What Does Your Wife Really Want for Valentine's Day?
Here's What Your Wife Actually Wants for Valentine's Day
- A bouquet from a real florist (not Walgreens).
- For you to clean up the house and take the kids for a minute.
- Dinner out—just the two of you (not double dates).
- A couple's massage.
- A getaway, just the two of you.
- A houseplant she can kill.
You're here because you're feeling scared, alone and overwhelmed. It's okay; based on my Google analytics, I can promise you that you're not the only one. Another thing I can promise you is that I'm going to do my level best here to help you figure out what your wife really wants for Valentine's Day.
Now, fair warning—my husband and I do absolutely jack for Valentine's Day. A tradition we've carried on for the entirety of our relationship save for that year we got engaged on Valentine's Day. A total coincidence that was the result of my ring alteration being completed and a swift decision to make the whirlwind engagement Facebook official.
What Do I Really Want?
Seven-ish years, two cats, two kids, and a puppy later, Valentine's Day consists of basically just taking care of poop. Poop diapers, poop in the litter box, poop in the backyard. So, when I told my guy that I was going to write an article about Valentine's Day and he suggested I write about what wives really want for Valentine's Day, I sat there pretty clueless, though a few things did come to mind after a moment:
- I would like to watch at least two episodes on Netflix without being asked a question or a favor, most specifically, "Can you wipe my butt?"
- I would like to be able to consume a box of V-day chocolate without it instantly triggering my acid reflux.
- Sleep. I would love to sleep. Without a tiny toe poking me in the groin every ten minutes.
Let's be real. My husband, no matter how much he wants to, can't provide me with any of those things for Valentine's Day. And, though he'd be happy to take me out for a Valentine's evening out, introversion mingled with social anxiety makes going out on a date while thousands of other couples are also out on a date sound as appealing as rinsing out the trash can.
Help From Fellow Wives
What I'm getting to here is that I'm actually not the most qualified wife to be writing this. But my friends are! And they've been pretty cool about helping me out and giving me ideas on what women really want from their partners on Valentine's Day.
Hold on, you might be wondering who these friends are. They're actually my Facebook friends, mostly people I'm distantly related to or know from high school, and they've agreed to let me in on their innermost desires for V-Day on the condition of anonymity.
So, without further ado, here's a few wife-approved Valentine's ideas!
My husband bought me chocolates for my birthday last year and I basically worshiped him for like nine days after that.— Me, Kierstin Gunsberg
Flowers and Chocolates—Psych!
So, flowers and chocolates were probably the first thing that came to your mind when in a moment of cold-sweating-panic you realized that Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Right?
Well, if you were married to me, that would be totally fine as long as I popped a couple Zantac beforehand. I really love getting chocolates, which I almost exclusively receive from my mother but would be happy to get from my husband. Weirdly, when I asked my friends, not a single one of them mentioned that they'd appreciate getting a box of chocolates, and a couple of them even said that chocolates aren't even that great.
I'm not even kidding.
As for the flowers, these were a pretty resounding yes, especially for the ladies who don't get flowers from their guy very often. As one of my friends put it, "They say that he thought about me and made time to stop for them when he hates shopping."
The Best Way to Do Flowers and Chocolate
I'ma go ahead and make this easy for you here:
You need to go to a florist, tell them your budget (not $10) and have them put together a bouquet for your girl. Grocery store flowers are an appropriate alternative as long as they're not the kind that have food coloring all sucked up their stems to turn the petals different colors. Roses are a pretty standard a-ok in my book and probably in everyone else's, too.
If your wife says she's not into chocolates but eats them all when her mom buys them for her, then just buy the damn chocolates and make sure they're in the heart-shaped box. My husband bought me chocolates for my birthday last year and I basically worshiped him for like nine days after that. You'll get bonus points if you buy fancy chocolates from a legit candy store, you know, those ones where they make the candy in front of you.
P.S. If flowers bum your wife out, one of my friends suggest that a potted plant is a good way to go, too (they're personally my favorite gift)!
Clean Something, for Crying out Loud
This may or may not surprise you, but one of the most common things that came up when I asked my friends what they wanted their husband's to do for them for Valentine's Day was for them to clean the house without being asked. Here's what they said:
- "Let me sleep in, doing the chores I usually do in the mornings (and the extras I do later) [like] keeping the baby happy and taking her for a walk. Doing stuff without having to be told even for a day would be epic!"
- "Help clean the house, which he already does anyway..."
