their husbands or boyfriends.
Why not turn the tables this year and prepare a Valentine's Day Feast for your husband or boyfriend?
Start out by planning your menu. You'll have plenty of options for ways to spend your Valentine's dinner with your husband or boyfriend, but try to do whatever you can to cater to his tastes. If he's a meat and potato fan, you might want to try out a steak package such as the one suggested to the right.
Focus on foods that your husband or boyfriend will love. Make sure that the meats that you choose are the highest grade and that you choose a cut that he likes. Ribeye or Filet make great selections for those who are meat connoisseurs, but a T-Bone or even a Porterhouse would be appreciated by most people who love beef.
If your boyfriend or husband isn't a meat-eater, high-quality seafood (particularly of a variety that he doesn't get to eat very often) will be appreciated. Lobster makes an amazing Valentine's treat if you have the stomach to cook it, but there are other wonderful romantic options, including Salmon or shrimp.
You may even wish to include oysters (believed to be an aphrodisiac!) in your Valentine's meal.
Choosing Flowers for Your Valentine
Men enjoy the recognition, and they deserve it as well. Culturally it's a given that a man will purchase his wife or girlfriend flowers and chocolates for Valentine's Day, but women often disregard their husband or boyfriends in this particular area. Even those who are thinking about a fine meal, wine, and even a gift for their husbands often don't think about the flowers.
Many men (and women as well) are practical people: Flowers fade and serve no useful purpose and are therefore easily forgotten. At the same time, it's disappointing to be left out of the festivities and the gift-giving occasion, and men may wish that they'd received something special as well.
If the road to a man's heart is through his stomach, why not consider an Edible Arrangement for your husband this year?
Choose a Gift for Your Husband that Reflects Your Relationship
Women are often satisfied with something that sparkles beautifully. Jewelry is a wonderful reflection of the love that a couple shares for one another, but it's not practical, and therefore may not be what your husband most wants to receive for Valentine's Day. This may create difficulty for women who want to provide their husbands or boyfriends with a romantic Valentine's Day because men and women process romance so differently. If you're struggling, here are some tips that might help you out.
Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Your Man
- Find out what he finds romantic, and use that to your advantage.
- Try a gift certificate for a massage or spa treatment.
- Plan a day out together doing something he enjoys (like a ballgame, a round of golf together, or bowling).
- Get him something to use during couples time (related to an activity you both enjoy).
Whatever You Do, Don't Overlook Your Husband or Boyfriend This Valentine's Day!
Men are sensitive creatures: Just because they don't always visibly show their emotions doesn't mean that they cannot be hurt. Leaving your husband or boyfriend out of the Valentine's activities may cause him to feel unappreciated and overlooked.
Make sure to do what you can to show him how much you love him this February 14th by giving him something to look forward to. Focus on romantic, rather than erotic, love, and make sure that your plans take his preferences and desires into consideration. You're sure to give him a wonderful day to remember if you follow the simple advice in this article.
© 2014 Becki Rizzuti
What are your plans for this Valentine's Day?
Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indianapolis, Indiana on February 11, 2014:
Absolutely. Men are romantic too, though often in different ways than women are.
Meghan on February 11, 2014:
So true. Every year we always do something special for the both of us. Hate how woman except V Day to be one sided!
Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indianapolis, Indiana on February 10, 2014:
I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day, Liz, and that your partner shows you as much love as you show him respect this year.
Liz on February 09, 2014:
Yes, because we never take the time to prepare romantic meals during the year, and we can't lose the opportunity to, yet again, slave over the stove. BRAVO!!
Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on January 25, 2014:
Nice suggestions. l think it's important to do something special for your man on Valentine's Day.
Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indianapolis, Indiana on January 09, 2014:
That's terrific, WiccanSage! Thank you so much for your feedback. It's just the kind of comments I'm hoping for to encourage women to make this a great day for their husbands or boyfriends too (:
A good relationship is about give and take.
Mackenzie Sage Wright on January 08, 2014:
This is really great-- it's true, ladies can woo and romance their man once in a while too. My husband with romance depends-- he gets very mushy over things like big sloppy unexpected kisses, or leaving a lovey-dovey note or card. But a romantic candlelight dinner just makes him feel awkward... about the most romantic thing i can do for him is send the kids out to sleep overs so he can sit nekkid on the couch with his dinner in front of the TV, and I rub his feet.