- "Clean the whole house and just [have] a nice date together. I like when he cooks something special and we have a cozy night in." (Okay, I have to say that this particular friend's husband is a chef at one of Mario Batali's favorite places to dine so she kind of has a leg up here).
- "Flowers, card, and time together. Bonus- clean house and put kids to bed."
- "A clean car, two hours away from the kids, getting to sleep in."
I don't mean to be preachy but if you're not already cleaning without being asked, you need to take a long, hard look inside your heart and ask yourself why. If it's because both of your arms were tragically broken recently then that's very understandable and I'm sorry. If not, Valentine's Day would be a fantastic day to start this new habit.
If you're wondering why your wife even considers it romantic that you might clean or get some chores done without being asked it's because we like knowing that our husband thinks about our needs. And one of our needs is to not be 100% stressed all of the time. And a thing that causes us a lot of stress is messes. See where I'm going with this?
I like when he cooks something special and we have a cozy night in.— My friend whose husband is a chef at a Mario Batalli owned tourist destination. So.
A Grand Gesture
I know that so far this has sounded pretty simple—pick up some chocolates that you'll basically get to eat half of and clean the toilets. WOW TOO EASY AMIRIGHT?!
Well, buckle up, baby, we're about to kick this thing into full gear with some direct quotes from my friends about what they really, seriously want from their husband's and I can tell you that when it's all said and done, your head will be spinning so fast that you'll actually wish you were cleaning a toilet or at least near one (if you're not reading this from there):
- "A week vacation with no kids; just me and the husband. Quality time! Uninterrupted."
- "Date night out together! Just us, somewhere nice where we can get dressed up- and not talk about kids and work!!"
- "I would like an unexpected surprise. Like, he planned everything in advance! He reserved a hotel out of town. He packed me a bag. He has picked me up in a limousine and we ride to our destination. He went shopping for me and bought me a dress and shoes for our night out on the town, which includes dinner, maybe a musical or something like it, we walk and talk, etc. I don't need flowers or chocolate. I like gestures from my hubby, however I like things out of the ordinary of our normal lives and THIS would be out of the ordinary for us. It may sound like a fairytale but....yup I'm that girl!"
- "Couples' massage or couples' tutorial massage. Who doesn't want their partner to learn how to massage them?"
Date night out together! Just us, somewhere nice where we can get dressed up- and not talk about kids and work!!— My extremely hopeful friend who seems to have a life outside of the four walls she inhabits.
A Quick Escape Together
Okay dude, keep that crap out of your pants (I'm married to a guy, please don't pretend with me like you've never crapped your pants a little, it's fine, it's between us). I'm going to help you through this with a little story. Don't worry, I'll keep it mostly short.
Yesterday, I told my husband I really want to see Vance Joy live for my birthday this year. Without my even prodding he was like "We'll go together!" and I MYSELF ALMOST CRAPPED MY PANTS. That meant a lot to me because let's face it, he's not a fan of Vance Joy's curls and Australian lilt the way I am. But he offered to do something that's not personally exciting to him so that we can spend time alone together doing something that's special to me.
That's what your wife wants. Not Vance Joy (although, probably, yes) specifically or a surprise trip or a couples massage, but something out of your everyday hustle that gives the two of you time to do something fun and focus a little more on each other and less on all of the responsibilities of life. We want just a quick escape with our fave person. You know your wife better than I do, I don't know what that perfect quick escape is to her but I bet you do.
He offered to do something that's not personally exciting to him so that we can spend time alone together doing something that's special to me.
That's what your wife wants.— Me, Kierstin Gunsberg, again.
A Few Moments to Relax
Okay, I know that last part was a little overwhelming. Here's something that requires less planning - just let her relax.
Maybe she looks like she's just about to begin a one thousand mile marathon even when she's just painting her nails. If she's anything like me, that's because she's planning her next ten steps for the day—pay the insurance, pack your lunch, check her email, make a deadline, wipe a butt, etc. etc.
Relaxation Gift Basket
Her mind and body are never truly chill and that means that you probably have no idea how to even help her relax. I'm going to give you some very specific direction:
- Make a relaxation gift basket. Go into Bath and Body Works or any kind of boutique and tell them you want an aromatherapy candle, bath oils or bath salts (the real stuff, not the drugs), and foot lotion. They will help you.
- Give the gift basket to your wife.
- Remove yourself and any offspring you and your wife have incurred over the years from the home and do not return for like four hours. Tell your wife it will be two hours that way she's pleasantly surprised by your lateness.
More Relaxing Gift Ideas
Here are a few more relaxing gifts for your girl:
- A massage (Not from you, from an actual masseuse. Also, this only works if she's not a neurotic freak who is phobic about strangers touching her. To be real, I would hate this gift but I'm trying to be inclusive here).
- A full day of meals cooked by you! Food is love.
- Sneak off with those offspring before her alarm (internal or real) goes off. Take them out to breakfast so mom can sleep in. Leave a little card and some flowers on her nightstand to let her know that you love her and that you have not all been kidnapped in a murder-for-hire plot.
- Movie tickets for just you and her to a movie that doesn't involve a murder-for-hire plot.
- A gift certificate to her favorite bookstore and then go with her and don't even complain about how long this is taking.
- A bottle of Unisom. LOL KIDDING.
Sex. Maybe. Maybe Not. We're Not Sure.
I have to talk to you about sex because I know it's basically all you've thought about this entire time and you're probably wondering if your wife is thinking about it too.
I wish I could tell you, but I honestly can't. When I asked my friends what they would like their husband's to do for them for Valentine's Day almost no one mentioned sex except one friend who said she'd like to not be asked for it to which one responded, "I was going to write: I'd love him to get things started without me having to initiate but I guess it just goes to show how different marriages can be."
WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN?!!!
It means you probably have a decent chance if you know this can't be the only nice thing you and your wife do for Valentine's Day.
I'm not here to give bedroom advice but I'll leave you with this: Sex cannot be the only thing you do for Valentine's Day, and if you think it's the only thing you need to do, then you're probably not getting it because chocolate. And flowers.
Do those things.
Wow, on that note it's time to begin saying goodbye to you fellas. This has been a pretty okay time and I'm glad we had this chat. Before I leave you to your V-Day scheming here's a quick rundown of things you might be asking yourself if it's okay to do for Valentine's Day along with my knee-jerk reaction.
Is it okay to give her a card?
Yes, absolutely, we like those. Perhaps not 100% necessary but also, never NOT appreciated. I especially love them because my husband always writes a little extra in there. You should do that too.
Is it okay to make her a card if I was too lazy to go out for one?
Sure, but don't tell her about the lazy part. Remember, if you took the time to make it then you took time for her and that's what we want. Tiiiiiiime.
Is it okay to give her cash for Valentine's Day?
Um, that's kind of weird, but sure, I'll take it but I'll probably just buy groceries with it YOU INCONSIDERATE CHILD NO IT'S NOT OKAY TO GIVE HER CASH WHAT ARE YOU A COLD, HARD AND SOULLESS ATM WITH AN ATTACHED VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEM?
Is it okay to buy her jewelry?
Yes, if she picked it out. If you know her style really well and have bought her jewelry before that she actually wears then you might be safe but personally I like to pick out my own, especially because I have metal allergies.
Is it okay to not do anything for Valentine's Day?
Yes, if you've both agreed to that.
Is it okay to celebrate at home?
Heck yeah. If you're homebodies most of the time and she isn't expressing interest in going out, it's fine to celebrate by staying in.
Is it okay to not spend a lot of money?
I think that is absolutely okay, especially if your wife is the budget-keeper. Don't stress yourselves out trying to do something because on this one specific day you're supposed to.
So, What Have We All Learned From This?
Maybe you're feeling just as lost as you did before you started reading this. Maybe I sent you some mixed signals. Sorry. I'm getting tired and I'm kind of hungry again already but I think that if we take nothing else from this adventure, I believe I can safely say that what your wife really wants for Valentine's Day is evidence of your affection. Whether that's a necklace, a dozen roses, a hand-written love letter, a weekend away or a take-out box of her favorite mozzarella sticks and jalapeño poppers (Andy? Honey, are you reading this? Ranch to dip.) depends on the woman in question.
For every marriage the answer is different and while it's nice to get some fresh ideas to shake things up here is the part where I will be sappy honest: Your wife really loves you and truthfully whatever you do, no matter how simple and humble it may seem, as long as you do it with her true interest at heart, it's going to make her feel loved back.
So, one more deep breath and a virtual pat on the back. You've got this, Mr. Valentine's-Expert-Extraordinaire!
Wives, Please Help These Guys
Be real, what is the thing you get most excited about receiving for Valentine's Day?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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© 2018 Kierstin Gunsberg